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Thursday, September 2, 2010

submitted by Daveta Saunders

Often when promoting the Center for Multicultural Enrichment aka Center4ME around campus I get asked this question by students, “What is the Center4ME?”  After going through a 90 second spill about the department, sometimes the students respond with, “Oh, I thought that department was just for the Black students” or “I didn’t know everyone was welcomed to attend the events put on by the Center4ME.” After a small, internal chuckle I continue usually by inviting that person to attend any of our events and to visit our department if they have any more questions or just want to meet the staff.


Interestingly, this always happens when I leave conversations as such, I begin to ponder what I can do better to make sure students are not confused about the purpose of the Center for Multicultural Enrichment aka Center4ME.  So, I’ve devised a list of 5 misunderstandings that people I have encountered have had about the department.  I hope this will bring clarification to those who may be wondering because of assumptions, being misinformed Center4ME, and/or a bad experience in regards to ethnicity.

  1. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment is not a club or student organization. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment is a DEPARTMENTcomprised of a Director and three Associate Directors who have all obtained Master’s degrees or higher. We also have a 15 member student staff including two graduate assistant positions. So, one does not have to pay a membership fee to join the Center4ME. However if you want to join us, come out to an event or get involved with a program. We have several programs in which one can participate on a regular basis. Please visit our website to find out more information
  2. The purpose of the Center for Multicultural Enrichment is not to bring division. The purpose of our department is the exact opposite. We seek to overcome cultural and ethnic divisions.The Center4ME also serves as an advocate to minority students and seeks to celebrate cultural diversity by offering experiential learning opportunities to ALL students. We are so serious about bringing students together from different backgrounds, that we have a cultural challenge initiative under the Equality Factor Movement called B.O.L.D. which stands for Bridging Our Life’s Divisions. Yes, we do have the Black Student Initiative within our department, but that program is still open for all students to become involved whether it is to learn more about the African American culture and/or to take advantage of the leadership development that exist within the program.
  3. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment is not the International Students Office or Missions Office.Here is a little history behind why we are not the International Student Office. The Minority & International Student Office (today known as the Center for Multicultural Enrichment) was founded in 1992. The Minority & International Student Office (MISO) underwent a major reorganization in April 2004 with the inception of the C. Daniel Kim International Student Center (ISC). The ISC was established to specifically meet the needs of the international student population and this initiative opened the door for the restructuring of MISO. MISO was renamed the Center for Multicultural Enrichment to better reflect and affirm promoting unity and celebrating cultural diversity.
  4. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment events and programs are open to ALL students.  For example if you see a flyer around campus for Hispanic Heritage Month or for a forum discussion on interracial dating, please know that you are more than welcome to attend that event regardless of your ethnic background. I personally love when an event that I oversee is ethnically diverse in attendance especially forums because diverse perspectives add depth to the discussion.
  5. The Center for Multicultural Enrichment does more than just host festive events. The Center4ME has the ASSIST Program – this peer mentoring program partners incoming freshmen and transfer students with upperclassmen to help them with their acclimation to the university. This program focuses on academic, spiritual, leadership, and social development. Also, new this year to the Center4ME is a tutoring service for students who are struggling in Math, English, and/or Psychology.

Yes, we are transformers, because there is so much more to our department than what meets the eye and one’s preconceived notions about multicultural matters. I can continue with more things about what the Center4MEis not, but I will save my thoughts for later. Hopefully this list has broadened your understanding of the Center for Multicultural Enrichmentaka the Center4ME which synonymously means the Center for you!

Daveta Saunders is a 2004 graduate of Liberty and received her Master's from LU in 2007. She is an author and hosts a radio program called "The TakeOver," which airs every Friday night from 10PM-1AM on the campus radio station, 90.9FM The Light




Posted at 3:11 PM | Comments (1)