Grand Valley State University’s annual Campus Life Night 2.0 (CLN) showcased the diverse passions of hundreds of GVSU students Friday, Jan. 13. Veteran students from organizations representing a wide variety of interests sought to recruit new members, who were looking for a new outlet to explore extracurricular activities and hobbies.
Lining the halls of the Kirkhof Center, members from 221 student organizations attempted to inspire passersby with their unique causes. Over the roar of conversation, brief introductions and flyers circulated Crave, the Grand River Room and the Pere Marquette Room.
Throughout the building, vibrant music bounced off the walls from WCKS Whale Radio. Meanwhile, performances by the K-pop Group Evolution, Irish Dance Club and Rhythm In Blue supplied upbeat entertainment. All the while, students wandered the floors in search of a place to belong.
Many student organizations at CLN tried to promote a sense of inclusion.
“We’re working to spread our beliefs and bring unity throughout Grand Valley,” said Sean Fitzgerald, a member of the University Christian Outreach. “Campus Life Night 2.0 allows us to see more people this time through. We’re really just getting our message out there and recruiting new members.”
Meanwhile, Out ‘N’ About, an LGBTQIA cultural organization present at CLN, focuses on creating a safe place within the GVSU community for its represented students.
“We host and promote social gatherings, such as the drag show, to help get our club out there,” said Rachel Schmidt, the social and public relations officer of the organization.
As for cultural diversity, various organizations discussed the conflicts among their social groups.
“Basically, we are trying to distinguish social racism among the Asian culture around campus and across America,” said Phuc Nguyen, treasurer of the Asian Student Union. “The reason we have so many members is because of Campus Life Night.”
In a similar way, the Native American Student Association (NASA) presented their perspective on culture.
“Our focus is to support Native American students and teach our culture, since not many are aware of us,” said Samantha Gann, president of the NASA.
Racial and gender barriers also caused the formation of a myriad of groups. The Black Student Union (BSU), for example, focuses on supporting minorities while its members attend a predominantly Caucasian institution.
“We have a central area where we gather, discuss what we have in common, share experiences and things of that nature,” said E’lexis Dudley, public relations chair of the BSU.
The Professional Organization for Women Entering Reality (POWER) focuses on a similar concept.
“Our organization focuses on bringing awareness to gender inequality among women, as well as minority inequality in a professional setting,” said De’Chelle Richards, president and founder of POWER. “(CLN) has significantly enhanced our organization. It’s a tool we’ve used to network.”