Multicultural Cookout brings campus organization, students together


Multicultural Cookout

In Focus Editor and In Focus Editor

For freshman Kalyn Avery, the Multicultural Cookout hosted Wednesday was a place to learn about the programs that sponsored the event.

“I came to get information for TRIO,” Avery said. “My mom told me about it and said it would help me with school.”

The Office of Multicultural Affairs, TRIO, SMART and the Graduate School Project Search all came together to sponsor and host the cookout for students in the Union Ballroom.

The cookout hasn’t run for two years, said Ray Plaza, associate director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs,

“We attempted to make the cookout last year,” Brown said, “but it fell through because we couldn’t get the collaboration we needed.”

The purpose is to provide a welcoming event for multicultural students, Plaza said.

“The event is open to all students and to show the students the resources available to them.”

Sheila Brown, associate director of Multicultural Affairs, was the chair of the planning committee for the cookout. She agrees with Plaza about how the event should be open to all students.

“We wanted to expose our programs and services to all students on campus,” Brown said. “Some students might think that they can’t come because we have the name ‘multicultural,’ but we want everyone to come because we want to make people aware of diversity issues and create advocates for the students.”

Freshman Amir Huggins came to the cookout because he heard about it in his class.

“I’m in [an] ethnicity and social movements class,” Huggins said. “Our professor told us about this. I wanted to show support and meet new people.”

Brown was pleased with how the different programs worked together this year.

“We wanted to have a collaboration between the offices that work with multicultural students,” Brown said. “We had a true collaboration between the planning and the money that went into the cookout.”

Brown hopes the cookout will get the word out to expose students to diversity.

“When people aren’t exposed, they just don’t know,” Brown said. “You don’t have to be of color to participate and teach about tolerance and inclusion. That is the key point that this is open to everyone, not just people of color.”

Senior Myles Graber came to participate in the conversations at the cookout.

“I came because I wanted to see what they had to say,” Graber said. “I like meeting new people and doing new things. I didn’t really know what to expect.”