The budget deficit saga continues at the University of La Verne and now it is affecting a centerpiece of the La Verne community: diversity. Administration of the Mosaic Cultural Institute, its staff and executive board member positions will be dispersed and relocated, slowly dismantling an organization that we believe is important to support and promote diversity awareness and research on this campus.
Although insufficient funds contributed greatly to the dismantling of the MCI, its end seems to be too convenient.
One issue was lack of space. There is no room to hold meetings or events. It is critical to the success of an organization that sufficient work space is provided in order for it to function properly.
The loss of this organization, however, creates a major problem for students and the University. One of the University’s declared promises is to serve students from different cultural backgrounds.
The MCI has served as the source of information and support for club leaders to report to including the African American Student Association, the International Student Organization, the Latino Student Forum, the Sister Circle and the Rainbow Alliance.
Once culturally diverse students learn that they no longer have a center or space to report to, they will interpret it as the University being non-supportive, Multicultural Affairs Director Daniel Loera said.
While these issues have been brewing for a while, the hope was that the new Campus Center would provide necessary resources for MCI. Now that it is being used for other University needs, that option was thrown out the window. And it is a shame, given that the Campus Center was intentionally created to specifically serve the students, or that’s what we thought.
For the sake of current and prospective students, something needs to be done to preserve the University’s support structure for diversity.