This semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) held the second annual Diversity Fair. Multiple student organizations and campus offices gathered on Bush Lawn to celebrate the diversity of the Rollins community.
The student organizations present included the Caribbean Student Association, the Republican Club, Rollins Catholic Campus Ministry, and Spectrum, Rollins’ LGBTQ+ organization. Campus offices in attendance included the Office of Accessibility Services, the Office of International Student & Scholar Services, and the Lucy Cross Center.
This wide representation of diversity at Rollins was exactly what SGA had in mind when they organized this event.
Huda Awan ‘18, SGA diversity & inclusion chair, stated that the mission of the diversity fair was “to recognize and celebrate all types of diversity on our campus, be it racially, spiritually, culturally, sexually, ability, or politically based.”
Awan expressed how SGA wanted to combat the view that Rollins is not a very diverse campus by showcasing all the work that students and faculty have done to cultivate an inclusive community both on campus and in the local community.
Also, Awan stated that the fair was intended to be an opportunity for students to connect with offices and student organizations that they can identify with.
Awan further explained how SGA organized the event to achieve these goals. In order to have an adequately diverse presence, SGA had to be inclusive and wide-reaching in its recruitment methods.
Awan stated, “We reached out to the entire campus via e-mail for tabling. All organizations were welcome and encouraged to participate. The organizations that responded demonstrated their ties to diversity and mission for social justice.”
SGA also had to ensure that each organization had equitable means to present a table and engage students at the fair. To these ends, Awan explained that “SGA provided funds for each organization so that they could have games, activities, or information to share with the campus community.”
Organizations took advantage of these funds in order to maximize their opportunities to demonstrate the contributions that they make towards campus diversity.
Many tables offered snacks and games, and each organization had an informational poster board outlining what their organization offers and the work that it has done toward promoting diversity.
For instance, the Caribbean Student Association had students name a Caribbean country and its capital city in order to win a donut.
In addition, Spectrum offered students the ability to leave a message for the LGBTQ+ community or to reflect on how they would react if a loved one came out as LGBTQ+.