EUGENE, Ore. – The University of Oregon has announced new details about the Black Student Center they are building on campus.
The new building will go up in a what is currently a vacant lot near 15th Avenue and Villard Street.
Dr. Kevin Marbury, vice president for student life, said the project will cost approximately $3 million and is being funded by private donors.
“It takes us from having a black history month to a black history year because this structure will be there every month, every week, every day,” he said.
Marbury said the structure will feature a variety of opportunities for students. He said it will serve as a space for students to receive academic support such as tutoring and advising services.
He said they also plan to use the space to promote black culture through art and historical artifacts. The building will feature spaces for social gatherings and even classroom use.
Jojo Norman is a recent transfer student who said she is excited to learn the university is working on this initiative.
“Racial relations is pretty tough and campuses of all places should embrace and include everyone in all aspects of diversity so to have a place built for that on this campus is awesome," she said.
Another student, Cahill Shpall, also supports the university’s investment in this project.
“I want people to feel safe,” Cahill said. “I think academics should be accessible and it should be something that people don’t feel uncomfortable in pursuing.”
Marbury said the project was born out of demands the Black Student Task Force presented to UO President Michael Schill a number of years ago, asking for a space where they could gather. That request led Schill to starting a fundraising campaign.
The groundwork for the project is expected to start summer 2018, according Marbury. He said they expect the project to be completed before the 2019-2020 academic school year.