Cultural Fest evolves to support more organizations

Haljit BasuljevicReporter

Before the semester bade students adieu, an extravaganza of cultural diversity flourished on the academic quad this past Wednesday.

Lines for the free food tents were jam-packed; they began to snake around and obstruct the various clubs and organizations that had tabled alongside the grass. The plentiful, eclectic style of cuisines that the Cultural Fest featured ranged from Latin American to Indian.

Tables were set up and spread for people to mingle and eat their plates. Among the unique features that the fest presented were tables that featured games, calligraphy, water marbling, Jenga and an array of performative dances by both campus and outside acts hosted by SCSU’s own DJ Fire. Students gathered for the dance performances OLAS and Chinese Mulan put on.

“It actually shows how diverse Southern can be,” said Sharniya Little, an undeclared freshman, who added that it was a big question for her in the beginning of the year whether the university was as diverse.

One of the most notable things that happened at the event was President Joe Bertolino hopping into the ice cream van and handing out cones to students who had lined up.

“He’s done that every year…and the students get a kick out of it,” said Coordinator of Multicultural Affairs Dian Albert-Brown.

The Cultural Fest has come a long way. Albert-Brown recalled how the Cultural Fest began as a one-tent festival and has undergone various name changes. With more tents and more creative possibilities of integrating different cultures, the Fest has evolved to live up to its name.

“I feel like Southern does, like, a really good job of making sure all the cultures at the school feel cared for,” said Nina Filippone, a junior and marketing major, whose Intervarsity Christian Fellowship tabled for the first time at the Culture Fest, “and being able to appreciate my own culture, but also those of others. It means so much.”

Albert-Brown also said that bringing in more diverse acts is always a basis in which the Cultural Fest can improve. She said that although she has felt that the festival consists of a good amount of various foods and performance, she would also like hear more feedback on what can be improved for the following years.

Albert-Brown added that a common complaint she has heard is from students who get to campus during the evening. She said that to resolve this in the future, perhaps the Cultural Fest would extend into the
evening or be split into two separate days.

“We try to appeal to every audience and then if we didn’t appeal this year, then next year we try to bring something different,” said Albert-Brown, who added that she encourages any cultural group to bring forth their piece of tradition to the multifarious potluck.

However, she added that she was much pleased by the attendance this year.

“I couldn’t have asked for a better turnout,” said Albert-Brown.

Photo Credit: Izzy Manzo

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