Multicultural Center sees revitalization under new leadership

Photo: Photo: A student docent, one of many enlisted through the Multicultural Center, mulls over a sculpture from the exhibit “Body Image/Body Essence” featured in the Library Gallery Annex.
A student docent, one of many enlisted through the Multicultural Center, mulls over a sculpture from the exhibit “Body Image/Body Essence” featured in the Library Gallery Annex.

The University’s Multicultural Center is seeing a reawakening with a new interim director and a new agenda for the year.

Analia Mendez has been the Multicultural Center’s interim director since the end of January. The beginning of her tenure saw a long list of improvements for the center, including a larger presence on campus and in the community and a solid plan for the Center’s goals and values.

The Multicultural Center’s Advisory Board, composed of Sacramento State students, staff, faculty and community members, was recently reassembled after a year’s absence to work on the bylaws, a mission and values statement, and what the Center can do to be active in the community.

“The Advisory Group hadn’t met for about a year, and it was important to get its advice to see what improvements could be made to the Center,” says Mendez. “The group will forward that advice to me and we can move forward to advance the Multicultural Center.”

The Multicultural Center has reestablished its presence with exciting events on the horizon. The Center recently collaborated with the organizers of the “Body Image/Body Essence” exhibit, featured in the University Library Gallery Annex from March 24 to April 27, to train student docents to guide tours of the exhibit.

“We were able to appeal to a lot of students to volunteer for the event,” says Mendez. “We got art majors, communications majors and nursing majors, among others. They were able to acquire a lot of skills through the training for this event. They had to have a familiarity with ovarian cancer and with the artist’s process and his works.

“This exhibit is important because underrepresented groups need to be educated about knowing the symptoms of ovarian cancer,” she says. “So we’re educating our students as well as the campus community. We can be a conduit for learning.”

The Center is also co-sponsoring Multicultural Night 4 from 7:30 – 10:30 p.m., on Thursday, April 26 in the University Union Ballroom. The free event, designed to raise cultural awareness, will feature various performances such as spoken word, hip hop, fraternity/sorority stepping, poetry, dancing and comedy. “It’s a fun event, and we expect a big turnout,” says Mendez.

Some next steps for the Multicultural Center include meeting with faculty, staff and student representatives from the campus to seek ways to get the greater community involved and working with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities to talk to students about its national internship program.

“We have a lot to do, and I’m looking forward to the process,” says Mendez. “These changes are needed and necessary to make the Multicultural Center a vital part of the campus.”

For more information, call the Multicultural Center at 278-6101 or visit www.csus.edu/mcult.