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Student Diversity Board gives students ‘multi-cultural education’

Alicia Smith | Thursday, December 10, 2009

 Saint Mary’s Student Diversity Board (SDB) has been working hard to educate students about cultural diversity. 

Carissa Salvador, SDB president, said the group was created “to unite the Saint Mary’s College community in celebration of the cultural diversity of every woman on campus, to help foster the Saint Mary’s community by developing awareness, to provide support for students of various socio-economic backgrounds, sexual orientations, faiths, ethnicities and unique abilities, while increasing their enrollment and graduation rate from Saint Mary’s College [and] to provide an open forum for discussion regarding issues of diversity.”

During the fall semester, SDB has hosted a bonfire as their kick-off event. 

“The entertainment provided allows us to showcase cultures in a variety of ways,” Salvador said.

Other events SDB has offered include the SDB Hunger Banquet, an event that gives students a better understanding of poverty in the United States and throughout the world.  Students had the chance to donate a meal to the United Nations World Food program in Zimbabwe. Salvador said that 141 meal swipes were donated to the cause. 

Currently, SDB is planning the Multicultural Dessert Night. The night includes a variety of different desserts from different countries. 

SDB also plans to host the Disabilities Awareness Week and Women’s Appreciation Week in February.

Their largest event, the Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC) will be held March 17 to 19. The conference gives students the opportunity to learn about diversity. The conference offers a variety of speakers to educate each participant’s perspective of adversity. 

SDB is composed of about 40 board members who  represent different divisions of the program.

Salvador said that there are representatives for students with disabilities, campus ministry, international students, women’s issues, journalistic relations and from the multicultural clubs at Saint Mary’s College including Sisters of Nefertiti, Al Zahra, La Fuerza and Straight and Gay Alliance. There is also a faculty and student representative, as well as an entire committee, which focuses on the Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference.

SDB works to help students have a better understanding of the differences throughout the College community. 

“[The organization] provides SMC with a well-rounded education and provides a forum for all students from all walks of life to come together and promote the diversity within us all,” Salvador said.