The Daily Tar Heel
Printing news. Raising hell. Since 1893.
Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 Newsletters Latest print issue

We keep you informed.

Help us keep going. Donate Today.
The Daily Tar Heel

Students Express Views on New BCC

About 20 people came to the "Around the Circle" discussion titled "The Sonja Haynes Stone Segregationalist Center -- True or False?"

Senior Kameishia Wooten, the facilitator of the event, said the discussion was timed to coincide with today's groundbreaking ceremony for a freestanding BCC.

The BCC is scheduled to move from the Student Union into the freestanding structure in the fall of 2002.

Wooten said the BCC chose the topic because many people on campus have expressed reservations about the new building. "We wanted to have a discussion so students could come and address the issues and also so we could help clear up some misconceptions," she said.

Assistant program coordinator for the BCC Nadera Malika-Salaam said she thinks negative attitudes toward the center stem from ignorance.

"People don't even know the difference between the (Black Student Movement) and the BCC, and they are fundamentally different things," she said. "One is a university department -- the BCC, and the other is a student group -- the BSM."

The group also discussed the possibility of calling the new building a multicultural center rather than one designed around black culture.

But Ellis Keeter, a junior English major, said he doesn't think the present name is divisive. "I don't really think a name prevents people from getting involved."

Keeter then directed the discussion with another question, asking if a new building is better than just remaining in the Union.

Senior communications study major Corey Bell said he thinks the new center will make it easier to reach out to students. "If you're trying to reach a bigger audience, you need a bigger facility to accommodate everyone," he said.

Wooten said the center's current office in the Union is inadequate. "This space is extremely small for the things we do," she said. Wooten said the BCC works with local children, plans events and puts on many programs.

But Bell did express one doubt about the new center. "It would be nice if everyone could have one, and maybe this is a start," he said. "But I don't know how realistic it is to build other cultural centers."

Senior biology major Mimi Patel agreed, questioning why the BCC couldn't be a cultural center for everyone.

She said it would be very difficult for every different group on campus to have its own building, and that the new center should accommodate all cultures.

This year, several campus organizations have begun a campaign for a center representing the interests of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered students on campus.

Caroline Martens, director of the North Carolina Literary Festival, said the new building is a step in the right direction.

"There may come a day when there is a very big multicultural center that can accommodate all groups," Martens said. "We want all groups to be a accommodated, but you're the pioneers, and that's wonderful, but it's also a big responsibility."

The University Editor can be reached at

To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.

Special Print Edition
The Daily Tar Heel Victory Paper for November 20, 2023