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The HUB kicks things off on the right foot

By Emili Lewis
On September 11, 2012

Sonoma State University students welcome The HUB, formerly known as the Multicultural Center, on campus as the new hotspot for students from every walk of life. At its opening night on September 5 in the Student Union, The Hub treated students, faculty, and invited guests of the Rohnert Park area to a night filled with music, food and entertainment, which included performances by three internationally known slam poetry artists. Their performances and the speeches that preceded them earned a standing ovation from the crowd at the end of the night.
The Hub will act as a center for students of every race, religion, sex, and lifestyle to come together and share their life challenges while working with one another to form bonds, not boundaries, through their differences.
In its tagline, The Hub promotes the idea of "Honoring the past, Uniting the present, and Building the future."
The Hub was packed that night with a lively crowd ready to enjoy the new and active atmosphere that the program promotes. Andre Bailey, an attending faculty member and advisor for the EOP academy at SSU, exclaimed how excited he was to see such a revitalized Multicultural Center.
"Not only can I observe it, but I feel the new energy that The Hub has produced. This organization will act to support students and the university in their goals to welcome diversity," Bailey said.
The Hub will host seven or more programs that are focused on social justice issues, tolerance, tradition, and ethical responsibility. Each program will explore the issues and the problems that derive from them, explain how to respond to such challenges and how to accept and transform the issues to work in the social world.
Tomio Endo, a junior at SSU, stated why he is excited for the new programs. "They will give students the chance to participate in diversity and explore the opportunities that it has to offer each one of us," he said.
The event began with an introduction from the The Hub's new director, Mark Fabionar. Fabionar is part of the first permanent staff at The Hub. He introduced his other staff members, including leaders from clubs such as the QSA while speaking about his journey to revitalize the SSU campus.
"The Hub will act as an integral center for diversity at SSU. It will help us build a community of practice in which we cultivate awareness of all the differences that our SSU campus holds," said Fabionar.
He was followed by other faculty members who spoke about the crucial need for the new program. Mathew Lopez Phillips, Chief Officer for Student Affairs, explained his visions of impact for the new Hub.
"It will make a difference in uniting the divisions of the SSU community. The Hub will promote a constant metamorphosis of improvement as it works to build a better future at SSU," Lopez Phillips said.
After the speeches, the crowd was entertained by a brief performance by SSU's first ever step group known as "The Tribe." Ending the night were the performances by three incredibly talented and well-known slam poetry artists: "Mighty" Mike McGee, Sonya Renee Taylor, and Steve Connell.
The audience was treated to works of art that provoked a range from uncontrollable laughter to quiet tears. Each poet graced the crowd with about five pieces in which they captured the attention of every single person that sat before them.
The performances gave the audience a taste of what was to come from programs at The Hub. And if they are as provoking, tasteful, and touching as the performances on Wednesday night, which they are expected to be, SSU has an extreme privilege that waits in the new Hub.

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