Intercultural Student Reception promotes connections for freshmen

Kate Branum

AUTHOR: Kate Branum

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Heading off to college can be quite overwhelming for many students and a little support goes a long way.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs at Grand Valley State University recognizes the importance of making sure students have the necessary connections to be successful at college and aims to make it a bit easier for incoming freshmen through the annual Intercultural Student Reception.

The event will be held Friday, Aug. 26 from 4 p.m. until 6 p.m. in the Grand River Room in the Kirkhof Center on the Allendale campus.

Bobby Springer, associate director for the OMA and the coordinator of the reception, says the OMA reaches out to the cultural student programs on campus and encourages their participation during the event.

“We really want to get students of color involved because for them, being the minority, we want them to connect with the program where they can see their reflection and they can talk to other people of color right away in the semester so they can build connections and support mechanisms to be successful on campus,” said Springer.

During the reception, a multitude of student organizations will have tables set up around the room to provide interested participants with information and an opportunity to get to know faculty and students in each department.

There will be free food and refreshments as well as a live DJ to create a relaxed, casual environment through catchy beats.

In addition to making connections, students will have a chance to enter a raffle to win t-shirts, sweatshirts and caps donated by the GVSU bookstore and meal cards donated from the catering department at GVSU. =

In order to enter the raffle, each participant will receive a “passport”, which is a card that must be punched by at least 10 student organizations that they stopped to check out. This way, students get the full experience of the event.

About half way through the event, students and faculty are called together and encouraged to partake in a dance contest. The winner of the contest has a chance to take home a big prize such as a Kindle Reader and Beats headphones.

“This event is significant because it gives an opportunity for students of color to meet each other in a relaxed, friendly and energetic environment,” said Kristie Scanlon, assistant director and student success coach for OMA. “In addition, students learn about the many departments and resources that are here on campus to support them.”

“We want individuals who are involved with diversity and inclusion to be a part of this program,” said Springer.

“We want students of color to connect with other students of color to know that they have support. They may go to a class where they are the only person of color in the room but then when they come to this event and see a number of students of color, it reminds them that thy are not by themselves, that there are other students and departments on campus that are very supportive to their success at Grand Valley.”