Stockton News

Stockton celebrates Multicultural Center opening

Written by Charles Obirinanwa with supplemental information by Jovan Chang

On Wednesday, February 22nd, 2023; the doors of the Multicultural center were opened for the first time to the entire Stockton community. The celebration was divided into two sessions: the morning session was the ribbon cutting of the center, while the evening session—which took place at 4:30 p.m.— was the grand reception at the center. Plentiful was the buzz surrounding the opening of the new center; according to a press release from Stockton University, there were over 200 students, faculty, and community members present at the ceremony.

Catching addresses the crowd gathered at the Multicultural Center opening. Photo courtesy of Charles Obirinanwa.

The ribbon cutting started at 11:15 a.m. and saw the presence of notable members of the Stockton community like the Board of Trustees Chairperson Trustee Ciccone, an assortment of department directors, and student senators, among others. At the event, President Harvey Kesselman expressed his delight to see the much-anticipated center finally opened and described the center as a place that will bring together different students irrespective of individual differences.

“This center is not just a physical space; it is also a reminder that we must all do what we can to ensure Stockton remains a welcoming community for all,” Stockton President Harvey Kesselman told the audience of attendees.

Ciccone emphasized the importance of the Multicultural Center, stating that “In 2020, the Board of Trustees adopted a resolution dedicated to equity, social justice, and inclusion. This center is the physical embodiment of that resolution.”

The inaugural director of the Multicultural Center, Jovin Fernandez, said that she was excited that students will now have a safe space and a sense of belonging at the center. “This center will bring a new layer of joy, excitement, belonging, and inclusion to the campus. I look forward to the ways that we will strengthen school spirit and institutional pride,” Fernandez said. 

Student Senator and former Chairperson of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee Joshua Hunte stated that although he is about to graduate, the Multicultural Center will serve as a platform for diversity and inclusivity, which he is very passionate about. “Coming in here was emotional,” Hunte said. “Everything about [the Multicultural Center] screams that people want to be here…”

Later that evening, students, faculty, and staff gathered at the center for the reception. Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Chris Catching encouraged the students to visit the center whenever they want to while emphasizing that the center is one of the reasons that Stockton prides herself as an institution that puts students first. At the reception, there were song renditions, dance performances, poetry recitations, and a photo booth. Attendees had an opportunity to try dishes from other cultures and parts of the world.

The center is located in the lower F-wing and is open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.— except for Tuesday when it is open until 8 p.m. All information on upcoming events can be found on Stockton’s calendar on its website. 

Categories: Stockton News