The Asian & Pacific Cultural Center to move closer to 'heart of campus'

A ceremonial groundbreaking took place Monday for Oregon State University's new Asian & Pacific Cultural Center at the Fairbanks Hall parking lot on Jefferson Way.

Senior Timothy Lam and junior An Vuong, members of the APCC, performed the Lion Dance, a tradition among South Asian countries. Student affairs educator and graduate teaching assistant Daniel Cardenas said the Lion Dance is performed during holidays or momentous occasions.

"There was a Lion Dance performed at the original Grand Opening of our current APCC, and we hoped to continue this tradition," Cardenas said.

Students of the APCC and attendance of the ceremony were given a chance to leave their mark on the building. Literally. The group signed a beam that will be used in the new APCC building. Before it becomes part of the architecture, the students and faculty have plans for the beam.

"We will take a picture of this beam, and frame the picture in the new building," Cardenas said. "This way, community members can visit the building in the future, remember (Monday's) ceremony and see how their legacy lives on."

Also in attendance were APCC alumni and OSU President Ed Ray.

Ray spoke about the history of the cultural center and why the new location is important for OSU. He briefly touched on the subject of inclusivity on campus, a topic that has gained much attention in recent months.

Students of the center are pleased with the upcoming change.

Melissa Choy, a junior majoring in exercise and sports science and member of the cultural center, thinks this move says a lot about OSU.

"It's good to see the campus is more inviting to cultures," Choy said.

Choy said that the center can reach out to more students, because it will be closer to the "heart of campus."

Its current location is at the northwest corner of campus, or what Choy considers the "outskirts." This location makes it difficult for members and OSU students to drop in.

"More clubs will utilize the space," Choy said. "We hope for more collaboration with cultural clubs."

Jason Dorsette, center director of the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, attended the ceremony and said it is one example of how OSU commits to all students.

"(Monday's) groundbreaking of the APCC displays very deliberate and intentional ways in which OSU commits not only to the (Asian/Pacific Islander) community, but to diversity as a whole," Dorsette said.

Expected completion of the new center is still undecided, but Ray said it should open in nine months. Students and faculty hope to see the new building up by winter term 2015.

Ria Rankine

Greek and clubs reporter

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