“The only representation we saw was the abbreviation ‘S.E.A’ for ‘Southeast Asian,’ but who would know what S.E.A. stands for?” she said.
According to Tran, one of the wall panels was agreed upon almost entirely, with the exception of slight word changes, such as changing “LGBT” to “LGBTQIAA” and “Women Liberation” to “Gender Equity.”
“I do not want to say that I hated the mural because it was beautiful, but to see myself and my community walk by it every day and to see that we were not represented on the building that we come to work to every day, that we see as our second home, is something we did not want,” Tran said.
The class explained that most of the featured designs were generalized figures and faces that did not belong to specific ethnic or racial groups.
“Going forward will require that those giving and those [receiving] this beautiful gift are at good place with [the] legacy [being] created,” the e-mail stated.
Painting only one panel of the north side of the building was suggested for this quarter so that space could be left for future expansion to the mural.
“The center directors feel that the success of this project will depend on all parties rising to the occasion and coming together in the spirit of understanding and common purpose,” the e-mail stated.
Fourth-year linguistics major and student intern at the Cross Cultural Center Michelle Hanley said she believes that the mural would have added positively to the campus and hopes the project will restart in the future.
“It would have tied in well with the purpose of the SCC and made a welcoming entrance into the building,” Hanley said in an e-mail interview. “People did want changes to the design and the 10-week quarter system didn’t really allow enough time for the design to be drafted, discussed, updated, finalized and completed.”
According to the mural workshop class, SCC administrators previously approved the mural design but decided to “censor” three-fourths of the mural due to “stringent expectations.”
“[The SCC administration] decided to not defend an academic class and its process,” the class said in a letter to SCC stakeholders. “Although we were willing to make a few adjustments, we decided that it would be false and untrue if we so drastically altered the design of our mural.”
The proposed mural design can be viewed at www.scc-mural.tumblr.com.
MUNA SADEK can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.