Building a Community
The Multicultural Center offers community hours that provide the opportunity for students, particularly those from traditionally underserved groups, to engage in faculty and staff facilitated dialogues about diversity-related topics and diverse identities with their peers and the facilitators in a more intimate setting than is usually available in classrooms. They also allow students to develop a community and support network. Having a support network increases the students’ chances of feeling more connected to faculty, staff and peers on the Georgia State campus. According to research, feeling connected to the university increases students’ desire to remain on campus to complete their education. Some of the Community Hours that are offered include Asian-American, Middle Eastern, Men from Diverse Backgrounds, Native American, First Generation and Student Veterans. Community hours for the fall semester are 11a.m. – 1p.m. beginning in September and ending in November.
Ariel Browne, a pre-journalism major with a focus in telecommunications, attended the Asian-American/Pacific Islander Community Hour and she stated, “These community hours have helped me to know that I am not the only Pacific Islander student here at Georgia State University.”
Gustavo Felipe Arce, another student who attended a community hour, stated, “At first, I was just curious to see what exactly community hours were. I did not expect to be the only student who showed up. Fortunately, the Multicultural Center team did a fantastic job leading a normal conversation about minority culture. I learned that too often we are inundated with learning about the outside world that we rarely pay attention to what others learn from us. The simple switch in paradigm can lead to valuable time of self-reflection.”
According to Christina Wan, Senior Student Development Specialist for Advocacy and Student Success, “Community hours are designed for students to have the opportunity to have a discussion around a particular identity or intersection of identities…the ideal impact of the program is that students are able to connect with their facilitator and one another in effort to build community here at Georgia State University.”
Darius Wimby, Graduate Assistant for Advocacy and Student Success, believes “…it allows [students] to come and have open discussions about various identities with their identified communities and express how they are represented on campus and in the metro-Atlanta community, and come up with solutions to improving diversity on campus.”
The Multicultural Center encourages you to check out the community hours that best suit your interests and help you to build your community. For more information, please call 404-413-1584, visit our website, e-mail or drop by at Student Center East Suite 206.