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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

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    Multicultural Student Leadership Council

    In an effort to promote more interaction among ethnic and cultural student groups on campus, the Office of Multicultural Affairs hosted the Multicultural Student Leadership Council on Friday afternoon. Around 25 presidents and representatives from various clubs and organizations gathered in SAC Ballroom B to network and socialize.

    “This is a way for members of our community to better understand each other,” said Cheryl Chambers, Associate Dean for multicultural affairs. “I hope this is going to be the beginning of a great network.”

    Natalie Munoz, this year’s Reginald C. Wells Fellow for the office and the event’s organizer, encouraged attendees to reach out to at least one organization that they would not normally program with. To spark conversations, the students participated in a short icebreaker exercise. They were then invited to enjoy refreshments and talk amongst themselves. Many stayed for over an hour.

    “The response from the students was really fulfilling,” said Munoz. “It went better than I had imagined.”

    “I’m definitely going to collaborate with some of the people I met,” said Ryan Jackson, president of Capoeira, a group that practices the Brazilian dance form of the same name. “The more we converse with each other, the more our clubs will grow.”

    Other students shared Jackson’s excitement. Diandra Rodriguez, president of the Latin American Student Organization, said she invited Bengalis Unite to participate in Thanks-4-Giving, an upcoming charity dinner that LASO is co-hosting. “They’ll invite their general body and they might put on a performance, so I’m excited,” she said.

    The students were also encouraged to utilize the UNITI Cultural Center, a group of rooms in the Union that can be reserved for meetings and events, and to apply for the Diversity Challenge Grant, a monthly $500 grant awarded to help students fund collaborative events that encourage multiculturalism.

    In previous years, the council was made up of representatives from a few of the most active groups on campus, said Munoz. But this year she decided to reach out to all of the ethnic and cultural groups. During the event, she collected everyone’s e-mail address in order to send out a directory that will allow them to easily contact one another.

    “I think this will lead to more collaboration because now that we can put faces with groups, and we’ve met each other, it’ll be easier to reach out,” said Ilia Thomas, president of Black Womyn’s Weekend. “It’s also great to get to know other people.”

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