Ball State opens new Multicultural Center in the heart of campus

<p>Parker Clingerman, vice president of the Asian Student Union, talks to students at the welcoming celebration Aug. 27. The new multicultural center will be a home for student organizations like ASU, and includes a new library, study spaces and an ice cream shop. <strong>Maya Wilkins, DN</strong></p>

Parker Clingerman, vice president of the Asian Student Union, talks to students at the welcoming celebration Aug. 27. The new multicultural center will be a home for student organizations like ASU, and includes a new library, study spaces and an ice cream shop. Maya Wilkins, DN

Formerly located behind the L. A. Pittenger Student Center, the Multicultural Center has a long history of empowering and educating students. The original center, which opened in the 1970’s, served as a resource for students of color and other minority groups.

“When African Americans looked to our university’s leaders for space and people to provide a sense of belonging on campus, the house became what many students affectionately called ‘The Multi,’” Vice President for Student Affairs Ro-Anne Royer Engle said in 2019 when the Ball State Board of Trustees broke ground for the new Multicultural Center.

Now located in the heart of campus between Bracken Library and the Miller College of Business, the Multicultural Center is set to function as a hub for student organizations. The welcoming celebration, held Aug. 27, featured more than 20 student organizations, a DJ and free food. 

Crowds of students took part in the festivities and tried the new ice cream shop in the 90-degree afternoon heat.

Sophomore Parker Clingerman, vice president of the Asian Student Union (ASU), said the new Multicultural Center will play a big role in ASU events this year.  

“We plan on actually holding our executive board meetings in the Multicultural Center,” Clingerman said. “We have a boba social event planned somewhere around mid- to late September [and] the Multicultural Center has a kitchen that we can access as well to make food.”

Clingerman, who joined ASU this year, is optimistic that the new location of the Multicultural Center will increase the visibility of all student organizations.

“I think for all organizations, it really provides us with a place that's in the center of campus where we can get the attention of a lot more people,” Clingerman said. 

The center includes a conference room, study lounge, library, kitchen, ice cream shop, student artwork and more.

Contact Eli Houser with comments at ejhouser@bsu.edu.




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