Have you ever noticed that one corner of the Ohio Union is shaped like a lantern? This was an intentional building design decision to honor the history and traditions of the journey toward freedom and social justice that we carry forward today. The significance of the lantern dates back to the Underground Railroad of the 19th century as African American people sought to escape slavery.
A lit lantern was used as a symbol in the Underground Railroad system to signify that a house was a safe place for those traveling. The top floor of the "lantern" in the Ohio Union is constantly lit to signify that the Ohio State community is open and welcome to everyone.
It is altogether fitting that the Student Life Multicultural Center is located on the first floor– the foundation of the lantern-- of the Ohio Union.
Alonso Family Room
The Alonso Room is where all of the MCC’s student cohort groups meet in the evenings, and often where our programs, workshops, trainings and other events are hosted. The space is free and open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for our students to utilize as their Family Room. For many, a home away from home.
The Alonso Family Room is available for reservation from 9 - 11 a.m. and from 5 - 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. Weekend reservations can be made for MCC-affiliated events wherein at least one of our full-time staff will be present. Reservations requests can be made via email.
Alonso Family Room Dedication
The Alonso Family Room of the Student Life Multicultural Center, an open gathering place for all members of the Ohio State community to come together, is where the historical marker signifying its location along the Underground Railroad is placed. The room itself is named in honor of the Alonso family, and on some of the shelves in the room, you will find pictures of them.
A part of the Alonso family history, as shared by one of the family sons is that: “In 1959, when the communist regime took over Cuba, my parents knew they had to seek freedom and democracy. It was due to my parents’ vision and sacrifice that my brothers, sister and I were afforded all the rewards of living in a free and democratic country. My parents arrived in the United States on July 3, 1963. They spent the rest of their lives advocating for those still searching for freedom.” Through their investment and care, the remaining Alonso family continues this legacy.
Our Conference Rooms
There are two closed conference rooms available to reserve, as is the more open What’s Your Story Lounge. University offices and registered student organizations can request reservations by emailing the Office Manager. These spaces are ideal for 8 people or less to host meetings, dialogue groups or facilitation of small programs.
The conference rooms and lounge are provided as-is. We are not able to move or provide additional furniture, or additional AV equipment, beyond what is present and available in the room.
During the academic year, the Student Life Multicultural Center is not able to accommodate reservation requests from groups unaffiliated with The Ohio State University.