Celebrating Campus Diversity

Goal of month: ‘Expose students to different thoughts and customs’

4/9/2010 - By: Skyler Dillon
Student Diversity One of the highlights of this year’s Annual Intercultural Month celebration is the always popular, always high-energy “Stompin’ With The Pack Step Show,” which will be held Saturday, April 10 in the Virginia Street Gym. Photo by Daniel Clark.

Throughout April and into May, the Center for Student Cultural Diversity will present more than 30 events celebrating the many cultures that compose the campus community. The Annual Intercultural Month (AIM) invites students, faculty and staff to engage with each other to learn more about the backgrounds of their colleagues, and to promote positive communication about the diversity of the University of Nevada, Reno campus.

“We want to expose students to thoughts and customs different than their own,” said Ellen Houston, counselor coordinator for the Center. “Students are encouraged to be respectful of the differences between them and their peers.”

The events will include competitions, graduation celebrations, workshops and lectures. One of the most anticipated events of the month is the third annual Stompin’ with the Pack Step Show, scheduled for 2 p.m. April 10 in the Virginia Street Gym. Organized by the Multicultural Greek Council, the show will feature five teams from across the west coast in a “step” competition. Stepping was developed from African tribal dances and uses foot-stomping, hand-clapping and finger-snapping to create rhythms and dance routines.

“It’s meant to really unify the students,” said Emma Garcia, a member of Lambda Phi Xi, part of the Multicultural Council. “It showcases the differences within the Greeks.”

Three University teams will compete, as well as two from California. An exhibition team from Oakland, Calif. will also perform. This year’s theme, “This is Ten,” will be incorporated into many of the routines, which according to Garcia convey an “oral history” of each organization.

“They tell the story of how we got to campus, what our organization is about, and where we’re going,” she said. “It’s highly competitive.”

Steppin’ with the Pack is open to the public, and Garcia hopes to draw 600 people this year.

“It’s the only show of its kind in Reno,” she said.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Watch a video of the Nevada team at last year’s competition.

Highlighted events during AIM include:

  • The International Club’s Night of All Nations from 6 -10 p.m., April 9 in Lawlor Events Center. Tickets are $3 for students, $4 for general admission.
  • The Hawaii Club’s second annual luau, Legends of Hawaii Luau, from 6-11 p.m. April 10 in the Joe Crowley Student Union. Tickets range from $5-$15 at the door, and discounted pre-sale tickets are also available.
  • A performance by the Here and Now Theater Company at the Nell J. Redfield Foundation Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., April 15. The show is sponsored by the Asian American Student Association and is free and open to the community.
  • A free workshop on kanji (Chinese characters used in the Japanese writing system) on April 16.
  • The Asian American Student Association’s annual ball at the Eldorado Hotel-Casino at 6 p.m., April 17. Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for students and $40 for general admission.
  • Students from seven local high schools, including Damonte Ranch High, Carson High and Reno High, will come to campus to get a “taste of college” life, April 21. High School students will partner with Nevada student volunteers who will lead them through an average day of campus life, bringing them along to classes and giving them a tour of the University.
  • Own What You Think campaign, which fights against anonymous hate speech on campus, will be featured throughout the month through the Love Wall, a multimedia presentation of comments submitted by the campus community to encourage constructive free speech, April 27-29, including the Downunder Café and the Student Union, and will be presented on a large screen outside Gateway Plaza in front of the Student Union from 8-10 p.m. each day.
  • The sixth annual Spring POWWOW is put on by the Center, the UNR Native American Alumni Chapter, and the Native American Student Organization in the Manzanita Bowl, May 1-2.

For the complete calendar of events, visit the Center for Student Cultural Diversity Web site.


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