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Food brings out crowd for diversity celebration
Posted Oct. 30, 2006

Hamburgers, hot dogs, carne asada and cookies — all these delicious foods would help the University of La Verne celebrate diversity among its faculty and students.

On Thursday evening, more than 20 organizations sponsored the ULV Diversity Partners Campus-Wide Carne Asada BBQ Celebration. The event was held in Sneaky Park, near the library, as the first 100 people received free meals.

“It’s a proactive opportunity to highlight individuals and organizations working with diversity initiatives at the University,” said Multicultural Affairs Director Daniel Loera.

In the first of what will hopefully become an annual event, tables were filled with people coming to enjoy the free food, entertainment and each other’s company. The people who attended were treated to a variety of live music and entertainment, including Tahitian dancing from the group called the Island Inspiration Dancers. The group also brought people from the crowd up to the stage and gave them a quick lesson on how to move their hips.

The event began with a roll call of each organization that helped put the celebration together. This allowed the people in attendance to see who was helping with diversity on campus as well as who to contact if they wished to help the organization.

“It was a great start,” Loera said, “it was successful in terms of attendance and participation, but hopefully we can get more student involvement in the future.”

The celebration was designed to bring faculty, staff and students together to celebrate diversity in the University. Groups like the Office of Multicultural Services, African American Student Alliance and Latinas Unidas, along with many others, made the day a success. Diversity is an important part of the university.

As part of the University’s mission statement, La Verne promotes the goal of community within a context of diversity. It encourages students to understand and appreciate the diversity of culture that exists locally, nationally and internationally. The celebration definitely highlighted a variety of different cultures and raised awareness of the many different groups working to promote diversity.

A common misconception among students is that you need to be from a certain cultural background to be a part of the organization but in most organizations on campus, that isn’t true. People of all backgrounds are encouraged to join and celebrate the culture of the organization.

“Events like these are really cool,” sophomore Sal Diaz said, “you get to meet and interact with new people.”

Jason Jarvis can be reached at jjarvis2@ulv.edu.