A celebration of diversity

Students, both incoming and returning, have the opportunity to come out and experience the different events taking place during this year’s Multicultural Welcoming Week, “Where fear is NOT a factor.”

“The purpose of Multicultural Welcoming Week is to introduce incoming students to our office and other student organizations and activities,” said Nicole Glenn, coordinator for Student Activities. The tradition has been going on for a long time, but this is the fourth year in this format where all the student organizations get to plan an event during the week, Glenn said.

The welcoming week began Aug. 24 with a dinner in the Special Events Center. Since then, daily activities planned by different student organizations have taken place from 8 a.m. to late night.

“This is the way to enhance your college experience,” Glenn said. “College is more than going to class.”

Multicultural Welcoming Week creates an opportunity for students to get to know people different from themselves, Glenn said. The Fear Factor theme was selected because “many incoming students experience some anxiety when embarking upon their college experience,” according to the office of Multicultural Activities.

“The Multicultural Welcoming Week helps students address their fear and overcome it by interacting with upperclassmen,” Glenn said.

The upcoming main events are the Unity Soiree, Represent Your Culture and the annual Round-Up.

Unity Soiree is being arranged by the multicultural community and will take place at the MLK Plaza on Wednesday from 12 p.m to 4 p.m. It will be a “fun-filled barbeque and student organization showcase,” according to Student Activities.

Represent Your Culture will take place at the MLK Plaza on Thursday from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. According to Crystel Dawson, the president of Black Student Union, the African Student Association, Caribbean Culture Exchange and Club Creole joined together in order to present a collaborative event. The event is meant to encourage students to represent their culture by bringing an item that symbolizes where they are from. It can be anything from a flag to a piece of clothing, said Dawson. That way students get to know each other and their backgrounds, she said.

In addition, “There will be free food (and) tables with each organization’s executive board members with information to new students,” she said.

There will be a DJ playing different kinds of music at all times and performances by several cultural dance groups. A representative from each organization will give new students information about what different organizations stand for. A fashion show by a group called Reflections Modeling Troupe will take place afterward.

Later on Thursday is the annual Round-Up in the USF Sun Dome, which is presented by Student Activities and the Campus Activities Board. The event begins at 7 p.m with a student organization fair followed by information about USF happenings at 8 p.m. The Herd of Thunder Marching Band and USF Sun Dolls and cheerleaders will perform. In addition, students will get a chance to meet the VP of Student Affairs, Director of Athletics and student body president. At 9 p.m. there will be live entertainment by comedian Dane Cook, featured on Comedy Central and several talk shows.