Multicultural Center: A place for everyone


Aveya Payne

The Multicultural Center includes cubbies for those who wish to study.

Whether students are looking for a place to study, hang out with friends or host student organization events, the Multicultural Center offers a space to do so.

The Multicultural Center is located on the second floor of the Memorial Union (MU), and it is open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The space is also open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sundays.

Students and community members are welcome to use the space any time it is open.

The Multicultural Center is located in the Memorial Union and is open to everyone. (Aveya Payne)

Iowa State is a land grant institution, which means, at its foundation, it was created to allow access to education for everyone, regardless of their socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic background and ability, according to Jordan Brooks, assistant dean of students for intercultural initiatives and resource center and director of multicultural student affairs.

“The Multicultural Center is an example of one way these foundational ideas of Iowa State work to provide students with a wide range of support to navigate college so every student can persist at Iowa State and successfully graduate,” Brooks said.

The Multicultural Center is not a student organization; rather it is a place where organizations can hold events.

“There are a host of amazing culture-based student organizations which provide meaningful community building, leadership, research, networking and celebratory opportunities for students that we are glad to host in the Multicultural Center,” Brooks said.

Tim De Wit, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, said he attended an event his snowmobile club went to, and Arvindraj Loganathan, a senior in management information systems, said he attended a Malaysian cultural event in the space.

Within the Multicultural Center, there is a library and a reflection room available for student organizations to reserve through the Multicultural Student Affairs Office.

The Multicultural Center includes a library and reflection room. (Aveya Payne)

The space includes art displays that are permanent and temporary.

“Oftentimes the art on display is created by students or other Iowa State Community members,” Brooks said. “As a creative myself, it is special to me that we have a space for that type of expression and exchange to take place.”

There are also places for students to hang out or study.

“I like to go to the little cubby area. That is where I do a lot of school work,” De Wit said. “I use that area often. I heard of it from a good friend of mine. I study there sometimes before we get lunch or when I am near the area and need a place to do homework.”

Loganathan said the space is a nice area to do group sessions and hang out with friends. It is usually quiet, but during finals week, there are many groups of people working together and alone.

“I love the Multicultural Center and use it all the time,” Loganathan said. “I started going there when I first started at Iowa State.”

Loganathan said he learned about the events being held at the Multicultural Center through friends who are in clubs that use the space and posters at the MU that he sees frequently from working in the food court.

“People should use the Multicultural Center more,” Loganathan said. “It is a nice and comfortable space that I personally think is great.”