The Intercultural Center was created for students to celebrate and bring awareness to the diversity and uniqueness of the students on campus.
The Intercultural Center is the newest edition to TCU located in the Brown-Lupton University Union.
It was the result of a list of demands from student leaders in 2017 over issues on campus with diversity and inclusiveness.
The students advocated for a place on campus for minority, international and LGTBQ+ students to be their authentic selves.
Underrepresented students previously had the second floor in Jarvis Hall but fitting over 300 plus students in that space for events, like Cultural Cuisine, quickly became an issue.
In the list of demands, students originally asked for an entire building, specifically for an Intercultural Center.
What is known as the Intercultural Center today was previously known as “The Pit,” which was used by SGA, TheEnd and theCrew as a meeting and creative space.
Because of the popularity of the Intercultural Center, the Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services have procedures that students and organizations have to go through before they can use certain parts of the Intercultural Center for events.
To reserve the room, students, faculty and staff must turn in a reservation request form to Dr. Timeka Gordon, director of inclusiveness and intercultural services.
Inclusiveness and intercultural services also ask that people know the difference between needing public and private space in the center, view the recorded Zoom meeting with Dr. Gordon and student leaders and sign the acknowledgment of the policies and procedures of the Intercultural Center.
“We want to make sure that what’s being done in the space aligns with the views and the purpose we designed this space for. Is it inclusive? Is it championing social justice, advocacy, diversity?”, said Dr. Timeka Gordon.
Organizations that receive approval to use the Intercultural Center are not allowed to make students leave during their events or meetings.
Gordon emphasizes the importance of students being the primary users of the center.
“It is a balancing act to make sure this space continues to be open and accessible to the students, faculty and staff that want to use it, but the students are the priority in this space, and the students that help make this space a possible will continue to be the priority in this space,” said Gordon.
The first event held in the Intercultural Center was the Welcome Back Mixer on Aug. 25, 2021, hosted by The Office of Student Identify Engagement, which had over 600 students, faculty and staff in attendance.
“That was wonderfully insane! We had students sitting outside on the pavement. It was just that crowded, but that was the sense of community that students have been wanting,” said Gordon. “And giving what has been happening the last 18 months with the pandemic, students were ready to just be reconnected.”
Helen To, a freshman pre-business major, said, “there are so many places(s) on campus we can hang out and study, but this place feels special because it is [for] international students,” said To. “I think everyone is very friendly and has helped me develop more meaningful relationships on campus.”
Dr. Gordon and The Office of Inclusiveness and Intercultural Services encourage students to visit the Intercultural Center and enjoy the different events held by the Gender Resource Office, International Services and the Office of Student Identity Engagement like Sip and Tea, Cultural Cuisine and Donuts and Dialogue.