Centro Cultural César Chávez upholds cultural diversity
Published: Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 02:02
For more than 30 years, the Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez has provided support for diversity, and for OSU’s Latino community.
The CCCC, “The Four C’s,” works to provide a place where Latino culture and heritage can be expressed and retained in the university. It provides an environment where students are able to accept and appreciate their differences, encouraging a sense of unity throughout the campus.
“This is a place where Latino students can be themselves,” said Miguel Arellano, a graduate student in college services and administration.
The CCCC was established in 1972, as the Chicano Cultural Center. Its original nine members met in the basement of Milam Hall. In the fall of 1976, it was moved from its basement location to its own building.
In 1981, it was renamed the Hispanic Cultural Center, and in 1996 it was renamed Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez in honor of Cesar Chavez, a political activist who founded the United Farm Workers to seek better pay and working conditions for farm laborers in 1962.
Recently, the CCCC has been temporarily moved to Snell 430. Its old building has been torn down and a new one is scheduled for completion by the end of this year.
“With the new building, the overall awareness [of CCCC] will increase a lot,” said Sonia Contreras, OSU senior in interior design. “With the new, much nicer building ,and being so close to the new location of the Beaver store, we should be seeing a lot of new faces.”
The new building will provide more space and a meeting area for the 17 student organizations affiliated with CCCC, such as the Mesoamerican Student Association, Latinos in pre-med and several associated Greek organizations, as well as provide new resources for the Latino community. The rebuilding of the CCCC is one in a series of improvements that have been made to OSU’s cultural centers.
“It says a lot about OSU and what is believed here about diversity,” Arellano said. “The new [buildings] are a great way for OSU to show they really care about the inclusion of every background on campus, and that they will strive to serve each of these specific populations.”
Along with the new building, the CCCC plans on expanding by continuing to provide academic support for students. This support includes not only provided access to other campus resources, but will also eventually implement set study hours available to students.
“Latino student graduation rate is 15 to 18 percent lower than the cultural majority,” Arellano said. “We want to make sure students can be helped and directed toward necessary resources when needed.”
CCCC is also planning on organizing several events to provide cultural awareness about Latino backgrounds during the month of April, similar to Black History Month in February. This will be called Cesar Chavez Tribute Month. Events for the tribute are still in the planning process.
The CCCC is open not only to Latino students, but the entire campus community. It serves not only as a place for anyone to hang out, but also those interested in Spanish — to practice and learn the language.
“We are a great resource for people taking Spanish language classes here at OSU,” Contreras said. “It’s a great place to learn Spanish.”
For those more involved in the center, however, this has become a necessary second home.
“If it wasn’t for Centro Cultural Cesar Chavez, I wouldn’t be here at OSU right now,” Arellano said. “This is what got me connected here.”
Ryan Dawes, news reporter