Ramapo celebrates Diversity Day with event in the Grove

Photo by Tori D'Amico

Students gathered at the Grove yesterday to celebrate Ramapo’s annual Diversity Day. 

Diversity Day is an annual event at Ramapo which celebrates the different groups of students that are represented here. 

This event gives students the opportunity to learn about the different multicultural organizations on campus and the events they host. It also provides a safe space to ask questions about on-campus communities and their goals at Ramapo.

Each week Ramapo hosts “Language Happy Hours” for students to feel more connected to, or learn more about, non-English speaking cultures. 

One representative for this event included Japanese students teaching how to write and say common Japanese words. An action so simple as learning one phrase can help students to be more aware of cultures outside their own.

Other multicultural organizations represented included the Organization for Latino Unity and the United Asian Association.

Each organization strives for different goals on campus. The Organization for Latino Unity said their goals include making their name more known so that students can find a community with them. 

“There is a spot for people who don’t feel safe,” said junior Samiya Anderson. 

This organization in particular aimed their outreach at students who are seeking a space to feel validated in their identity, whether they are fully Latinx or mixed race.

Similarly, the United Asian Association is hoping to close the gap between students of different cultures. They hope that through their events more students will understand the diversity of Asian cultures and want to learn more.

Francis Bal, junior, said the organization wants to open students’ awareness to more than just what the media portrays of Asian culture.

“We want to reach out and teach about different cultures,” he said.

Other organizations came to represent different religious groups on campus, such as Hillel and the Muslim Student Association.

Khalisah Hameed of MSA said they hope to bring awareness to more than just how Islam is practiced by Muslim students.

“We’re not only talking about Islam for Muslim students, we’re an educational organization,” she said. Their organization hosts a variety of events advocating for religious representation of all groups on campus.

Both Ramapo Pride and the Women’s Center also tabled with opportunities for LGBTQ+ related education. The Women’s Center especially wants to make students aware of the services they offer which include weekly closed meetings for students of various identifications.

“I hope that all students get to feel represented and welcome on campus,” said Amanda Nafash, a graduate intern for the Women’s Center. 

This hope is shared by the administration involved in events like Diversity Day and all over campus. The Student Government Association offered a suggestion box at their table where students could share any recommendations or concerns regarding diversity on campus. 

For organizations with as big an on-campus presence as SGA, Diversity Day is an opportunity to learn what students need from the school, not just share what the school wants for the students.

In the effort of creating an interactive and exciting event, the school offered multicultural food and entertainment.

Throughout the afternoon performers took to the stage to share traditional and contemporary cultural dances and music. This included music by Ramapo’s own Brazilian drum band, and Indian dances honoring gods. 

Volunteers were invited to learn traditional Indian dance moves used in a dance honoring the god Ganesha. 

The festivities continued into opening proclamations for Disability Awareness Month and Queer and Trans History Month.