The ARCH building reopened to the Penn community in an event this Wednesday following months of renovations, expanding space for cultural centers and minority groups on campus.
The reopening event — which took place Sept. 7 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. — welcomed students, faculty, and members of the community to "reimagine the ARCH" as a space for community gathering and inclusion. The event included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and remarks from Penn President Liz Magill. Students enjoyed performances, cultural foods, and speakers at the reopening event.
The redesigned ARCH building reopened its doors as a dedicated space for the school's cultural resource centers and minority coalition groups after years of advocacy and months of discussion with students, staff, and administrators about a renovation project.
Magill spoke at the ceremony at around 12:30 p.m. about the importance of cultural resources at Penn and cut a ribbon with students to mark the grand reopening.
“For us to be a great university, we must be a welcoming, inclusive, and equitable community," Magill said. "We should be working on anything and everything we can do to strengthen ties, to build support, and to improve spaces and services for Penn students and the wider community."
College sophomore Bill Chan, who attended the grand reopening event, said he enjoyed learning about the inclusive programming from the now-expanded CRCs.
“People are more likely to come here and get involved,” Chan told The Daily Pennsylvanian.
College first year Sierra Marelia said the expanded space for CRCs will connect more people of similar backgrounds and provide important resources.
“I could definitely see myself going here more often,” Marelia said. “I've always wanted to get connected more with my culture on campus, and I think it's great that [Penn] has such a central space for it.”
College junior Timethius Terrell said that he plans to continue using the ARCH’s resources and thinks there should be more space for CRCs on campus.
“It’s a move in the right direction,” Terrell said. “We should never stop pushing for more space for marginalized communities.”
The grand reopening event was the first phase of the "reimagining" project, with further plans of possible expansion to cultural space on campus to come. The Office of University Life encourages students to provide feedback on the newly redesigned ARCH building.
“We welcome and encourage your feedback, as this is only the beginning phase of this project. We will learn and grow together,” Associate Vice Provost for University Life Will Atkins said at the event.
Students — including leaders in the 7B and staff at the CRCs — were included in the conversation to remodel the ARCH building and decide how to equitably distribute the space.
Magill said at the event that the reimagining was "strongly guided by student input, and student leadership is a critical milestone on that ongoing journey we're all working on."