Embrace Culture

By Ralph Gallo

Multicultural event on campus showcased different cultures coming together as performers, music, food, art and entertainment heightened awareness and appreciation amongst College of Southern Nevada’s community.

Student Diversity Festival took place Oct. 23 on CSN’s North Las Vegas campus. Dozens of students and faculty arrived to celebrate the amazing aspects of different cultures.

An African drummer struck a heartbeat undertone for the event, which made people stop, pause and listen. A student was selected to join in the performance.

A belly dancer did a routine in her regalia with her hips moving to the music while a child in attendance joined her mimicking her movements.

CSN Jazz Trio performed under the tutelage of Professor Richard McGee. Smooth tones captured an audience who clapped along.

Food tastings were handed out including Americanized spaghetti, hot dogs and hamburgers. Additionally Filipino dishes, Japanese ice cream and Mexican tamales were enjoyed. Students ate the food while taking in the beautiful art exhibits and live entertainment. Henna art tattooing was a favorite with a big line of students waiting to get them.

Ashton Ridley, manager of the Office of Inclusive Learning and Engagement, Diversity and Cultural Affairs at CSN, said, “This is the annual student diversity festival that takes place at our North campus. It is an opportunity to bring culture to the College, which is our main role in CSN.” He thinks this event is a chance for students to break down barriers they normally wouldn’t break down.

According to CSN’s Facts in Brief’s reporting period August 2016 to May 2017, the student population is varied in terms of ethnicity. A third of students are Caucasian and another third is Hispanic. Following that 11 percent is Asian American and 10 percent African American with 17 percent falling in other categories. That means CSN has a diverse community and events like this showcase it.

With that being true, it is important for students to gain cultural competencies and appreciation for others.

Krista Kelly, CSN student, said, “Diversity plays a big role in society and on our campus because there are people coming from all over and it is not just one race or one ethnicity and the world needs to be inclusive.”

CSN students who attended the event Kalaiya Vasquez and Alohilani Tufuga share their appreciation for different cultures.

Vasquez said, “It’s all about embracing who you are, embracing your culture and knowing where you came from and telling other people about it. There’s so many other cultures out there and so many great people out there. You don’t have to be the odd one out. We want everyone to be as open as possible about who they are and what makes them diverse and what makes them themselves.”

Tufuga acknowledged, “We’re pretty diverse here at CSN. I see many cultures here and I want to learn about them and see what they’re all about.”

A CSN student Donte Walker, who was at the event, appreciated students being open about their experiences with diversity.

“You get to learn what people go through and where they come from,” Walker said. “Everybody goes through something and you get to hear about their background.”

For more information about diversity on campus, visit https://www.csn.edu/diversity-cultural-affairs for upcoming events and activities.

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