Clubs and Organizations Increase Cultural Awareness

Photo by Nicole Williams

The Diversity Action Committee hosted the second annual Diversity Day at Ramapo College on Friday, working to bring together the different cultures and beliefs that make Ramapo a unique community.

The purpose of this event was to “expose the students of Ramapo College to the cultural clubs and organizations here at the school and to get to know them more,” said Diversity Action Committee (DAC) secretary Kevin Hurtado.

Diversity Day was created by the DAC in order to fill the need for exposure of organizations tailored to people of color, LBGTQA and other minorities.

“Besides Club Fair, we didn’t have a day devoted to showing…any kind of diversity for you [students] to embrace,” Hurtado said.

There were many clubs and organizations on display at Diversity Day. Organizations such as the Women’s Center, Ramapo Pride, Students of Caribbean Ancestry or SOCA, You're not Alone: Anti-bullying Club and the Muslim Student Association attended the event. Food was served, performances were put on and games were played. The food originated from a variety of different regions, such as Central and South America and the Caribbean region.

“There are a lot of cool things, like that food thing over there with all the diverse foods; that’s neat,” said Heidi Philla, student.

The performances were also based on the dances and rituals of many specific cultural backgrounds. For example, the Latin dance team put on a routine that told a story with the theme of unity amongst humans. A narrator did a voiceover with the dancers, exemplifying what was being expressed through dance.

Beyond that, the clubs also had games geared to educating people about different cultures and religions. For instance, the Muslim Student Association had a trivia quiz, testing students on different facts about the Islamic religion, such as what the holy book’s name is and the world’s total population of Muslims.

Hurtado called Diversity Day a great success.

“We had a great turn out,” said Hurtado. “We had performers there, we had all the organizations there; it was just a really fun event.”

Students said they enjoyed themselves as well, using the day as an opportunity to check out the many clubs represented at the event.

“It’s good, all the people are filing in, interacting with the different clubs and organization, with each other,” said freshman Cauline Kelly.

Hurtado said the event is a key component of the Diversity Action Committee’s goal of “having the students feel a sense of community as well as increase the visibility of groups under-represented by the college.”