There was a crowd of bustling students throughout the Multicultural Activities Fair, which took place in the John A. Barone Campus Center’s Dogwood Room on Friday, September 13 from 12-3 p.m. Students gathered to talk with each of the clubs, numerous enough that they filled the entire room. The fair was sponsored by the Office of Student Diversity & Multicultural Affairs.
There are many new clubs this year, such as FIESTA, which stands for Filipino Intercultural Entity Standing Together as Allies.
Sophomore Eula Valdez, Marketing Specialist for FIESTA, discussed the need for a club that focuses on Filipino culture.
“We want people to know we exist,” Valdez said. “There are other Asian clubs, but they are more general.”
FIESTA most recently collaborated with the Commuter Students Association on a movie night on Tuesday, September 17. The movie is a slice-of-life comedy that depicts family dynamics in the Philippines, Valdez said. FIESTA is open to all students.
Senior Mohammed Alharbali, president of the Muslim Student Association, discussed the MSA’s upcoming trip to New York City on September 21.
Alharbali said that MSA hopes to educate others about the religion of Islam and clarify misconceptions surrounding Muslims through events and programs. He also clarified that MSA is open to all students and is a place for Muslim students on campus to worship and find a community.
Senior Cindy Louis, the president of Fairfield University’s chapter of the American Association Of University Women, said that the AAUW focuses on women’s empowerment, health, educational funding.
The AAUW also focuses on career and leadership development, such as through salary negotiation workshops, and forming connections with women across the globe.
Recently, during Hurricane Dorian, AAUW raised funds for women who did not have access to feminine hygiene products. AAUW also created a positive message board on the first floor of the John A. Barone Campus Center, Louis said.
“Because of today’s climate, it is especially important for women to feel supported by each other,” Louis, a Nursing major, said.
Sophomore Chelsey Gabriel, Secretary of the Black Student Union spoke about how she is excited for BSU to collaborate with other clubs and create great traditions.
Gabriel said that the Black Student Union is open to anyone on campus interested in forming friendships and community with black students.
Sophomore Tushi Patel, a member of the executive board of the South Asian Students Association spoke about SASA’s sense of community.
“We have a lot of engagement and community. People were asking about what it stands for. We want to get more attention for our events,” Patel, who is also a Fairfield United Representative, said.
Junior Ohsafa Harding, President of the Fairfield University Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers, spoke about his club’s upcoming event.
“Why NSBE? It gives people a supportive community,” Harding said, referring to the name of the future event.
The community that NSBE fosters includes leadership training, professional development activities, mentoring, career placement services and community service opportunities, Harding ‘21 and Aaron Banson’ 21, Treasurer of Fairfield NSBE, explained.
As Asha Perry ‘18, the Program Coordinator of Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, mentioned, SALSA, the Spanish-American And Latino Student Association, was not at the activities fair because they are being reworked into a new club with a new name. They plan to be up and running soon.
Megan Beauregard, Treasurer of Fairfield Alliance, and Ruby Francis ’22, Secretary of Fairfield Alliance, the LGBTQ+ group on campus, said that they are excited for their upcoming traditional screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” around Halloween.
As Beauregard and Francis explained, “Rocky Horror” is an important event that brings the community together. It was released six years after the 1969 Stonewall uprising and is known for its exuberant characters, humor and above all, its overarching message that no one is alone: there is always a community for everyone.
For more information about any of the multicultural or affinity clubs, including those not mentioned in this article, visit https://www.fairfield.edu/undergraduate