by Laura Arango ’20
What should the Center for Inclusive Excellence at Moore Hall be used for? This question has been the subject of contentious debate since Dr. Shan Mukhtar, director of the center, expressed her belief that every event in Moore Hall should serve a cultural purpose.
Recently, she attended one of the Board of Multicultural Student Affairs’ (BMSA) weekly meetings and addressed what she intends to do with the center.
She hopes the center will become a “cultural space that promotes diverse interactions and facilitates community-based social change at Providence College,” as opposed to a center that is restrictive in its purpose.
Many students have been questioning exactly what fits the category of what is allowed to take place at the center and what is not.
Dr. Mukhtar made it clear that she intends to only allow events that have been crafted with “intention” while simultaneously fitting the “Friar Four” ideals.
Many students have expressed concern that Dr. Mukhtar may be restricting the center too narrowly, while others agree that this is what is necessary in order to allow the center to reach its maximum potential.
There must be some restrictions on what is allowed to take place at the center. Moore Hall was fought for by the students and it should become a building that is deserving of the protests executed by the multitude of students.
It needs to be utilized so that it gains the respect that other buildings such as Ruane, Slavin, and Harkins hold.
If events that do not serve a cultural purpose or uphold the Friar Four take place in Moore, then it loses its purpose and becomes another building where it appears to only be used for recreational purposes.
Restricting its function will further allow it to be a center where PC students, faculty, and staff can debate and create innovative and thoughtful approaches to fostering a more inclusive environment on the PC campus.
The center has the potential to serve our campus by teaching its audience about other cultures and social identities, while affirming these differences.
Moore Hall is the catalyst that will break the wall of social tensions and begin a more open and honest dialogue among PC students.
Furthermore, the center is open to every single person on campus even if some events are not allowed to take place there. Dr. Mukhtar plans on allowing every organization to propose an event to her and work with her to allow it to come to fruition by making the necessary changes.
Thus, she is cultivating an environment where students and faculty work together to create activities that benefit students recreationally, but also intellectually and emotionally because it is definitely possible to create events that evoke all three of these feelings at once.
Dr. Mukhtar has made it clear that although she has a vision for the center, it is not the quintessential vision. Thus, the center can only continue to grow because it is dynamic in nature and founded upon the needs and ideals of the students.