Rowan University’s Office of Social Justice, Inclusion, and Conflict Resolution held a kick-off event and cultural organization fair on Thursday, Sept. 2 for students interested in identity-specific student organizations.
All groups ranging from fraternities to extra-curricular clubs had a table to showcase what their organization was and allowed for students to join. This event was held in conjunction with Rowan’s Welcome Week.
“This year’s Multicultural Organization Fair had to be the best one for me personally,” said Chaqunia Bearfield, Beauty in Distress Club Founder, Love & Luxe Collegiate President, and Black Student Union Founding Secretary, on what this year’s event meant to her.
“It was way more intimate and we had the opportunity to see everyone again after the crazy pandemic. I believe this is going to be a great year for everyone, and we’re excited to add more members into our communities,” Bearfield said.
Like Bearfield, so many minority students across Rowan’s campus had the opportunity to connect and learn about all the opportunities to thrive across the university. Now more than ever, minority students, like those in the LGBTQ+ community, need that sense of community and motivation to feel like they can succeed.
“Especially after being isolated for over a year now, feeling a sense of belonging and knowing that you have others who have been facing similar struggles is so important,” said Ella Emmer, president of the Rowan PRISM club.
“Surviving during a pandemic is hard enough, and there’s an additional layer when you’re LGBTQ+. I’m really looking forward to this year as we rebuild in-person connections that the LGBTQ+ community has so desperately needed,” Emmer continued.
Another club to have made an appearance is the Women of Westby organization, an art activist group devoted to tackling social justice issues and promoting student and alumni art. Just last year, the Women of Westby made incredible progress tackling mental health issues across campus.
“It was a wonderful opportunity to relay our goals and to be able to meet and network with leadership boards of other organizations.” said Candice Wright, a member of Women of Westby.
Besides the booths, students could pick up free swag and food. They also got to see various performances from various fraternities and sororities across the campus. On top of the festivities, Rex the pet therapy dog made an appearance from The Schreiber Family Pet Therapy Program, who gained the attention of students and faculty alike.
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