Emma Esteb – Staff Writer
The Diversity Leadership Council dedicated their week (April 18–26) toward their mission of creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable campus community. Every day of the week an event was held by an organization that is part of the Diversity Leadership Council and ended with the Diversity Ball.
The main goal of this past week was “to get visibility of the student orgs on campus and help students know about different cultural organizations offered here” said Diversity Leadership Council Co-chair, Geena Zebrasky.
The week started off on Monday with a mug decorating and sticker event from 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the Courtyard Cafe. Attendees were able to grab some snacks and stickers that represent organizations on campus and decorate mugs. This event was hosted by the DLC and was a great success to start off the upcoming days planned.
Tuesday was a Block Party hosted by Crossroads from 5:00-7:00 p.m. outside of International Center. The Block Party was hosted by the organizations, Pan African Student Organization (PASO), Hmong American Cultural Outreach (HACO), and Asian Student Union (ASU). Students were able to enjoy a variety of tasty international foods such as wasubi and churros and gather together to play yard games with a few of the cultural organizations on campus.
This Crossroads event brought a lot of individuals together and helped different club members mingle with one another.
OLAS, Ignite, and Model UN brought in speaker Adriana Cerrillo on Wednesday April 20 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the CIE. The event was described as a Latina Experience for students.
Cerrillo is the Director of the Board of Education in the Minneapolis Public Schools. An immigrant from Mexico, and has been fighting and advocating for the rights of undocumented immigrants and improving policies that protect and advocate for marginalized communities. She has helped lead various programs in youth civics and introduced the Sanctuary Now platform to the Minneapolis City Council in order to address immigrant and refugee rights.
On Thursday, students were invited to to the Carlson International Center Kitchen at 8:00 p.m. for a Fastathon and Iftar with Muslim Students Assosiation (MSA). Students were able to put themselves in Muslim students’ shoes for the day and fast. Muslim and non-Muslim individuals were able to join MSA in observing Ramadan for the day, ending with iftar, the meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan.
Friday, April 22 from 7:00-9:00 p.m., the Campus Activities Board (CAB) and the Diversity Leadership Council (DLC) hosted a Food Truck event at Eckman Mall North. The event catered from three different food trucks, Trickster Tacos, K-Town Street Foods, and the Cave Cafe. The food options included kimchi fries, street tacos, egg rolls, and Afro-Italian fusion with gluten free and dairy options available. This event shifted from D-Week to D-Ball.
The Diversity Leadership Center presented the Diversity Ball on Saturday, April 23 from 6:00-10:00 p.m. at the Chankaska Winery. The evening consisted of a buffet dinner, an awards ceremony accompanied by student performances, and concluded with a dance. Tickets were $10 at the Gustavus Ticketing website and bus transportation was $5.
The event gave awards to “students on campus that do a lot and make campus a better place and uplift our values of DEI work and creating a campus community and we recognized around 30 people” Zebrasky said.
The winery venue was beautiful as many students wanted the event to be held off campus. DEI Representative Kate Dario was “very against having the event off-campus as it is just another thing to consider and something that seemed really confusing, but I’m so glad we had it at that venue,” Dario said.
Although many of the catering options were not very diverse, the desserts were made more diverse. They served tres leches cupcakes, egg tarts, chocolate gateau, and a vegan baklava. Gusties were able to dress formally and engage with one another while also recognizing the efforts of many students. The evening itself was very successful with only a few issues, they “had to push back dinner by a little bit so Senior Alex Chou played a couple of pieces, which were absolutely beautiful. I think it was a really nice night and I think people wanted it to be a bit longer. It was a cool enough event that Gus the mascot made an appearance” Dario said.
D-Ball was an amazing way to bring the diverse community of Gustavus together in order for students to be recognized and appreciated in a new way.