Diversity department encourages personal expression

By Alyssa Mentzer
February 11, 2010

Shannon Keough

The Cabrini Diversity department held an event on campus encouraging students to express themselves through poems, stories, music, stand-up comedy or the spoken word.

The event, “Free Expressions,” was held on campus in Grace Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 3. Melissa Waters, director of student diversity, was in charge of the event and kept guests mingling throughout the night.

“Initially this event started as kind of an open opportunity for students to meet other students. This year and this semester we decided to really focus on that performance piece so that if people have a skill, they have an opportunity to be a part of something and show off that skill,” Waters said.

There are three groups within the Cabrini student diversity department. They include Sanctuary (lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender), La Raza (hispanic group) and the black student union (BSU).

“What we try to do on campus is give students of these backgrounds a chance to express themselves and organize events like dances, discussions and raise awareness on campus. We also try to reach all students on campus so that we can expand beyond these three groups to all types of diverse students on campus,” Felicia Melvin, sophomore communication major and student diversity leader, said.

Guests, including Brother Dominic Wetzel, Sapphira Griffin and Sarah Frazier, gave performances from stand-up comedy to more serious spoken words.

“There’s a lot of people on campus who are very talented and they don’t really have an outlet for it. There’s no place for the spoken word or just for people that have something to say. This is laid back, there’s not really a competition, it’s mellow,” Sarah Frazier, senior psychology major and student diversity leader, said.

The student diversity department holds meetings every second and fourth Wednesday of each month to openly discuss topics on students’ minds.

The department also hosts events such as “Speaker Spotlight” and “RAW.” “Speaker Spotlight” is a lecture from a speaker about a diversity topic. “RAW” is an event where students come together to discuss different topics important to them like interracial dating.

The night was filled with great food, music, performances and new friendships. Everyone got the chance to mingle with new groups of people and enjoy other students’ talents.

“Every student here is different. Diversity in my mind is not just about ethnicity, sexual orientation or religion. We all have individual gifts that make us different from other people, so we need an opportunity to celebrate the fact that we can all learn things, we can all focus on social justice issues, but at the end of the day we’re all different and that’s great,” Waters said.

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Alyssa Mentzer

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