Multicultural Resource Center summer 2019
The Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) hosted a number of large-scale events to serve the campus community this quarter, including:
- International Festival: The MRC co-sponsored iFest alongside the Student Association’s vice president of multicultural affairs (VPMA), on April 6, during an Admitted Student Open House. The outdoor festival was comprised of tabling by numerous cultural organizations, inflatables, a car smash, PGS Fitness Challenge and new Curl Fest.
- Culture and Food Series: Culture at Chenango: With the continued success and effective partnership with Binghamton University Dining Services (BUDS), the MRC continued the Culture and Food Series for the campus community during the spring semester. The final Culture at Chenango event for the semester — the West African edition — was held on April 9, and was co-sponsored by the DEI and the African Student Organization.
- Disability is Diversity: The second annual Disability is Diversity event, planned by resident assistants and sponsored by Residential Life, the Student Association VPMA, the MRC and Services for Students with Disabilities took place on April 10 in Old Union Hall. Disability is Diversity, an interactive experience, was established to advance the conversation about disabilities and also center on the importance of supporting students with disabilities at Binghamton University.
- Diversity is Strength: Binghamton’s Microaggressions Project: The MRC co-sponsored the re-launch of the Diversity is Strength Microaggressions Event, held in conjunction with the Binghamton Association for Mixed Students on April 25, in the Mandela Room. The event was a visual display of microaggressions on campus, with students from various cultural organizations asked to present personal microaggressions through large printed photos that were displayed on easels. In addition to the gallery, the program featured a panel discussion on the effects of microaggressions by various members of student organizations and University departments including MRC and Q Center staff.
- Cultural Recognition Ceremony: The second annual Cultural Recognition Ceremony was held Thursday, May 16, in Watters Theater, as a culminating experience to celebrate our graduating cultural student leaders. The cultural community celebrated the commitment, dedication and tireless efforts of students of color, especially the contributions of our student leaders during their tenure at Binghamton University. The theme of the ceremony was Shattering the Ceiling: Achieving Beyond Expectations and the purpose was to recognize, honor and celebrate the holistic success and impact of graduating students in the multicultural community. This year’s keynote speakers included Angela Riley, executive director of experiential education and assistant dean of Binghamton’s School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, and alumnus Rasheed Bility ’ll. Additionally, the event featured performances from several campus staff and the Confucius Institute of Chinese Opera as well as a new award to recognize faculty/staff for their commitment to diversity.
Our highest honor, the Multicultural Phenom award, was presented to Sarah Samson, an upcoming Clifford D. Clark Fellow who made considerable contributions to the cultural community as an assistant to the VPMA in the Student Association, also serving as the president of SHADES, vice president of Delta Phi Omega Sorority, Inc., as an intern in the Multicultural Resource Center and as a JFEW Scholar to name a few of her accomplishments. In total, 115 students, both undergraduate and graduate, were awarded certificates of achievement and cords to be worn during their Commencements at the ceremony. In addition, a total of seven different awards were awarded to nine graduating students and three faculty and staff for their outstanding achievements in STEM, the arts and academics; for providing significant support to enhancing diversity and inclusion on campus; for mentoring and adding value to their peers; and/or for working to establish initiatives that will make a lasting impact at Binghamton University.
MRC Student Programming Board
To increase awareness of the MRC to students who need our services or are feeling isolated on campus, MRC launched an internal programming series planned by its student managers. Because the conclusion of a semester can be a very stressful period for students, the board was charged with planning fun, engaging and stress-relieving events to help students de-stress. The MRC student managers hosted six events:
- Binghamton World of Dance - Held on April 8, this event was the first of its kind on campus and featured a potluck-styled dance workshop where members of several cultural dance teams — Quimbamba, Binghamton Ballroom Dance, Hula Hoop Team, Black Dance Repertoire and BU Breakers — brought short routines to teach to the members of the other dances teams as well as general students in attendance. It was a wonderful opportunity for the teams to build relationships and learn new styles of dance while helping other students explore the art of dance.
- Earth Day 2019 - This event, held April 22, focused on the celebration of Earth Day and saw students enjoy decorating their own flower pots, planting bamboo and learning about their carbon footprint.
- You are Magical - In collaboration with the Q Center, the MRC held a unicorn-themed day of de-stress events on April 29, for students to get creative and focus on a little self-appreciation as they sought to unwind before the last week of classes.
- Open Heart, Open Mic - This open mic program on April 30 allowed students to present their talents and de-stress at the end of the semester.
- Destress Fest Mini Series - This program featured two events, held May 3 and May 6, which focused on final exam preparation, coloring and origami making as a means of getting ready for finals.
MRC grants and collaborations
MRC provided 12 grant and collaboration opportunities to cultural student organizations and campus departments for a total of $3,900 during the April to June 2019 quarter.
MRC Translation and Interpretation Program (TIP)
In this quarter, MRC TIP student, faculty and staff volunteer translators were able to assist in a total of 10 translations and one interpretation.
MRC department operations
While the MRC is still operating with minimal coverage, in April it welcomed Hannah Ward as the new office manager. She will assist with general secretarial tasks for the center along with oversight of the front-desk operations and supervision of the MRC student managers.