On Wed., Feb. 15, the Residence Hall Association hosted its debut Cultural Extravaganza from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Stark Commons to commemorate Black History month while sharing and celebrating black and African culture.
Cultural Extravaganza is a new series of events, courtesy of RHA, that aims to educate students on various cultures through art, food, games and entertainment.
According to RHA National Communications Coordinator Sandra Diaz, this series is RHA’s way of adding cultural and educational elements to their social events: “We wanted to do something to let it be known that we care about our residents and their culture, and that we are representative of and value diversity. We just wanted to bring people together.”
The event included traditional African foods, flags from various African countries, and
language cards featuring basic phrases from six of Africa’s most commonly spoken languages: Yoruba, Oromo, Amharic, Hausa, Swahili and Igbo.
The African Student Organization kicked off the evening’s entertainment with a dance performance. RHA Vice President Katheryn Besadesky said: “[ASO’s] demonstration on culture and dance really opened up the floor for people to talk about their cultures and their experiences.”
“We wanted to do something to let it be known that we care about our residents and their culture, and that we are representative of and value diversity. We just wanted to bring people together.”
In support of RHA’s educational goals, students participated in trivia geared towards African American history. “People were really engaged, and I thought that was really cool,” said Besadesky. The event concluded with the showing “Dreamgirls,” a film that takes place in the Civil Rights era.
“I feel like, as RHA, we need to be here to represent [the residents], their cultures, their diversity, their different languages. I feel like it’s very important for that to be celebrated,” said Diaz. “I also feel like its very important to hit those topics that are not so easy to talk about, and to let it be known to our residents that… we’re here for them.”
According to Diaz, RHA has enjoyed a great deal of support from administrators and students alike. “It’s very good to see the administration here supporting what we’re doing,” Diaz said.
Students can look forward to several more culture-conscious events hosted by RHA this semester, including two more Cultural Extravaganzas in March and April and a “Cards Against Microaggressions” round table discussion. Keep an eye out for upcoming event information on the TWU calendar of events.