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SMC holds bonfire to celebrate ‘every form’ of diversity

Samantha Grady | Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A bonfire held by the Student Diversity Board (SDB) at Saint Mary’s will celebrate cultural diversity and raise money for victims affected by recent storms in Mexico.

The bonfire will take place Wednesday from 8 to 10 p.m. on the soccer fields. Sophomore Vanessa Troglia, SDB member and event coordinator, said music and food will be key parts of the event,

“Students can expect great music and performances from different clubs and associations around our community,” Troglia said. “There will also be yummy fall treats to munch on by the bonfires and various activities for everyone to participate in. We invite students to come take a study break and enjoy the crisp, fall evening by the fire.”

Senior Carmen Cardenas, SDB president, said the board’s mission is to “unite the Saint Mary’s College community in celebration of the cultural diversity of every woman on campus.”  Junior SDB member Taylor Etzell said she hopes students will bond at the bonfire.  

“The [bonfire] will be a fun event where students can come together to enjoy the talents and experiences of diverse students on our campus and in our community,” Etzell said. “The bonfire highlights that diversity comes from more avenues than just ethnicity; it comes in every form of our human behavior.”

Cardenas said the bonfire will provide fall foods in addition to live entertainment by Troop ND, Bella Acapella, Irish Dance, Saint Mary’s Dance, La Republica and St. Aldaberts Ballet Folklorico. Cultural clubs will also attend the event, including the Chinese club, Korean club, Sisters of Nefertiti, La Fuerza and other organizations.

“What is really amazing this year is that we will have two different performances done by international students,” she said. “Yaqi Song will be playing live traditional Chinese background music and Liangiun Wang will be dancing to music.”

A unique addition to this year’s event is a humanitarian relief fund for the people affected by the recent storms in Mexico, Hurricanes Ingrid and Manuel. Troglia said there will be a raffle and a donations table for this year’s Mexico fund.

“Recently deadly floods have devastated a large population in Mexico. With the help of our community, we can raise awareness for this cause and give aid and resources to some affected victims,” she said. “We feel that it is important to help people within our community as well as others around the world. After all, that’s what the celebration of diversity is about.”

SDB hopes to raise awareness of the plights of the Mexican victims of recent natural disasters, and to mobilize support on campus, Cardenas said.   

 
  “The devastation caused by the storms in Mexico has left the region of Tierra Caliente, inSsouthern Mexico, in a deep humanitarian crisis,” Cardenas said. “People from Altamirano City and Coyuca de Catalan have lost everything due to the floods. Their entire communities are now gone. Some of the victims have been left without communication, food, or water.

“Urban areas have received government relief, however, Tierra Caliente, a marginalized region plagued with extreme poverty, has not received any aid from local, state or federal authorities. “

SDB is working with local community members at this year’sBbonfire to join forces and help those who have been impactedd Cardenas said. The donation table will be collecting money to buy items such as bottled water, canned foods, rice, crackers, soap, shampoo, baby formula, baby bottle, and diapers.

“No amount is too small,” Cardenas said. “Donations will help provide the most basic needs.”  For more information on the relief fund sponsored at this event, visit https://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/cz33/tierra-caliente-emergency-relief-fun.

Contact Samantha Grady at sgrady01@saintmarys.edu