Diversity Resource Fair shows similarities within student organizations


Graduate assistant Aja Holmes socializes with members of the International Student Scholars Office, during the Diversity Resource Fair in the Sun Room of the Memorial Union on March 26.

Jaden Urbi

The walls of the Sun Room in the Memorial Union on March 26 were lined with representatives from student organizations and resources dedicated to supporting and promoting diversity on campus for the first Diversity Resource Fair.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., representatives from various organizations stood by tables with poster board displays showing their organization’s purpose and main goals. The representatives had information and stories to tell about their experience with the organization and reasons why people should get involved.

“Living in Iowa without a lot of diversity, it’s nice to see some different perspectives,” said Humza Ahmad, sophomore in chemical engineering.

Celia Sepulveda, sophomore in industrial engineering, said she heard about the event through a class she takes for her scholarship. She came to the fair to learn about all the resources available to students — not just of diversity, but for everyone.

“It’s nice to see diverse groups being represented. Those who attended the event now have the power to tell people about the resources and organizations available, and hopefully the word will spread,” said Brandon Jones, freshman in civil engineering.

Each group that presented was associated with promoting diversity, but they all had their own unique way of doing it.

“Diversity is pushed through pictures in university flyers and pamphlets, but you don’t actually see it that much if you look around campus. The Diversity Resources Fair gave people the opportunity to get involved in real activities that will represent those underrepresented groups,” said Sepulveda.

The International Student Council Organization had information on their upcoming events, such as the World Soccer Tournament, AIWL Summit and ISC Running Man Charity. The ISC Running Man Charity is a fundraiser to help fund impoverished schools in Sri Lanka.

“It was really cool to see pictures of the project to help the schools in Sri Lanka, it’s a really good cause that I probably would not have known about if I didn’t stop by their table,” said Sepulveda.

The LGBT Student Services booth had information on prior events and ways to get involved on campus. They stressed that everyone is encouraged to come stop by their office or hang out.

“We all have a gender, and we all have a sexual orientation. Everyone is welcome here,” said Brad Freihoefer, coordinator of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Student Services.

The Model United Nations representatives shared stories about their annual events, which involves going to a conference in Chicago, and possibly different cities if the group expands. During group meetings, the members will argue for one side of a particular issue from a perspective other than their own.

Ahmad said he thinks that it’s very important to see things from other points of view. It will help improve relationships not only on a regional level, but a global level as well.

“Communication between other nations will lead to a more progressive and successful society,” said Ahmad.