The Dive says goodbye

The Dive has always been a fan-favorite for students at Gustavus. What was once a swimming pool in the basement of Johnson Student Union is now a space for students to host events, work on homework, socialize with friends, and even sleep. Apparently, The Dive is highly rated for taking naps between classes.
Because it’s such a beloved space on campus, President Bergman’s email on November 12 surprised many students, including myself. The email informed us that the space currently occupied by The Dive will start renovation on November 23 for the relocation of the Center for Inclusive Excellence (CIE), formerly known as the Diversity Center.
“The renovation will include new workspaces for Director Tom Flunker…; dedicated offices for the Diversity Leadership Council and Building Bridges; an additional space for faculty office hours or small work groups; and a new conference room,” President Bergman’s email to the student body said.
Like many students, I was quite distraught by the news of losing The Dive. That space holds a lot of cherished memories for me, and I’m sad to see it go.
But to be honest, the last time I stepped foot inside The Dive was over a year ago. Although the space is fun and quirky, it’s not necessarily useful.
Sure, there are student groups and organizations that use the space for meetings and events, but the space is fairly vacant day-to-day. That’s probably why it’s a great place to take a quick snooze before class.
While this news comes as a sad surprise to some students, others are finally taking a sigh of relief. Junior Cailyn Matthews is one of the many students on campus that have been petitioning for the school to make this change for years now.
“It’s been long overdue for CIE to finally get a bigger space instead of just having a closet,” Matthews said.
The Center for Inclusive Excellence is currently located in a small room in the basement of Jackson Campus Center next to the Residential Life office. It is so small and tucked away that not many people are able to find it. That is why there has been a push to expand and relocate.
Two years ago, Director of CIE Tom Flunker organized a petition in The Dive where students and faculty who participate in CIE joined together. They invited President Bergman to come and see first-hand how the space in The Dive caters much more to their growing numbers than their current location does.
“We wanted her to see how many students actually use that space and how we need a bigger space for such a large group of students,” Flunker said.
According to Matthews, President Bergman did show up to the event but didn’t express any plans for a change in location for CIE. This year, that finally changed.
“It’s finally being acknowledged by the college. It’s a victory for us,” Matthews said.
The CIE has been an incredibly important resource for Matthews and many other first-generation students like herself on campus.
“It’s a much-needed resource for under-represented students. CIE has helped us navigate through our college experience,” Matthews said.
Put simply, an expansion of CIE is necessary. They’ve clearly outgrown the space they currently occupy, and in order for the school to keep their commitment to Racial Justice and Inclusion, a much larger space needs to be built to assist in that important work.
Although The Dive will be sincerely missed by all, we have to admit its purpose is not nearly as imperative as CIE and the other crucial organizations that the renovation will be serving. It’ll be a sad goodbye, but knowing that the school is finally prioritizing under-represented students and their organizations is a happy victory for us all.

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