An open letter to administration: Reconsider the Mosaic Center

My name is Shondra R. Lyon-Brown. I am a fourth-year social work major, and I consider myself to be fairly open-minded about a wide variety of topics. What really gets me upset is when other people don’t have that same tolerance. My relationship to safe spaces on campus has been limited. However, recently I have become part of a very dedicated group of students protesting the proposed Mosaic Center.

The proposed center will combine many of the safe spaces on campus into one space where students can come to deal with concerns. This letter specifically came out of my participation in a protest of a meeting during the fall semester and as a reflection on my participation. There are several things about this proposed change that really get under my skin.

First is the fact many of the meetings regarding this space have strategically left out the opinions and criticisms of those who will be negatively affected by the change. The fact these spaces are even needed on campus is also disheartening.

Yes, in an ideal world all of campus would be a welcoming open space for students of all backgrounds to celebrate one another and feel supported, but clearly the fact these spaces have cropped up in the first place is a sad state of affairs and is a signal that all of campus is NOT a safe space.

This fact has been continually swept under the rug and brushed aside and this is true in many other regards as well. To go along with this concern, it has been said every worker at the Mosaic Center will be trained to effectively deal with any student issue that may arise. My concern with that is that there is not a practical way to ensure each and every worker will be able to effectively handle ANY issue a student may have.

The second issue is many students are unaware of the negative changes that are taking place on their campus.

The only reason I became aware of the changes is because I have several friends who were involved with this issue from the beginning, and they brought it to my attention.

In the process of being brought up to speed on this issue, many disturbing and unsettling things have come to my attention, and I am sure there are other students on campus who would have the same reaction, but unfortunately they are not being given the opportunity to be involved.

This is just one of a wider range of concerns I am having about my university, and I can honestly say if these proposed changes happen, I will NOT be proud to be a Dragon. #Spacesinsolidarity

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