As the upcoming school year is expected to have more students back to the Cal State Fullerton campus, students wonder what facilities will be accessible, one of which is the Diversity Initiatives and Resource Center, also known as DIRC.
Sofie Leon, the director of the center, said that much of the uncertainty comes from them waiting on what the school decides.
However, with Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to fully reopen California on June 15, decisions at the state and national levels play a role in what the university will decide to do. Leon said that despite the excitement of Newsom’s announcement there remains uncertainty as positive COVID-19 cases persist, causing plans to be pulled back.
“As frustrating as it is and as much as I would love to say, ‘This is when we're going to know what we’re going to look like in the fall,’ I understand that things change just drastically and quickly and so we just don't know yet,” Leon said.
Founded in 1957, DIRC is home to many marginalized communities, and holds spaces like the African American, LGBT Queer, Asian Pacific American, Latinx Community and Titan Dreamers resource centers.
Since March 2020, the centers had to focus on how they can provide for students to find their community and build on community engagement, Leon said.
"What do we do when we want to provide opportunities for students to find community," Leon said. "What are opportunities for students to have educational opportunities in the areas of equity, inclusion, justice, anti-racism, right? And so, we had conversations about, alright if we can't do that in person, how do we do it virtually."
Since the transition to virtual instruction in fall 2020, the center has been reliant on Zoom.
She said that she and the resource center coordinators realized that computerized communication wore students out and was the least effective way to draw community engagement among students.
Leon said the center has since transitioned to utilizing other forms of social media such as Discord and Instagram.
"There's still events, they're still workshops, but they're happening in different forms, to try to meet students where they are," Leon said.
The resource centers will aim to keep their Discord once students are back on campus to provide a more effective tool to communicate and help students stay engaged and informed, she said.
With fall semester preparations, Leon said the goal will continue to focus on providing opportunities to build community and continue conversations on equity, inclusion, anti-racism and injustices done to marginalized communities.
A program that the center is planning for is DIRC Welcome Week, where students learn about the spaces and resources the facility offers to students, she said.
DIRC will also continue to put on workshops and programs, Leon said, while it maintains its involvement in honoring heritages and history months.
"There's nothing that replaces that, we've done the best that we can. Everybody's done the best that they can, but there's no replacement for physically being in community together," Leon said.