History of the UNITI Cultural Center
The UCC was formally established in 1978 with a council of representatives from Stony Brook's Black and Latino organizations, joined by Black and Latino faculty and staff. The council's primary purpose was to "develop and accentuate" the ethnic cultures that existed at Stony Brook at that time. To reflect this mission, the students adopted the acronym UNITI, which stands for "United Nationalities in Transcending Ideologies." Throughout the early years, the council worked to obtain campus space in which a cultural center could be located. In December 1982, "Stage XII Cafeteria" on Roosevelt Quad was designated as a location for the UNITI Cultural Center. It was also the place where other cultural student organizations held their activities and meetings.
The UCC opened with a campus-wide celebration, attended by all members of the campus community. In the late 1980's, the UNITI Cultural Center moved its location to Tabler Quad, and again in the early 1990's to the Roth Cafeteria Building. In recent years, Stony Brook's student population has increased dramatically and evolved into a more culturally diverse community. In response to these changing demographics, the UNITI Cultural Center Student Organization (UCCSO) expanded its mission to include the promotion of all aspects of human diversity and all of its manifestations. From Fall 2005 to Summer 2016, the Cultural Center was situated in the Stony Brook Union. In Fall 2016, the UCC opened its doors temporarily in the Student Activities Center (SAC). The facilities in the SAC allowed for a variety of small-scale campus programs and meetings hosted by cultural student organizations and University departments.
Currently under construction in the Stony Brook Union, the UCC will be a beautiful and inviting 3,500 square-foot facility that will feature a multipurpose lounge, spacious conference room, meeting room, group study area, and designated seating spaces. When it opens ater this year, the Cultural Center will available for all in the Stony Brook community to come and relax, meet up with friends, study, engage in a wide range of discussions, and enjoy cultural programs. We look forward to the opening of this new community center at Stony Brook University.
As a cultural center, the UCC promotes diversity and inclusion, yet continues to acknowledge its rich historical roots in the culture of the African Diaspora and Latino experiences. Since its inception, the UCC has been advised by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, the Department of Africana Studies, and the EOP/AIM Office, and the Office of the Dean of Students. Since 2002, it has been coordinated by the Diversity, Intercultural and Community Engagement.