The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

Got a tip? Have something you need to tell us? Contact us

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Pan African Studies reopens writing center

The Pan African Studies Department reopened the PAS Writing Center and unveiled their new reference library on April 17.

One of the oldest writing assistance labs at CSUN, the PAS writing lab, located in Sierra Hall 273, has reopened after renovations that included the addition of the reference library.

“We want to provide rare books you don’t find in other library collections,” said PAS Department Chair Tom Spencer-Walters. “We also want to provide (students) the opportunity to learn about their cultures.”

The PAS department celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony and a reception that included an assortment of food and beverages for the faculty and students attending the event.

The opening of the reference library comes two years after the PAS department was granted funding by the university’s Equal Opportunity Program and the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences for that exact purpose.

“This is an idea I came up with after I had a discussion with Jos’eacute; Luis Vargas, the EOP director,” said Spencer-Walters. “We started brainstorming.”

They discussed the quality of students recruited for the university and how they could better serve those students, said Spencer-Walters.

Funding was granted to the project after successfully pitching the idea to Vargas.

The next step in getting the project off the ground was explaining the need for the reference library to the College of Social and Behavioral Science Dean Stella Theodoulou.

After talking with Spencer-Walters, Theodoulou said she was convinced the project was a “high priority,” and she subsequently granted funding that matched the initial EOP funding amount for the development of the reference library.

“With no question in my mind, the college had to fund this,” said Theodoulou.

The library would provide a pathway to resources that would not otherwise be readily available to students, while at the same time building an intellectual community where students can engage in critical thinking skills, said Theodoulou.

PAS professors James Bracy was one of the faculty members who attended the event and was among the PAS professors who has contributed to the reference library’s growing collection by donating books.

Bracy said students now have the opportunity to research and use the library as a resource, which can “encourage intellectualism.”

“The concern I have is, will students come in and utilize the library here?” said Bracy.

Sean Mosley, a senior PAS major, is among the students who said the library will be used by students and that it is long overdue because of the lack of available materials about black studies at other libraries, including the Oviatt Library.

“This is a library on the concentration on black studies,” said Mosley. “You don’t have to go to another library and try to put bits and pieces together.”

Cinema, television and arts major Nicole Fisher said the reference library would provide students with information they need better than any other library, and the library’s creation is inductive of the PAS department’s commitment to reinvesting in their students’ education.

Fisher also said the sense of pride the newly established library will foster is another great by-product of its development.

“This represents my culture, heritage and something that represents me and makes me feel proud,” said Fisher.

The PAS’s reference library project faced one obstacle, said Anita Simon Hart, PAS administrative coordinator.

“One of the biggest obstacles the reference library faced was getting books geared toward the Diaspora from publishers,” said Hart. She said the books she would order would often not be out of stock or out of print, but simply the issue was that the publisher did not have them readily available.

At present, more than 100 book titles are on back order for the reference library, said Hart. The cause of this delay in getting the library’s shelves filled is the lack of demand for these book titles, which translates into publishers not having them available in a timely fashion, said Hart.

Despite one hurdle, many attending the opening ceremony of the reference library are positive this new addition to the campus will benefit the university, and hopefully be expanded.

Spencer-Walters said, “Hopefully in the future it will become a institute or center for black studies.”

More to Discover