Many campus organizations gathered at Brower Student Center Oct. 15 to attend the first ever Caucus at the College. Sponsored by the Black Student Union (BSU), the Caucus hosted over 20 ethnic clubs who came together to promote unity and diversity.
Coordinated by Kamaria Byrd, BSU vice president of Resource Development, the Caucus was a daylong event complete with host speakers, workshops and panel discussions designed to increase knowledge and understanding of unity and diversity.
Attendees walked away with a sense of what can be done to contribute to positive relations in the campus lives of students and to communicate and discuss those issues that have an effect on campus life regarding discrimination, diversity and race relations.
“Children do not see race. We have a lot to learn from them,” Beth Paul, acting vice president of Student Life, said, opening the day. “Today I bring that optimism. We can be one and many at the same time.”
Alexa Byrd, Kamaria Byrd’s sister, opened the day with a rendition of “Redemption Song.”
Five student organizations from surrounding colleges attended including: the Uni?n Latina Association from Rowan, Triple 8, a dance team inspired by East Asian style, and Raks Odalisque, a Middle Eastern dance troupe, both from Princeton, the Black Student Union from Rider and the Black and Latino Alliance from Westminster Choir College.
Students attended several workshops entitled, “Making Your Presence Known,” “Coalition Building,” “Dealing with Racial Issues on Campus” and “Strengthening Your Organization Internally.”
“Through the Caucus, I was able to take part in some candid discussion about race at (the College) and find out ways that the student government can better serve all students at the College,” Annelise Cantanzaro, SGA executive president, said.
She said attendance at the Caucus would help the newly formed position of vice president of Equity and Diversity and the corresponding committee “to work yearlong to promote unity, awareness and appreciation of diversity.”
“One of the goals of AAA (Asian American Association) is to build solidarity among the different Asian-specific groups on campus,” Jenny Shin, vice president of Public Relations for AAA, said. “AAA is making its efforts to collaborate, support, and co-sponsor joint events with the Japanese Club, Korean American Student Association, Indian Student Association, and the Islamic Society.”