Let’s go on a trip to New Sussex, Manitoba, a small town where the only unique aspect is its two town halls. The town was founded during the 1700s, and the French and English populations never integrated, perpetuating societal divides and diluting the governing ability of hundreds of New Sussex mayors.
You would think they’d have figured out a long time ago that having one integrated place to house their local government, host community events and foster a sense of town unity among the town’s diverse citizens was a good thing.
Fortunately, New Sussex isn’t real. No community would think this is an appropriate way to arrange its core facilities.
That is, except for the community here at the UW.
It seems impossible that all of us, a community of world-class students, could have succumbed to desires to keep clubs and student groups bifurcated. Yet that what’s happening as the UW embarks on a plan to rebuild two separate but equal facilities: One for some of us, and the other for the rest.
Both the HUB and the Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC) serve as campus-wide community centers. They both house
student clubs and both host theaters.
With the upcoming renovations, we could have better integrated the two vital campus buildings.
Granted, the ECC serves a different community from the HUB and is a “home away from home” for many students. Nonetheless, the ECC’s website invites the viewer to click on a tab labeled “contacting & finding us.”
Clearly there seems to be a problem here.
Rather than integrating the student community and fostering a true sense of campus unity, we are indoctrinating a system under which students willingly segregate themselves. Instead, we should have made a unified student center that can still be a safe place, a “home away from home.”
If the UW had wanted to be progressive, it should have provided a home for all Huskies in the HUB. We should be able to embrace the whole realm of the human experience and learn from one another in a building for all Huskies united. A true HUB.
All Huskies, disregarding race, ethnicity, language, nationality, familial background and sexual orientation, should be able to declare:
“The HUB is my building.”
The ECC was built as a temporary facility on west campus with the idea that it would move to a central campus location eventually. As both the HUB and ECC close this year for their separate makeovers, we’re losing our last best chance to do that.
Let’s not go the way of New Sussex and build our way to an institutionalized divide.
This is the opinion of The Daily’s Editorial Board. The Editorial Board is: Editor-in-Chief Casey Smith, News Editor Lexie Krell, Opinion Editor Ashleen Aguilar, Copy Chief Maddie Hall, Lifestyles Editor Nicole Ciridon, Development Editor Andrew Doughman and Weekender Editor Ivan Vukovic.
Editorial Board meetings are always open to students. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 3:30 p.m. in the Daily newsroom, Communications Building, Room 132. Check out dailyuw.com/community for topics of conversation. Reach the Editorial Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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