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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Unity Center may combine clubs

    UA Student Affairs is considering creating a United Nations of sorts by placing four campus cultural centers, as well as a few social and gender groups, all under one roof.

    Michelle Perez, director of the UA Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, is the co-chair of a team that has spent the last week talking to students in the clubs that would be combined to make up the new “”Unity Center””.

    Perez, and the rest of her “”concept team,”” have spent all week holding discussion forums all around campus, approaching students from the various cultural groups to find out what would work for them.

    The team wanted to find out if students would be interested in combining the African American, Asian Pacific America, Chicano/Hispanic and Native American cultural centers into one super center.

    The plan would also include Pride Alliance and LGBT Affairs and the Women’s Resource Center. Perez said that student response has been mixed.

    “”We’ve had a lot students who have been like, ‘wow, what a wonderful idea. We’ll have the opportunity to interact with one another,'”” Perez said. “”Then we’ve had students that have been really skeptical of it.””

    Perez said while the idea for the Unity Center came from trying to improve campus diversity, in the end the consolidation would also save the university money.

    “”Unfortunately we’re in the midst’s of this budget concern, and so of course the students worry about the potential about further loss resources,”” Perez said. “”Were trying to get our students involved at the beginning of the conversation.””

    Carlos Retamoza, a marketing senior, said that on the surface, the consolidation seems to make sense.

    “”It’s a viable idea,”” Retamoza said. “”We have to cut back obviously on the spending because of the budget cuts.””

    He said he understands the need for students to make sacrifices but would rather the faculty be more transparent with students.

    “”If it’s about cuts, tell us. Don’t hide behind the idea of unity,”” Retamoza said. “”It’s going to be probably difficult for the students who are already used to (the cultural centers) to transition. But within a year or two the new students will never know.””

    He said that some important elements of the new center would be whether or not individual groups could maintain their own identities and be able to accommodate their special needs.

    “”Space is definitely going to be important,”” Retamoza said. “”Each of the centers have a lot their own programs which are very important to their students. If we’re all in one space it will be difficult for each center to do something particularly for their students.””

    Paula Rangel, a political science freshman, is also concerned about the quality of the cultural centers if there are combined into one facility.

    “”We have really good cultural centers,”” Rangel said. “”We have people from all over the world here. If we combine the centers into one, is there going to be enough room for all of us?””

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