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After 11th annual Spartan Remix, event organizers spotlight campus diversity

September 12, 2018

While MSU students could consider Sparticipation to be the largest fall welcome activity on campus, a fusion of art, music and culture for a night is Spartan Remix's claim to fame. 

The 11th iteration of the cultural festival took place near Spartan Stadium on Sept. 6. Each remix is put together by the MSU Office of Cultural and Academic Transitions, or OCAT. Their goal is bring together over 100 student organizations to help foster unity and bring cultural awareness to students.   

“I think it is one of the only events on campus that really works bringing together diverse communities," OCAT coordinator Meaghan Kozar said. 

Kozar has helped organize Spartan Remix for eight years. To her, it's a one-of-a-kind event.

"We have a lot of events that are racial, ethnic or identity-based specific," Kozar said. "So this event is really bringing in these communities to work together."

A total of 76.1 percent of MSU's students are white, according to MSU's 2016-17 report on diversity and inclusion. Spartan Remix aims to help marginalized students feel a sense of inclusion at a predominantly white university like MSU, Kozar said.

“It’s also a space for students from marginalized communities to just feel empowerment ... It’s important to bring communities together," Kozar said. "And also for students within those communities to feel pride, to feel empowered and to feel included, especially at a predominantly white institution where they can be made invisible or easily be overlooked."

Student event coordinator and MSU junior Marisa Elzy said events like Spartan Remix are important to embrace diversity on campus.

“I think it’s important to have events like this on campus so other people can get a feel for the other people and the other communities that are present here," Elzy said. "so that people get a more diverse view of the world around them."

Elzy also talked about the event's 2018 theme, "I Am Greater Than."

“The significance of this is just to highlight that we are greater than any obstacle that’s set against us," Elzy said. "Anything like statistics or stereotypes, or negative views commonly associated with a lot of the identities that we have, and taking that and putting in a place of empowerment."    

Multiple student organizations from both the Council of Racial and Ethnic Students, or CORES, and the Council of Progressive Students, or COPS, are featured at Spartan Remix.

That's why international relations freshman Torye Anderson decided to attend the event.

“It’s such a diverse campus and we all really need to be aware of the different diversities on our campus,” Anderson said. 

MSU student Champayne Hicks, who was at the festival as part of MSU's Urban Dreams Dance team, talked about how she thinks Spartan Remix unites students on a larger scale. 

“This is where all the students come together as family," Hicks said. "It brings the whole MSU family together."

Hicks' words were echoed by mechanical engineering senior Katie Frayer, who  represents the MSU Adaptive Sports Club and Council of Students with Disabilities.

“The cool thing about Spartan Remix is that it’s really focused on different people’s identities," Frayer said. “We’re all Spartans. We’re all different, we’re all diverse, but we’re all Spartans."

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