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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

15 years of the ICC

Published: September 15, 2006
Section: News

The Brandeis University Intercultural Center is currently celebrating its 15th anniversary as an established student resource center on campus.

This event is a landmark for the University, says Jamele Adams, Assistant Dean of Student Life. According to Adams, the fifteen clubs affiliated with the ICC will honor the anniversary by doing everything on a bigger scale and with pride and celebration. The celebration will culminate in the spring with a celebratory banquet, which will include Brandeis alumni, faculty, guest speakers, and students.

This year-long celebration is intended to not only honor the rich history of the ICC, but it is also meant to highlight the organizations accomplishments in its time at Brandeis. By the end of the year, [the Brandeis community] will see ICC on a higher plane then theyve ever seen it before, says Adams.

The cultural center was founded by eight cultural groups: Ahora!, BBSO, Caribbean ConneXion, Chinese Students and Scholars Association, Korean Student Association, South Asia Association, Sepherad and AZAAD (a group that was concerned with Middle Eastern Politics). Of these groups, six still exist as members of the Intercultural Club.

The history of the ICC can be dated as far back as 1960, when a group of students requested the presence of an African Cultural Center on campus. In 1989, the basement of the Morton May Building, which is now the Shapiro Admissions Building, was transformed into an Intercultural library.

In the 1990s, a student organization known as the Push Committee drafted several proposals to establish the Swig Student Center as the home of the ICC. In 1992, this dream was realized, and the ICC moved to its new home.

The ICC is still located in Swig lounge, but today it has grown to encompass fifteen cultural clubs. It is an umbrella organization that provides these clubs with a regular meeting place and facilitates inter-group communication between them. The ICC strives to provide resources for clubs that celebrate a cultural connection and simultaneously educate the Brandeis community by sharing that connection with the entire campus. It currently sponsors popular campus-wide events such as Pachanga, Mela, and Culture X.

The ICC is a growing organization, and more clubs are currently attempting to join. This anniversary celebration is, as Jamele Adams says, a hallmark event which celebrates the establishment of a centralized campus center. This center symbolizes people from varying cultures and various parts of the world coming together and enriching the Brandeis Community with their traditions and celebrations.