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 Tuesday, February 10, 2009 IssueFaculty/Staff E-Newsletter


Dennis Small Cultural Center unites through activities, celebration
by Elizabeth Lock, master's candidate, School of Journalism and Mass Communication

The Dennis Small Cultural Center (DSCC) is a space on the CU-Boulder campus that serves underrepresented students through programmatic support and by being a safe place for cultural exploration and expression.

The center, located on the fourth floor of the UMC, is available for use by student groups whose purposes meet the center’s mission of enhancing cultural awareness and celebrating diversity. The DSCC houses a staff of students who coordinate free gatherings and activities, and the room is reserved regularly by constituent groups for events and meetings.

Sisters Lauren and Laine Baity recently attended Culture Sip, a weekly program hosted on Thursdays at 4 p.m., to enjoy refreshments and take part in Chinese lantern-making in celebration of the Chinese New Year. “I love to learn about other cultures and be exposed to the diversity and the various aspects that you don’t normally get to see,” said Laine. “The DSCC has those kinds of programs, so I feel like I’ve learned a lot just by coming to them.”

Other programs offered by the DSCC throughout the year include cooking classes, dance workshops, film screenings and interactive forums. When asked to reflect on their favorite DSCC event in the past, it was a unanimous response from the Baity sisters: the annual sushi class offered each spring.

The DSCC also houses a lending library for those who wish to browse and borrow books. In collaboration with the UMC Art Gallery, the center oversees the ReVision Art Space on the second floor of the UMC, a space for student-curated art exhibits that examine social justice themes. An interactive chalkboard wall for “talk back” from passersby is included.

Dennis H. Small, Jr., namesake of the DSCC, was director of the Human Relations Center at CU for nearly a decade in the late 1960s and 1970s. During his tenure, Small launched programs such as the Human Rights Commission and Intercultural Affairs. Small’s quest to unite students, faculty and staff in appreciation of the differences that each member of the campus community brings to the academic environment is the founding vision of the Dennis Small Cultural Center and remains the centerpiece of its existence today.

The DSCC falls under the direction of the Student Programs Office (SPO), which coordinates other popular events such as Midnight Breakfast, Poetry Slam, UMC Timeout, SoundBite, the Student Organization Fair and more.

The center, through its space, programming and involvement, is proud to be a part of the UMC and its mission as a multicultural center on campus, and invites the campus community to attend upcoming events. For more information, visit the DSCC website, call (303) 735-1078, or stop by UMC room 457.

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