CSU diversity offices relocate to MAC gym during LSC construction

Teresa Rice works in her office located at the North American Cultural Center in the LSC last week. Rice is the manager of the office which will be relocated during the Student Center rennovation.
Teresa Rice works in her office located at the North American Cultural Center in the LSC last week. Rice is the manager of the office which will be relocated during the Student Center rennovation.
With the Lory Student Center renovation in progress, five of the seven diversity offices that currently reside in the LSC are being relocated to the MAC gym in the CSU Rec Center. The Women and Gender Advocacy Center and the Resources for Disabled Students center both have offices outside of the LSC and will be unaffected by the construction.Students and staff will be making the move anytime between April and May 2013 and will remain in their temporary location until fall 2014. The renovation is expected to be completed by August and the offices will be welcomed into their new spaces at that time.Those interviewed said the move of the offices will be a change that may take some getting used to for students, staff, recreation staff and attendees.In an interview with CTV News, Judy Muenchow, the executive director of campus recreation, explained that the transformation of the MAC gym will begin in February and should take roughly three months.

Muenchow further explained that it may take right up until May, however they are hopeful that at the end of April or the beginning of May, the offices will be able to relocate.

The Asian/Pacific American Culture Center (APACC) said that they plan to wait to make the move, according to Jeannie Lee, a student staff member.

“We will be moving to the MAC gym in May after finals,” Lee said.

According to staff members in El Centro, there is a predetermined floor plan for the offices in the gym.

“They are putting up little walls to section off each office. There will be community meeting rooms, lounge areas and copier/printing areas,” said Brandy Salazar.

Until the renovation is complete, the diversity offices will be sharing the gym with one another as well as several of the administrative offices.

The director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Resource Center (GLBTRC), Foula Dimopoulos explained that this move is going to be nothing short of an adventure.

“We have an opportunity to embrace change,” Dimopoulos said.

Dimopoulos added that being in such close proximity with the other offices is going to be more beneficial than anything else.

“To have all of us in the same space, with the heart of student government and community is really incredible,” Dimopoulos said.

While the move is going to potentially eliminate the boundaries that were created by the walls of the current office, Dimopoulos is hopeful that regardless of where they are located, they will stay true to the overall goal of the GLBT Resource Center.

“As an office and as a director, I remain committed to ensuring that our students can bring their full and authentic selves, no matter where we are,” Dimopoulos said.

If a student finds that they are in need of further accommodations, Dimopoulos is happy to meet those needs.

“I’ve met with students at coffee shops, in the library and at their residence hall,” Dimopoulos said.

Muenchow explained that the move into the MAC gym was the best option for the offices.

“I think all the people that are involved in the relocation –– all the student services offices, diversity offices, ASCSU government –– I think they are all ready to work together and make the space work because without this space, they would be dispersed across campus and maybe some of them off campus,” Muenchow said.

As the offices make their move into the MAC gym, the rec center will need to make accommodations for the students that would be using the gym for recreational purposes.

According to the CSU Campus Rec website, drop-in locations will be relocated per availability.

Cody Frye, associate director of campus recreation, said the changes will be similar to the set up prior to the renovation of the rec center a few years ago.

Frye explained that changes to the MAC gym are going to be a part of the LSC construction project. The rec center, therefore, will not be in charge of carrying out the transformation.

He explained that it will be cubicle-heavy and at any given time, there could be upward of 150 people in the MAC gym.

“There will be a separate entrance into the gym so that students can access the offices,” Frye said. “There will be additional ID checkers at the entrance to the rec center from the gym so that students who want to work out don’t have to go outside and around the building.”

The transformation is going to encompass several changes, however, Frye is positive that there will be plenty of accommodations to make the move as easy as possible.

According to LSC Executive Director Mike Ellis, there has not been any negativity expressed about the move.

“It appears to be fully embraced by the campus community,” Ellis said. “The directors and the students I’ve met with have been extremely supportive.”

Furthermore Ellis explained that the confidentiality piece has been addressed and that the floor plan for the MAC gym was aimed at being as mindful as possible.

“Much like a cul-de-sac where everyone will be and a living room that is private, they offer the public-private balance,” Ellis said.