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Oak Leaves

September 21, 2018

Intercultural Building - CHLOE


The official open house for the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center took place on Sept. 14. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to pay a visit to the new building.

Photo by Chloe Arndt


New Intercultural Center Welcomes All


Kylie Mitchell


Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center welcomed the campus to take part in an open house on Friday, Sept. 14. 

The building serves as a second home for international students, but accommodates all ethnicities, and provides an insight to different nationalities, experiences and backgrounds.

Students from all over the world hang out in the living area where there are multiple sources of entertainment like board games and electronics. Clubs and organizations also utilize the area for various meetings and gatherings. However, if the entertainment isn’t enticing enough, there’s always food being made in the kitchen.

Apart from the living area and dining room, the Center includes the Toyota Round, three offices, computer lab, library, conference rooms, three bathrooms, and several storage rooms. The layout is practical and convenient for those who intend to utilize the space.

The Center also provides a class for first-year international students taught by Michael Dixon from 2 to 2:50 p.m. on Friday. However, it remains open to the public at all times.

The Center underwent major reconstruction over the summer. Everything had to be packed and relocated to the new building provided by an MU graduate who donated $250,000 in Toyota’s name.

Fotini Kristuli, an employee at the Intercultural Center, greatly enjoys the environment. “It’s amazing,” she said. “It just feels like family.”

Senior Daisy Byers agrees. “It was a safe haven for international students, but for me personally it is a home away from home,” she said.

The Intercultural Center welcomes all on campus. “It’s an open door policy,” Byers said. “People always think it’s only for international students. It’s for any race. We prefer to have more diversity and that’s why it’s open to the whole campus.”

It is a facility that embraces diversity and remains a second home for numerous students on campus. “The Intercultural center is an amazing place,” Byers said. “Go there, we have free food. Who doesn’t like food? Just come to the organization meetings and check it out because it’s open to everyone.” 
Providing entertainment, food, and a sanctuary for all, the Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center opens its doors to the community.

Jean Childs Young, the building’s namesake, was an educator and activist who graduated from what was formerly known as Manchester College in 1954. She was the first black Mayday Queen and married Andrew Young, a close friend of Martin Luther King Jr, who gave his last speech in front of a college audience in North Manchester on Feb. 1, 1968.

Young was a Manchester trustee from 1975 to 1979 and awarded an honorary doctorate in 1980. Although she died of liver cancer in 1994, her memory lives on through the intercultural center. 

The Center also commemorates three students who were killed in an automobile accident on Feb. 21, 2016. Nerad Mangai, Brook Dagnew and Kirubel Hailu were returning with friends from a visit at Ball State when they were struck by another vehicle while changing a flat tire. A fourth student, Israel Tamire was treated at Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne. 

A Peace Pole was permanently installed outside the building after construction. It displays “May Peace Prevail on Earth.” In spite of tragedy, the community came together to honor those who died and lean on one another.