Park launches grand opening of Multicultural Resource Center

Bryce Butler, Reporter

On Feb. 22, students and faculty gathered in Thompson Commons to celebrate the grand opening of the Multicultural Resource and Student Engagement Center.

The ceremony included speeches from two of the driving forces behind the opening of the center, who gave their insights on what the creation of the center means for student diversity at Park.

Allison Anderson, a Student Life graduate assistant, explained that she made many recommendations for how Park University could better serve marginalized groups of people on its Parkville campus. She said she met with many different student organizations, like International Club, Modern Language Club, and Spectrum, and used their feedback.

“Meeting with those groups, meeting with their execs, and seeing what are the issues they face on campus and how do they feel, and what do they feel is the solution to that,” Anderson said.

She then incorporated some of those suggestions into what she called a “curated letter” to administrators at Park. She was also able to get signatures from those execs in their support of an action step towards improving diversity on campus.

One of the results of her effort is the Multicultural Resource and Student Engagement Center. An open house was held from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm for students and faculty to view the center.

Having a dedicated space for students, especially marginalized students, is a good first step, said Tiana Key, graduate assistant for the Office of Student Engagement and another key participant in getting the center up and running. However, she said it isn’t the end of their plans.

“Yes, we’ve made it here but we still have a ways to go,” Key said. “I want to make sure that with this space, that we’re being very intentional about the type of programming that comes out of this office. I really want it to be a space where students feel welcome. But not just specifically behind that door. I want students to know they are welcome in all of Park University.”