President Myers announces $1.5 million in additional funding for Multicultural Student Center

K-State students, faculty and community members listen to the speakers at the second KSUnite event in the Student Union on Tuesday. (Alex Todd | Collegian Media Group)

The KSUnite rally brought students and faculty together Tuesday in the K-State Student Union Ballroom. After the rally, the room refilled for a final session of the day which featured a presentation by Adrian Rodriguez, associate vice president for student life of diversity and multicultural student affairs, on the plans for the Multicultural Student Center.

The Multicultural Student Center is a project that has been proposed time and time again, but for about a decade, no direct action was taken. Following the first KSUnite, more solid plans began to take shape as representatives from the KSU Foundation and campus leaders gathered to form an action team.

Many generations of wildcats have been asking for this, Randy Carter, president of the American Ethnic Studies Student Association, said.

“Students have said what they want,” Rodriguez said. “They have asked other students as well. We are trying to actualize their dreams.”

Albert Ray, a 1996 Kansas State graduate in interior architecture, is the lead architect for the center. The design plans won’t be finalized until January 2019, but Ray said that what students have asked for, such as conference rooms, a welcoming area and support offices, will be included.

“Having students provide input without judgement is my priority,” Ray said. “I just took their vision and transformed it.”

The center is projected to cost $5.5 million. At KSUnite Tuesday, President Richard Myers announced that the project received $1.5 million in new funding, bringing the total amount raised about $4.2 million.

The center will concentrate on five concepts to recognize the students’ vision, Ray said, which will focus on being welcoming, multi-purpose, intercultural, well-positioned and providing a home.

The center will be located east of the union, Rodriguez said. If all goes according to plan, the construction process could begin late in the coming spring semester.

The project has been approved by the university’s presidential board and the KSU Foundation, but has yet to come to the Kansas Board of Regents.

“We have listened to students and advocated for this,” Ayana Belk, student senator and sophomore in landscape architecture, said. “We want everything to be in this building that you want. We are working hard to make sure students are heard. Continue to voice your concern, especially to advocates.”

My name is Bailey Britton and I am the former editor-in-chief of the Collegian. Previously, I have been the assistant news editor and the managing editor. I have also interned for the Manhattan Mercury and the Colby Free Press. I grew up in Colby, Kansas, and I am a junior in journalism and English. Through the Collegian, I aim to provide the K-State community with quality news coverage while we learn to serve our campus.