The Underground Community

In a land very secluded, enriched with nature is Western Washington University. If you arrive at the Viking Union and look for a tiny room, you’ll find your way to The Ethnic Student Center which is located on the 4th floor (East) of the Viking Union. You’ll find a small community named the ESC in the very back, with the title “Ethnic Student Center as you enter the doorway. Room 420. The Ethnic Student Center, ESC. Located under a huge umbrella called the Associated Students. In a nutshell, the ESC is an establishment that has allowed many ethnic clubs to be formed and made into a place where students can learn of their heritage and other’s heritages as well. Behind the scenes of the the ESC, you’ll see meetings, recourses being used and a place for foundation. The ESC is a place where students are able to pursue any ethnic clubs that are not established yet and to pursue expansion and growth in the already existing ones as well. You can imagine a sort of community has been formed here. Cultures can be made into one big group, unite as minorities and come together as one. Underneath, there is a list of the numerous clubs that have formed under the ESC.

The list of ESC clubs


I am a first year student here at Western Washington University and I’ve found this place very useful when coming here as a freshman. Coming from a well fit High School, one that was very diverse and had high demands of a multicultural background. I expected little in finding that sort of community here at western, because of our well known predominantly Caucasian campus. When finding the ESC, I learned this is exactly the place to be. The community aspect has been fulfilled in the little amount of time that I have started my college career. The ESC has held such a high name and when realizing that on my own I believed it was going to be promising. Promising because I was hoping for a place to feel welcomed, cared for, a place that I can cherish. My community became the ESC.


The ESC has given many areas of community practice for show. In observing, I found that the purpose of this room is to be a home to the different clubs, foundation and support. Thus because the ESC provides so many sources; supervisors, student workers, and a manager of the club over all. With these recourses we can find access to funding, tools and supplies for our meetings and get togethers. Apart from the technical side, the ESC also is put together for students to get to know each other, to have a place to socialize and to work on homework. The ESC consists of many conversations within peer to peer regarding what’s next in social events in clubs and what’s happening with each others clubs, this leads to everyone being informed when events are taken place. Ultimately, there is one thing to understand when coming to the ESC and that is, you are accepted for who you are regardless of your self identity. There are things revolved around avoiding slander in describing who you are. The ESC has established such a great plan in accepting that. I feel as people are coming in to this area, they should really be aware of that and the difference there is on campus rather than the ESC itself.


This is our room that we share (I am sitting in the corner)

The strengths of the ESC are something as intense as the motto. “Our goal is to help students Affirm their identity, Build a sense of community, and Cultivate leadership (Our “ABCs”).” It will be taken in to consideration by the students to have the motto kept clean and worked with in realizing its deep meaning. The community works very well. The strengths are held at a high point, there are a lot of great things about the ESC that would take ages to write. But a majority of the ESC holds true colors regarding the idea of identity, promise and community. Community is a huge aspect in the greatest areas and even the general ones as well. To begin, the weaknesses of the ESC is its space. This is a big issue going around our campus at the moment. The space is limited, at about 1,428 square feet. To the right is the small room that we have for all of us to share. This is what everyone and anyone hears of the ESC, that there is limited space for those who really find this center as a recourse. But of course just as there is a weakness there is always a plan to fix it and make things work. Currently, there are meetings initiating ESC renovations, simply talking about how things are going to change in the near future. The ESC has plans and we as students have actions we want to put forth that are being finalized in terms of the ESC space.


The ESC has done wonders in finding something for people to grasp onto and cherish. There are so many aspects of the ESC that can even be be a bit hard to understand. This is where clarity comes in. The ESC acts as a phenomenon. Something I see that has so much power. Because of this place, colored students have something to hold high knowledge of, something to look up to. This place can be defined as someone (the members) something (the recourses) and a place (what is given). It is seen in different aspects. In a bigger picture, this is the future. It has been made here for a reason and that reason being how beneficial it has been in the past and how it will be in the present. In broader terms, what is so similar to the ESC is a place such as any organization would hold. The ESC reminds me of places like the YMCA boys and girls club. In the area that I found myself in, I saw a lot of community. Everyone knew one another and felt very safe. They felt as if they were capable of working with people each time they stepped foot into that establishment because they were all there for one specific purpose, to have fun with their community.


As an ESC member, I only suggest to visit, to really indulge in getting to know the community and what it offers. The ESC offers community as said an enormous amount of times. Compared to where I’ve come from, a high school that was very diverse and connected I was afraid that I wouldn’t find that anywhere else. I found the ESC. If you are a student, someone who loves to network or anyone who desires connection and community, come to the ESC. You’ll find this place fulfilling to all of your needs. You can find community anywhere, but we as students will do our best to ensure a promised and trusting experience. That will be up to you to trust my words. Pay a visit, we hope to see you soon!