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NORTHRIDGE : 1st Asian-American Student Center Is Planned for CSUN Campus

Asian-American student groups at Cal State Northridge plan to open the school’s first Asian-American student activities center next month, if they can raise $8,250 needed to renovate a building on campus.

Arnold Gatilao, president of CSUN’s Asian Pacific Student Alliance, said the group hopes to open the center April 26, the beginning of Asian-American Cultural Awareness Week.

Repair costs are $16,000, and the group is soliciting donations of items such as carpeting, said Gatilao. “We’re asking for donations from families of Asian students,” Gatilao said. Gordon Nakagawa, an associate professor of speech communication and faculty adviser for the project, said CSUN will provide $7,750 for the renovation.

Carolyn Okazaki, a counselor with University Counseling Services, said the center “says to the students that there’s a place for you on campus.”

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Asian-American faculty and staff will also be welcome at the center, officials said.

Nakagawa said the Halsted Street house was the base of the CSUN campus police before they moved into the student housing complex last semester. The structure was donated by the university in the middle of last semester.

Nakagawa said the official name of the house will be the Asian-American Studies Activities Center and it will feature a small study area and an informal area where students can relax and socialize.

Because the Asian-American community is so diverse, the center will help to bring various Asian-American groups together, Nakagawa said. These organizations, such as the Asian Pacific Student Alliance, can use the center for meetings, he said. The Asian-American studies department is accepting donations for renovation of the house.

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