The Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander Collective program has officially been approved to become a cultural center for academic excellence at Cal Poly Humboldt. Their dedicated space will be located in Nelson Hall East 215 and 216. The new ADPIC cultural center will open its doors this upcoming fall 2022.
This space hopes to create a culturally safe space for Asian, Desi, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and North African students. According to ADPIC Advisor Ava Mark, they’ll have couches, a mini fridge, a TV, and a rice cooker for students to make food in one room. The other room will be similar to a study hall to help support students academically.
“It’ll be really nice to know that students have a place that they can find community too,” Mark said. “Just knowing that there is a central location of people that have shared experiences like them and that are interested in similar things that they can go to.”
ADPIC is planning to change their name when the cultural center officially opens to make it more inclusive for students in the center who may not identify as Asian. Andrew Cha, ADPIC student coordinator, explained that a new name seems fitting to keep up with all the changes the university has undergone since becoming a California polytechnic university.
Having this cultural safe space for Asian students is crucial for a sense of belonging in a predominantly White county. Alyssa Huynh, Cal Poly Humboldt student and ADPIC staff member, explained the need for the new ADPIC cultural center.
“As someone who is Asian American, it was really hard for me to find a space for me,” Hyunh said. “I didn’t even know we had a community here and so knowing that we do and having it be more presently known is really important.”
How the center came to be
The creation of an ADPIC cultural center has been in the works for years. The last proposal submitted by the previous ADPIC Advisor Roger Wang in 2019 finally gained traction towards being approved as a cultural center. However, things were postponed at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“My favorite part would be actually seeing change,” Cha said. “because I feel like we are making progress and we are making change, so seeing everything unfold is pretty cool, also seeing everyone’s reactions and expressions to becoming a center.”
The university has been supportive of this proposal after years of students advocating for it. Associated Students have been funding ADPIC’s needs in regards to new furniture and computers. The Umoja Center for Pan African Student Excellence and El Centro Academico Cultural have helped advocate the need for an ADPIC cultural center as well.
“The other centers were advocating for us and it got some attention from the A.S. people,” Cha said. “So A.S. was starting to look at us as more of a cultural center because of the way we more so directed to the Asian population in Humboldt. I’m glad we got recognized.”
The coordinator of the Social Justice, Equity, and Inclusion Center, Frank Herrera, said the leaders of the ADPIC program have worked closely with designers from facilities management. They carefully selected all their furniture and have been working on a layout design that is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“It was nice to see young people in these positions having words that meant something and had an impact on the design and layout of this place. It was really cool, I just sat there and watched,” Herrera said.
After the doors officially open this fall, the next step as a newly established cultural center will be to hire a full time program coordinator.
“I think the next steps would be to find a full time coordinator. Someone similar to Doug Smith to the Umoja Center, Fernando Paz for El Centro,” Mark said.
For more information about ADPIC follow them on Instagram @hsu_adpic.