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Culture Council unite for Cultural Overload

by Nicholas Mazur - Campus Talk Editor
Tue, Oct 31st 2017 10:00 pm

Several clubs, all belonging to the Culture Council, came together last week to put on a series of events for a Culture Council week, many groups collaborating with one another for joint events. The events culminated in Cultural Overload, spanning the entirety of the week and showcasing the particular focuses of each of the clubs involved with the project. The groups involved include the Caribbean Students Association,  the Association of Latino American Students, the Organization for Students of African Descent and the Brockport Muslim Student Association. 

One of the events from this week was a collaboration between CSA and ALAS. The event was referred to as “Zumbathon” and as its title suggests, was an event geared toward healthy activity, focused on the dance exercise program Zumba. Much of the event revolved around dancing and Zumba. The president of CSA, Aaliyah Johnson, considered the subject of dancing a good meeting point for the two clubs. The idea of dancing being a common theme for both clubs to hold an event for. 

“Caribbeans love to dance and ALAS, they have a strong dancing background. We figured having zumba would be what brought our two cultures together,” Johnson said. 

CSA also included other aspects of healthy living, such as a health drink specific to the Caribbean.

BMSA and OSAD also collaborated this past week for their own event, “When you look at me what do you see?” This event was geared toward addressing stereotypes present in society and where we identify them on a person. For this event, people came dressed as they might normally dress on a day-to-day basis. 

Throughout the course of the event, participants went up to one of two podiums set up in front of the crowd present. The crowd would then take turns identifying common stereotypes they recognized on each person. The event also involved the recitation of statistics regarding many types of stereotypes. The goal of the event was to help people become more aware of stereotypes present in society how they’re targeted toward groups of people and how they can be harmful in everyday life. This particular event was well suited for a collaboration between BMSA and OSAD due to the fact that the focus of each group brings together students more likely to face harmful stereotypes from society.

The final event of the week, Cultural Overload, was intended to be a general celebration. The event was attended by the various clubs involved with the week-long project and was simply as last celebration of all the successful work that the clubs had put in for the week.

Cultural Overload was held in the Union Ballroom East. The event included food, drinks and entertainment from several clubs, including a dance performance from clubs such as ALAS.

Before the event started officially, Bridgett Oyemi, president of the BSG Cultural Council, said a few words regarding her pride and gratefulness in the past week’s events. Oyemi also had a guest speaker say a few words on the events for Culture Council Week, Kathryn Wilson, Ph.D. 

“I think this week-long adventure can really grow on campus,” Wilson said, “I think this can really take on a lot of energy on campus.” 

Wilson also commented on the importance of orginazing such extensive events, citing the valuable skills students learn by organinzing with one another and learning to find common themes in various cultures.

Oyemi also had a representing member from each club present at the event go up to the small stage set up in the ballroom and say a few words, reflecting on their work for the week and the success they achieved. 

With that, the event had officially begun, and the clubs could celebrate the work they had out into celebrating and educating on their individual cultures, customs, struggles and unique journeys.

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