Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

New Glover Alston Center features lounges, kitchen, private meeting rooms

Credit: Van Neste

Unveiled to the public on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the new Glover Alston Center offers space for Whitman community members and organizations to host meetings and gatherings, sponsor private and public events or just relax. Spearheaded by the Intercultural Center, planning for the Glover Alston Center’s design began in 2007 in collaboration with Whitman students, faculty, staff, trustees and college overseers. The parties reviewed similar projects on other college campuses to decide on the best blueprint for promoting inclusiveness within the community and encouraging diverse ideas on campus.

“The center originally was intended as a safe space for multicultural groups to gather on campus, but its usefulness and capacity has greatly expanded from the time of its conception to the finished product,” said Ben Wu, program manager for the Intercultural Center and manager of the Glover Alston Center.

The two-story house features a combination of open and intimate spaces. The first floor serves as a communal space, including two lounge areas furnished with couches and chairs. One lounge houses a television, and the other features a fireplace. Situated behind the lounges is a fully-equipped kitchen that includes two stoves, refrigerators and a microwave. The second floor accommodates a spirituality or quiet room for meditation and prayer and five other rooms that offer more privacy.

Wu commented on the importance of having private and comfortable areas to talk openly with one another.

“Before the Glover Alston Center, the only available meeting spaces were the Reid basement, an upstairs conference room in Reid, or the living room of a house in the Interest House Community, all of which lacked comfort,” Wu said. “And in the case of a living room in the IHC, it’s someone else’s living room.”

Since the Glover Alston Center’s debut, the Intercultural Center has continued to work with students and groups to coordinate events and potential meetings. The Black Student Union and the residents of La Maison Française have already used the center for group-related activities. The space is also available to host academic meetings and seminars.

“The center is the end result of much hard work and deliberation,” said Wu. The house is open to all students, faculty and staff of the college to “hang out, study or take a nap even.”

The Glover Alston Center is located at 26 Boyer Ave., between Boyer House and the Whitman Dance Studio. Operating hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

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