The house sits in the shade of a huge palm tree with a pathway covered in pebbles leading to its brightly painted green door. Inside, a friendly staff and a small living room area with two big couches welcomes everyone who comes in.
This is the new home of the Mosaic Cultural Institute, formerly known as the Institute of Multicultural Research and Campus Diversity.
On April 26 it moved out of the Supertents to its new location on the corner of Second Street and E Street.
“It’s an exiting new opportunity to begin fresh,” said Daniel Loera, multicultural affairs director.
The new building has space for a small living room area, reception, three offices and a back yard.
“I feel it has a much warmer atmosphere,” said Keisha Bentley, director of intercultural development.
To some the move might seem to be a disadvantage because the Institute will no longer be located in the center of the Supertents.
However, Loera thinks it is an advantage.
“Because it’s a casa it gives students an opportunity to make it their home,” Loera said. “It gives students a place to go when they need to feel away from the University.”
The new building has more space to accommodate the different students or organizations that need it.
“It is more of a quiet space to get our work done,” said Maria Grandone-Llorente, executive director.
“We use to be separated in the tents, now we are all as a group together,” she added.
The new name was chosen to make it easier on people to remember that the institute is there to help.
“I feel it’s less intimidating and more inviting,” Bentley said. “Now people can stop concentrating on how to say our name and can start concentrating on the things we do,” she added.
They wanted a name that would reflect what the Institute does, said Silvia Lopez, administrative assistant II.
“We chose Mosaic because it’s a lot of different components where everyone keeps their own identity and come together to create something beautiful,” Grandone-Llorente said.
This is one of the institute’s main goals.
The institute is only expected to be in this venue for three to five years, until the new Campus Center is built.
“Moving stirs new creativity,” Loera said.
“We are imagining, dreaming and planning,” he added.
Laura Bucio can be reached at email@example.com.
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Posted May 13, 2005