Students protest to fight for CCI installation


Students march to Barge Hall protesting for CCI

Morgana Carroll, Staff Reporter

Cries of “What do we want? CCI! When do we want it? Now!,” and “Diversify with CCI!” rang out through the air as students marched to Barge Hall in protest of the administration’s “flip flopping” support of the Center for Cultural Innovation (CCI), as described by Director of Governmental Affairs Edgar Espino.

The march included students and faculty holding signs, marching through campus with Espino leading chants and playing a drum.

“I wanted to support the CCI,” said third year cyber security major Solomon Kairu. “This has been needed for so long. The DEC is too small, we need more space.”

The CCI is a project to establish a space for minority students to use. According to Espino, the reason the protest was held was because the building has been in development for the last decade, and not much progress has been made.

“The reason I organized this was because for the past ten years the administration has been flip-flopping with ASCWU to get a space like this built on campus,” Espino said. “We were in the same place last year.We had a floor plan committed and funds were supposedly committed to building a multicultural center, but that did not happen.”

Edgar said he fears that might happen again and wanted to make a statement to the administration.

In front of Barge Hall, Espino read the statement that the ASCWU had written stating they were disappointed in the administration’s lack of action. In what Espino called an act of civil disobedience, the protesters taped copies of the paper onto the walls and doors of the building’s interior.

Espino said recently there has been more push from administration to get the project underway, but also wants to make it clear that the student body is still serious about getting this done.

“Although there has been a bigger political will from the new administration under Wohlpart to get this done, we want to make it very clear via the student voice that we’re not playing around this time,” Espino said.

President Wohlpart attended to show his support for the students. Wohlpart said there will be a Multicultural Center (MCC), and at the moment administration is determining where it will be. The MCC and the CCI would serve the same purpose, according to Espino.

“One of the differences is, in the past, we have not had funding in hand,” Wohlpart said. “We are on the cusp of having it. Once the funding is in hand we move forward. The university has already paid for pre-design so we are much further along than we have ever been.”

Wohlpart said the next step is getting the MCC designed and built.

According to Espino, the CCI has been put on the ballot, and ASCWU is working closely with administration to ensure that they are following through.

“I am very proud of Central Washington University students for exercising their first amendment rights, I am very supportive of the stand they are taking to ensure that we build the Multicultural Center, and they have been waiting ten years which is too long to wait,” Wohlpart said.

In a June 1 email, Wohlpart announced that the student body voted to provide funding for the MCC. The vote decided to put the MCC in the SURC, in addition to extending the Office of Undergraduate Studies.

“This is a historic moment for our university community, and I want to thank our students for leading the way,” Wohlpart said in the statement. “Working with students, we have already started the process of predesign for the MCC and will now move into the design and build phase.”

View our past coverage of the CCI here: ASCWU Holds Open Forum to Discuss Center for Cultural Innovation – The Observer (