During the 2001-2002 academic year, the Latino community on MIT's campus, with alumni support, raised some serious concerns about feeling under-supported by the Office of Minority Education, the Division of Student Life, and the Latino faculty. As part of the response to these issues, in the summer of 2002, the Latino Cultural Center (LCC) was created at the direction of the then-Deans Larry Benedict (Division of Student Life) and Robert Redwine (Dean for Undergraduate Education). Latino student groups were given space (offices and a lounge in the basement of the Student Center, Building W20) - which they had never had before - and resources (a small budget and office supplies).
In the fall of 2002, the LCC opened to provide students, particularly Latino students, with a place to share and enjoy Latino culture on MIT's campus. Key students involved in the creation of the LCC were Desiree Ramírez, Terrance Strader, and Ray Morales, who all worked persistently to make the long sought concept of the LCC a reality. The LCC includes two areas: the main lounge is used by students for studying and socializing and by student groups for general body meetings, information sessions, academic programs, study groups, workshops, political and social activities, dance and theatrical rehearsals, and movie screenings. The office behind the lounge contains group storage space, computers for student use, and a meeting space that is used both for studying and for group executive board meetings.
For some, the LCC is a culturally-enriching space, while for others the Center is a much-needed reminder of life at home. Overall, the LCC is a place to study, spend time with friends, form support groups, network, and enjoy all aspects of Latino culture at MIT.