Reggae band, Mystic Vibrations, performs for students at the Opening Ceremony in the Stern Gardens. (Nicole DeMarco / GSO)

Diversity week kicks off

Reggae band, Mystic Vibrations, performs for students at the Opening Ceremony in the Stern Gardens. (Nicole DeMarco / GSO)

Reggae band, Mystic Vibrations, performs for students at the Opening Ceremony in the Stern Gardens. (Nicole DeMarco / GSO)

The Office of Institutional Diversity is hosting their second annual Diversity Week Oct. 24 to 28.  Some of the events include Native American storytelling, salsa dancing, and more.  Most of these programs are planned and executed by the office with the help of student volunteers, while various departments around campus put on the rest.

Junior Erich Hellstrom has been helping out at many of the events along with the Student Government Association’s Advocacy Committee for Diversity on Campus (ACDC).

“Our main help is with the Pledge Diversity Book Drive that is going on in the Cougar Mall all week between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” Hellstrom said. “We are collecting books and letting students ‘pledge for diversity.’”

Associate Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Dr. John O. Bello-Ogunu, Sr. hopes that the students will do just that.  “Students have a lot to offer and given the chance they can help promote diversity on campus,” he said.

Bello-Oguno said that diversity week is important because it aims to widen student’s perspectives, encourages “interculturally competent global citizens,” and allows for the community to experience the rich culture that defines this institution.  He describes the event as “one of the major programs that can help the College in promoting and advancing all intercultural diversity on our campus.”

The events are designed to be thought-provoking and to teach the students.  Queering & Querying Religion Film Series: “For the Bible Tells Me So” on Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. (Education Center room 219) explores the relationship between religion and homosexuality, and its effects.

A Hindi Recital is also in the line-up, taking place on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. in the Simons Art Center (room 309), which includes a presentation about India as well as cultural dances and music unique to the country.

Students are encouraged to participate in all that this week has to offer.  “Some of the highlights, from here on out are the Wo’Se African Dancers on Thursday night and the Finale Jazz concert on Friday,” said Hellstrom.

The Wo’Se African Dancing and Drumming will take place on Oct. 27 at 6 p.m. in the Stern Gardens and the Diversity Week Finale: What’s all that? Jazz! featuring performances by the David Patterson Trio and Ann Caldwell will also be held in the Stern Gardens at 7 p.m. on Oct. 28.

A full list of the events are available on the school website.

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