SHADES: a semester in review

By on January 29, 2004

Based on former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy’s words, “If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity,” SHADES is a program that hopes to make such a difference.

The committee, based out of the Division of Student Affairs, is designed to “create, initiate and assist the Quinnipiac University community in teaching about diversity and its related issues,” according to the organization’s mission statement.

Last semester, SHADES, or Students Helping and Advocating Diversity Education, sponsored 12 events opened to the campus community including activities that included drumming, speakers, films, dances and food festivals. The culmination of such was a fashion show on Dec. 8 in Alumni Hall.

The events, which ran every Monday, were geared, and continue to be geared to the greater student body on campus. The fashion show saw the biggest turnout so far with a 100-plus people turning out.

Sheila Vaswani, a “specialist in Global Studies,” was responsible for all clothing used. She is a past recipient of both the Friend of Family and Consumer Science and the Friend of Foreign Language Awards.

In addition, Vaswani has been selected four times for Who’s Who in America’s Teachers. She is also a diplomat of the New York State Academy of Teaching and Learning and received an award from the Chief Executive of Suffolk County for “Outstanding Contributions to Human Relations.”

All 25 models involved in the fashion show, 10 of which were males, were Quinnipiac students whose main goal was to make the event even more student-centered.

The event was “open participation” and “asked everyone who was able to showcase clothes and culture to do so,” said Drew Chin, public relations and SHADES coordinator.

While the fashion show was “a semester in the making, every other event was planned at the start of the semester,” Chin said.

Chin also said that each event varied in turnout but the global drumming event called “Global Rhythm Tour” drew the largest turnout.

“Everyone can learn the language of the drum,” Chin said.

His favorite event was the fashion show simply because the vent showcased “the hard work put into the semester.”

The total number of students that are involved in SHADES is estimated to be 25, but the organization is always looking for more participation. More people means more ideas, and different styles.

SHADES is very thankful to Kerstin Soderlund, director of the Student Center and Student Leadership Development for her strong support of the organization.

Mike Radparvar, a junior marketing major, described SHADES as “the United Nations of Quinnipiac” since the organization is open to everyone and anyone, and there is always a demand for the diversity to intensify.


About Jamie DeLoma