By Lily Keefe & Julianna Johnson
Over 400 people attended the first Culture Fair on the Quad last Friday, where they learned about multicultural organizations, participated in activities and purchased food from local food trucks.
The Multicultural Student Leadership Council (MSLC) hosted the first event of its kind Friday, Sept. 14 showcasing cultural student organizations on campus in a new way.
“Looking around in the middle of the event, [the turnout] was exactly what we had hoped for,” Specialist for Student Engagement in the Department of Cultural and Global Engagement Abbie O’Neill said.
[media-credit name=”Amanda Perelli” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]With all of the activities going on outside, some students, like freshman biomedical major, Barbara Wetter couldn’t help but come by and see what all of the commotion was about.
“I just saw pictures of it on Snapchat, and I was like ‘I have to go try it’,” Wetter said.
Other students heard about it through email, social media, word of mouth and from the Multicultural Week banner on Bobcat Way.
The Culture Fair featured 19 organizations, 15 from the MSLC and four cultural Greek organizations.
“Getting students to understand that it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, whether you’re [an] international student or [a] domestic student, you are a student of color, or you are a white student,” O’Neill said. “It’s an atmosphere that you can show up alone or show up with a group of 10 friends and you can still participate either way.”
Multicultural Greek life at the Culture Fair included Alpha Phi Alpha, Chi Upsilon Sigma, Lambda Theta Phi and Sigma Gamma Rho.
“At Chi Upsilon Sigma, everyone is welcome,” senior psychology and sociology double major Destiny De Jesus said.
For this sorority there is no rush process, just info sessions where you learn about being in this specific sorority.
“Come as you are and that’s how we want you to come,” De Jesus said. “We want your pure most authentic self because at the end of the day we want to call you our sister.”
Cultural fraternity, Lambda Theta Phi was also at the Culture Fair. Their motto is “chivalry above self,” junior mechanical engineering major Kenneth Espinal said.
Like the sorority, this fraternity is also Latin based, but not Latin exclusive.
Junior business major and member of the African Caribbean Student Union, Heidi Gardiner, wants students to know that these organizations in the council aren’t particular about their members.
“We are not exclusive, we want to promote a lot of diversity and inclusion,” Gardiner said. “We’re trying to get people to do things they wouldn’t normally do.”
O’Neill and her team have already begun talking about plans for next year’s fair and welcome week.
[media-credit name=”Amanda Perelli” align=”alignright” width=”300″][/media-credit]“Overall the inaugural Multicultural Welcome Week went well, but it was only the first one; therefore, there is definitely room for improvement,” O’Neill said. “We will begin working on specifics for the Fall 2019 fair and week of events next semester, and look forward to working with everyone again.”