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SHADES brings diversity on Multicultural Mondays
September has officially marked the beginning of a new school year, with fresh faces and a new environment.
This new beginning brings the necessity to get involved in student organizations and to adapt to a cross section and a variety of people on campus.
Students Helping and Advocating Diversity Education, or SHADES, is a committee based out of the Division of Student Affairs to create, initiate, and assist the university community in teaching about diversity and its related issues.
“SHADES was originated to be two-fold,” said Jonathan Kroll, a 2003 Quinnipiac graduate currently attending the College Student Personnel program at Miami University in Ohio.
“On one hand, it is very much like a multicultural roundtable. Leaders and members of the cultural, religious or socially responsible organizations can sit and discuss their issues in order to gain more support and break down the barriers,” he continued.
“On the other hand,” Kroll said. “It functions as a committee to program and sponsor events related to “diversity issues” on a broad scale.”
As a senior, Kroll’s goal for SHADES was to make sure that a solid foundation was set forth for this year.
“I wanted to create an atmosphere where the under-represented groups were able to share and voice their concerns in a format that would lead to productivity,” said Kroll.
Both Cheryl Barnard, associate dean of Student Affairs, and Kerstin Soderlund, director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development, advise SHADES.
While it has been in existence for about four years, Kroll’s initiative assisted the organization.
“Everyone at Quinnipiac tends to say that the school is not diverse,” said Soderlund. “But, it depends how you define it.”
“There is a lot of diversity and everyone involved in this group wants a chance to share it,” she continued.
Multicultural Mondays were set up to highlight each of the represented organizations and to ensure positive programming for each of those groups.
Deborah Floch, president of Hillel, said that they want to give all students, staff and faculty a taste of the diversity that Quinnipiac has to offer.
“Our goal for SHADES is to spread diversity awareness and appreciation, and also to get more people involved,” said Floch. “Our goal for Hillel is to spread interest, and also to make more people aware of diversity on campus.”
“Faces of America,” the first event planned will take place on Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. in Alumni Hall.
It is an original one-person show developed from workshops and interviews conducted by Colin Cox and Fran de Leon.
The show has been described as the first truly multicultural portrayal of Americans ever created.
Other scheduled events are the kick-off with The Global Rhythm Tour on Sept. 15 and Journey to a Hate Free Millennium on Sept. 22.
The Global Rhythm Tour is an interactive event that brings a spirit of community through the roar and rhythm of hundreds of beating drums.
The multi-award winning film, Journey to a Hate Free Millennium, features the murder of Matthew Shepard in Wyoming, the dragging death of James Bryd, Jr. in Texas and the shootings by high school students in Colorado.
Some cultural groups involved in SHADES include Hillel, G.L.A.S.S., A.P.S.A., Branches and the Hellenic Society.