The exterior of the Multicultural Center looks like an ordinary gray building, but one step inside and students can find a haven dedicated to inclusivity and diversity.
“If something is going on in your life, if I’m in a bad place, I know that I could come here,” senior and business administration major Isabel Sanchez said. “Students have to take care of each other to sustain each other, like the earth.”
On Aug. 23, the Multicultural Center (MCC) at Humboldt State University organized an open house and showcased their building to the HSU community. They also announced that the day marked 25 years since the doors opened for the first time. The center provides an inclusive space that can help students excel in a fluctuating environment with various internships and networking opportunities.
The MCC’s interim coordinator and publicity promotion & outreach coordinator Mona Mazzotti said that in recognition of their anniversary, the MCC will be planning monthly events.
HSU senior and marketing major Celeste Alvarez works as a graphic designer for The Cultural Times, a publication of the MCC. Alvarez said she transferred here in the spring.
“Coming from a Latinx background, it’s hard to find your niche in Humboldt County,” Alvarez said. “You don’t see people who look like you. I felt a bit lost.”
According to Alvarez, the MCC was a great resource for her that was open and non-judgemental. She said the services are vital for first-generation students and people of color who don’t have great examples, helping bridge the gap.
Coming from a Latinx background, it’s hard to find your niche in Humboldt County. You don’t see people who look like you. I felt a bit lost.
Mazzotti said that it’s inspirational working at the MCC because students go on to do incredible things. Mazzotti recalled one student who became a social justice coordinator and another who was accepted into graduate school in the East Coast.
However, Mazzotti defines success at the MCC as a space that students feel safe, welcomed and can help accomplish students’ goals.
“Amazing students go on to do amazing things, but success can be just getting you through and graduating,” Mazzotti said.
Senior and environmental studies major Ryan Sendejas attends events because of friends who are affiliated with MCC and said he tries to support when he can. If the center wasn’t here, he says, students wouldn’t have the same representation. He added that people here come together through shared experiences.
“I miss going to my grandma’s house and family parties,” Sendejas said. “It’s beautiful, this little piece of home away from home.”