Student Engagement & Leadership hosted their second annual Cultural Identities Fair on Oct. 6. as an opportunity for cultural organizations and fraternities to recruit new members, put on performances and share their culture.
The fair — which took place in the Student Resource Building from 2-4 p.m., — featured a number of clubs including Los Ingenieros, Black Student Union, Ready Beat Go! and Lambda Sigma Gamma, a female-empowerment-centered sorority, among others. Many organizations were also fundraising by selling horchata, churros and fruits.
Fourth-year biology major and Southeast Asian Union (SEA-U) cultural chair Ashley Chun said the fair was an opportunity for the SEA-U to spread its message about uplifting the Southeast Asian community while being open to accepting and educating individuals from other cultures.
“Anybody is welcome to join, we’re a cultural organization and we’re dedicated to spreading awareness about Southeast Asian culture. A lot of our meetings and events have a lot of educational components about the culture and it’s also a social club too,” Chun said.
Performances at the event included a traditional dance number by Iaorana Te Otea, a salute by the Lambda Theta Alpha Latina sorority, a classical erhu production from Jasmine Echo Chinese Ensemble and more.
Jaelyn Negranza, third-year linguistics major and Co-President of the Polynesian dance and drumming club Iaorana Te Otea, discussed how her passion for Tahitian and hula dancing has pushed her to share more of her culture with others.
“I just really like being able to share or spread some awareness about Polynesian culture. We are not only a cultural club, but we also appreciate culture, so a lot of our members aren’t necessarily Polynesian, but we do appreciate and love everything about the Polynesian culture,” Negranza said.
Lambda Theta Alpha also holds the sentiment that everyone is welcome.
“Our organization focuses on social, community and social activism and just being there for each other. And everyone is welcome to join … we actually have this thing called Latin by tradition not by definition, and that’s because we like to open our doors to anybody and everybody,” third-year history of public policy and law major and Lambda Theta Alpha chapter president Amanda Salcedo said.
Salcedo also shared that her sorority finds support from a multicultural Greek-life organization.
“We are part of a council here on campus called United Fraternity and Sorority Council, and that is the umbrella that all multicultural Greek communities fall under. We meet once a week and we all support each other. We call it Greek unity,” she said.
Fourth-year psychological & brain sciences major and Student Engagement & Leadership student life intern Jordan Murray said that, ultimately, the fair was a success as many people came out in support of the event.
“It was really nice to see everyone come out and support so many of the different cultural groups that we have on campus. And I just thought it was a lot of fun, there were very nice performances,” Murray said. “The Nigerian Student Association made really good food.”
A version of this article appeared on p. 1 of the Oct. 12, 2023, print edition of the Daily Nexus.