Intercultural Center building may be in future
By TIM LOGAN
In Focus Editor
It may not happen for a long time, but some day, minority students at Notre Dame could have a student center of their own.
Currently, Multicultural Student Programs and Services and International Student Affairs have offices on the second floor of LaFortune Student Center. The two groups jointly operate the Intercultural Center, which hosts a range of events and has a variety of resources. LaFortune's second floor also serves as a gathering place for minority students, and a place to hold meetings.
The Center is serving its purpose, according to Sister Jean Lenz, assistant vice president for Student Affairs.
"It is happening over there already," she said. "There is a real mixture."
The area also has a Coalition Lounge, a spot adjacent to the MSPS office where interns work and student groups hold meetings.
But many schools have their own buildings for multicultural programs. And Outlaw said that is her goal for Notre Dame.
"We want to have our building," she said. "But that comes with donations and building and all that kind of thing."
There are no plans on the drawing board right now, but Outlaw said she hopes a center is in Notre Dame's future. She envisions a building that is part of a larger, renovated LaFortune Student Center complex, one which would likely be shared with a range of student groups and have seminar rooms and social space in addition to offices.
"The vision that we'd have is that it would not only house international affairs and the MSPS, but it would also house student organizations," Outlaw said. "We've got 250 organizations on campus, and how many carrels are in the Club Resource Center?"
A centrally located building that mixes minority groups with general student organizations, such as the crew team and the glee club, would do much to allay the biggest concern critics have voiced about a multicultural center: that it would simply isolate minority students more.
"We've gone back and forth on that," Lenz said. "Some people do want a separate building."
But, for now, the center is still in the hypothetical stages. No one has donated money to construct one and it is not atop the University's list of building priorities.
And until that changes, MSPS, the Office of International Student Affairs and minority student groups will continue to share the second floor of LaFortune.
All News Stories for Tuesday, September 5, 2000