Celebrating diversity at West

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Celebrating diversity at West

Students listen as the leaders from MSA, GLO, Asian Club and BSA discuss the importance of diversity.

Students listen as the leaders from MSA, GLO, Asian Club and BSA discuss the importance of diversity.

Students listen as the leaders from MSA, GLO, Asian Club and BSA discuss the importance of diversity.

Students listen as the leaders from MSA, GLO, Asian Club and BSA discuss the importance of diversity.

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On Thursday October 3rd, MSA (Muslim Students Association), BSA (Black Students Association), GLO (Glenbard Latinos Organization) and Asian Club held a Social Awareness meeting in the cafeteria to discuss each other’s backgrounds as well as their experiences at West. This joint meeting comes a year after MSA and BSA collaborated last year for a similar event that allowed for students to share their experiences with one another. 

The meeting began with an icebreaker, and was followed by a series of questions that students discussed among themselves in small groups before volunteering to share out their responses. Many of the questions related to students’ experiences at West as well as discussions about each other’s culture. Some students even shared out with the rest of their peers and expressed what their club/organization meant to them and now it fostered a sense of community. 

When asked what inspired this event, Mariyah AbdurRahman, co-president of MSA explained, “Last year, MSA contacted BSA for a meeting similar to this, and it went amazingly. This year we decided to expand our scope and include more minorities which is why we asked GLO and Asian Club if they would like to participate.” 

Yousuf Khan, fellow co-president of MSA mentioned that they “wanted to give students the opportunity to express their identities and learn more about the identities of others.” He also mentioned that students “loved the meeting.” Many mentioned that they felt it fostered a sense of community. Also, many members mentioned that they were comforted to hear that other students faced the same struggles and were happy that they formed bonds so they could support each other. This joint event clearly allowed students from various cultures, ethnicities and religions to interact and get to know more about one another.

When asked how this event will hopefully impact students in the future, Asian Club President, Grace Kando mentioned that she hopes “[the students] are inspired to create change.” She also explained how Asian Club itself discusses “how a lot of stereotypes [don’t] fully represent [students] and their culture.” This joint meeting allowed for this topic to be discussed with a variety of students from different backgrounds.

Ultimately, this joint event gave students a chance to voice their opinions and share their experiences at West and connect with one another. It certainly provided students with a community that allows them to share their stories with their peers. At the moment, there is no set future meeting date, but students should certainly be on the lookout for future information!