Technically open or not, plans are under way for a series of events this spring at KU's Multicultural Resource Center.
Plans for Kansas University's Multicultural Resource Center are moving ahead, even though its opening and/or full operation may be delayed -- again.
"The construction is still ongoing," said Sherwood Thompson, director of minority affairs. "The full services and full programming will start in the fall semester."
An official grand opening of the center was held in November, 2 1/2 years after its announcement. Bureaucratic and construction delays prevented the center from opening earlier.
Thompson said the center may open for partial activities in April. The building, which used to house Supportive Educational Services, is just south of the Military Science Building.
Several campus events will be held in conjunction with the opening of the center, including a talk by Carlos Cortez, a history professor at the University of California, Riverside, who conducts seminars on multiculturalism and race.
Cortez will speak at 7 p.m. April 4 in the Kansas Union Ballroom. That is the date Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tenn.
"Even though the center may not be open (by April), we still are going to proceed" with events, Thompson said.
Meanwhile, the Multicultural Resource Center Committee has developed a draft mission statement.
It says, "In the process of developing a multicultural campus, resistance and tension will occur. The Multicultural Resource Center's activities, programs and educational training seminars will provide strategies for building relationships and campus spirit."
The statement also says the center will offer:
- A computer work station.
- Multicultural research library.
- Recognition of nationally designated ethnic heritage months.
- Racial awareness training programs.
- International student interaction.
"Both white Americans and ethnic minorities are partners in this new enterprise," the statement says.
"The Multicultural Resource Center offers the opportunity to enjoy a rich and unique blend of cross-cultural relationship building, while helping to enable people to embrace diversity as a strength and not a weakness."