‘This space is for them’: New CCEI patio open to students

Carrollyne Aasen, Reporter

The new Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion patio, located near Mt. Clef and Kingsmen Park, is now open to provide a space for inclusivity and diversity. 

When Francine Aclan was a senator for the Associated Students of California Lutheran University as a first-year, she chose this as her project to create something related to inclusion and diversity.

“I wanted there to be a specific space where cultural clubs feel like this space is for them, and they can really thrive in the space,” Aclan, now a junior, said in an in-person interview.

Director of Student Life Andrea Layne said in an email interview that she got involved in this project because she wanted to expand the space available for the CCEI. 

Aclan said that the space previously had broken flooring, water problems and greenery covering it. With the collaborative effort of Student Life, the CCEI and ASCLUG, the space was created to give cultural clubs a place to have events.

Layne said that the funds were provided by the Student Life budget and ASCLUG and that the space was created to expand the limited indoor space of the CCEI.

 “The Patio space outside the union had never been utilized and seemed like a great opportunity,” Layne said. 

The location was convenient due to its proximity to both the Student Union and the CCEI offices, but Aclan said that there was another factor in the decision to have her project created in this location. 

“One of my thought processes was that it is near the freshmen dorms, and I feel like for freshmen, it’s really important for them to attend more cultural events on campus, and it really helps with feeling more included on campus,” Aclan said.

First-year Lindsey Titus said in an in-person interview that it was in the perfect location between Mt. Clef and Kingsmen Park. 

“Even though I am a commuter, I have to find places to hang out, and I just love this little area because it’s nice and isolated in a way, but it’s comforting, and it’s like good alone time with the scenery,” Titus said.

Layne said that the space’s design allows for multiple uses such as meals, meetings, intimate conversations, and events. 

One of the first events hosted at the new patio was BSU’s Welcome Back BBQ Dinner. 

Even though the patio’s creation was for the cultural clubs, Aclan also said that the space is for all students and can be reserved by other student organizations. 

Since the patio is new, its existence and location aren’t known by students who do not go to that side of the Student Union. Aclan said that she hopes that it will be easier to find in the future and that it would be added to the campus directory. 

Both Aclan and Layne said that the patio is not yet finished since there is more furniture and decor yet to arrive.

Aclan said that the future additions to the patio will lead to it being more known, besides the sign, that the space embraces cultural and diversity.

This article was updated Sept. 21 at 10:17 a.m. to correct Francine Aclan’s involvement with ASCLUG. An earlier version incorrectly stated that Aclan was a junior senator.