See where many USC students will hang out — and find a place to belong — this fall

Remodeled cultural centers and lounges will give Trojans a place to meet up, talk and make friends. Get a first look at them in photos.

June 01, 2021 Alicia Di Rado

Sometimes you need a space to relax and call your own. That’s part of the thinking behind the remodeled USC cultural centers and new student lounges opening this fall on the University Park Campus.

These spots offer refuges of comfort and empathy in a busy world. There, Trojans might set up meetings to organize activities or hear a visiting speaker. They could talk with a counselor or take a break to meet friends or relax. The remodeled spaces are designed to create a sense of belonging, acceptance and well-being for students, whether they’re LGBTQ+ or first-generation college students, Black or Asian American — or their allies.

Remodeled centers include the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs, Asian Pacific American Student Services, LGBTQ+ Student Center and First Gen + Success Center. They join the already remodeled Latinx/Chicanx Center for Advocacy and Student Affairs in the Student Union.

In addition, two new culturally affirming lounges will launch: one for Native American and Pasifika students, and another for students who identify as Middle Eastern and North African.

As the COVID-19 pandemic eases and USC gets ready to reopen to students this fall, take a first look at some of these spaces. They’re all run under the auspices of Student Equity and Inclusion Programs, part of USC Student Affairs.

Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs

CBCSA Student Union lounge
(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

Students can find the space in Room 100 of the Student Union.

Middle Eastern and North African Student Lounge

(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

This space is located within the Center for Black Cultural and Student Affairs.

Native American and Pasifika Student Lounge

Native American and Pasifika
(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

Students who identify as Native American or Pasifika now have a space in Student Union Room 405.

LGBTQ+ Student Center

LGBTQ+ Student Center
(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

When LGBTQ+ students want to unwind or talk, they can head to Student Union Room 415.

Asian Pacific American Student Services

APASS cultural center
(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

This space provides a home away from home for students who are Asian, Asian American, Pacific Islander or Desi (originating from the Indian subcontinent). Students can find it at Student Union Room 410.

First-Gen + Success Center

First Gen lounge
(Photo/Lynn Pelkey)

An expansive center, this space welcomes Trojans who are in the first generation of their family to attend college. It also welcomes transfer students, former foster youth and undocumented students. It is located in Ronald Tutor Campus Center Room 224.

Bringing all Student Equity and Inclusion Programs into the center of the University Park Campus — and the addition of the Middle Eastern and North African and the Native American and Pasifika student lounges — answers calls from students for a more intersectional approach to USC’s cultural centers. Now, students are able to validate their multiple cultural identities. The new spaces also will allow for easier collaboration between student groups.