Cultural houses vital for diverse campus community

As the 40th anniversary of the African American Cultural Center approaches this weekend, we want to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the cultural houses on campus for their success over the years. This year, in addition to the accomplishments of the African American Cultural Center, the Native American House named a new director and La Casa Cultural Latina celebrated its 35th anniversary.

These places have provided a space to preserve our student body’s unique backgrounds and cultures. In a school as diverse as ours, the services these cultural centers provide are indispensable in creating an open and informed campus.

Cultural understanding is vital, because while our society has made progress in turning away from prejudice and misunderstandings, intolerance continues.

Cultural houses are more than just protective bastions against ignorance; they are sources of information and discussion. We are hopeful that they will continue in their mission to bring others in to a place where cultural life is being preserved.

These are places where students of a particular background also reach out, whether through seminars and activities specific to one center, or through collaboration between groups, such as the annual Taste of Nevada during the University’s Welcome Week.

But while our cultural houses have impressive legacies, instances arise that remind us that the mission of these centers is still crucial. Last year, signs created by an artist standing outside of the Native American houses were vandalized multiple times.

Threats against Asian students were found in a bathroom stall at Everitt Lab last semester.

While the majority of students on campus condemn such actions, they are dark spots reminding us that our understanding of one another is incomplete.

We have a diverse University— the strides cultural houses have made provide a valuable service to our campus, but we can always be more understanding and more tolerant. There is still work to be done, but as long as cultural houses remain open and thriving, we are closer to achieving this goal.