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OSU Multicultural Center celebrates 10th anniversary

Thomas Bradley / Campus editor

Some students from various cultural and personal perspectives say the Multicultural Center within the Office of Student Life is a “home away from home,” and this year it is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The MCC hosted its anniversary event Tuesday evening at the Archie Griffin West Ballroom in the Ohio Union.

“The MCC has a very rich history on this campus,” said Habiba Kamagate, special projects coordinator of the MCC. “It is really important to me, as well as the entire MCC staff, to celebrate not only for ourselves the work that we do, but to show students, faculty, staff and alumni how important the work that we do is.”

The MCC invited students, staff and faculty who worked with them throughout the past 10 years.

“I congratulated them for stepping up to work with us and also just educate them on what we’ve done and what we hope to do for the next 10 years,” Kamagate said. “We are here to move us from excellent to eminent and to prepare our students to be global citizens.”

During the celebration, the MCC focused on history, culture, social justice, collaboration and future; the five values that it focuses on. Video clips that explained the values were played throughout the event. Students gave testimonies about how they found their own identities through various programs, and what they have experienced from the MCC.

Destinee Miguest, a third-year in psychology, performed a solo dance and BAAM, an OSU Asian a cappella group, sang.

“I love to celebrate my culture through dance,” Miguest said. “I’ve been dancing since I was little and I always feel like dance is a part of my culture.”

The MCC also provided an intercultural dinner, which included Salad Trio, an item that contains Middle Eastern tabbouleh, Asian noodles and Hispanic black beans. The dinner provided an understanding of the MCC’s vision of creating the intercultural and transformational experience for students.

“I was amazed by how much information and culture were fit into two hours,” said Ryan Lake, a second-year in exercise science education. “I get a sense of community when I attend the Multicultural Center programs, because they are so inclusive and it is just like another home.”

The MCC began in 2001 on the fourth floor of the old Ohio Union. In 2005, MCC moved to Lincoln Tower during the reconstruction of the Ohio Union, and in 2010, MCC moved to the first floor of the new Ohio Union.

The MCC was structured as an intercultural model to support all constituency groups: African-American, American-Indian and Indigenous, Asian-American, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and Hispanic and Latino student initiatives. The MCC offers about 500 programs a year such as cultural performances, co-curricular dialogues, intergroup dialogue classes and lecture series from faculty and staff.

Davida Haywood, executive director of the MCC, said many staff members have inspired community members to form diverse perspectives and meet intercultural needs.

“Whether they do not agree with the speaker or the lecture, it’s not the point,” Haywood said. “The point is we want them to live within the opinion. We just continue to be a home away from home for a lot of students.”

Kamagate said the MCC plays a very pivotal role in creating extraordinary student experiences.

“Students can not only come to the MCC to relax, have lunch and spend time with their friends, but they also can come to get a fun program that makes them be aware of social issues that are going on around the campus and in the world,” Kamagate said.

Haywood said the MCC strives to be the best of its kind nationwide.

“We want to be the place that other institutions look towards us as the model,” Haywood said. “We want to be a physical location where all students can walk through our doors and feel like, ‘I belong here.'”

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