Despite the drizzle, music blared, the crowd was abuzz and students were eating all the free hot dogs they could get at Spartan Remix 2011 — a welcome event to celebrate the diversity of the MSU student body.
The event was held at the field behind the rock on Farm Lane Thursday afternoon — the first time the event has been held outside.
“(Spartan Remix) is mainly for educating others about the different communities that make up MSU,” said kinesiology senior and Spartan Remix intern Eva Martinez. “The goal this year is to develop unity and break barriers while having fun.”
Spartan Remix has been hosted in the Union for the past three years, but the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students and the Council of Progressive Students decided to change the location in response to its growing popularity.
The event’s Facebook page receiving more than 1,500 hits and businesses already requesting to be sponsors for next year, Martinez said.
The tone of acceptance and unity at the event led dietetics senior Emily Guilford, a mentor in McDonel Hall, to make it a hall event. Her favorite part was the cultural dancing, she said.
“It’s pretty fun, energized (and) exciting,” Guilford said. “Everyone’s wanting to know each other and join an organization.”
The value and atmosphere of inclusion is one MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon, who spoke at the event, said is a major part of what defines the university.
“We are a very diverse community, and we need many opportunities to come together in order to understand one another and build that sense of team,” Simon said. “Even though some (students from different backgrounds) are under the same tent, their views might be very different, and it’s great for us to learn from that.”
With the divisive nature of the current political climate, Campus Interfaith Council representative Robert Vankirk said it’s critical for students of varying backgrounds to forge connections.
Vankirk said discrimination and racism can be minimized through greater education and discussion.
“It’s important to have all the multicultural organizations here in one spot, talking with each other, working with each other, because all of our issues are interwoven,” he said. “Discrimination is based out of fear and ignorance so all of our organizations are here to combat those issues.”
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