Event to celebrate diversity on campus

To bring attention to the diverse campus at Pierce College, the Diversity Committee (PDC), in partnership with the Associated Students Organization, will be hosting Diversity Day in the Great Hall on May 1 from 3 to 5 p.m.

The event is free and open to everyone.

“This event is for everyone because diversity is something that affects faculty, staff and students, and it’s something that should be encouraged in all of those levels,” said Christine Valada, co-chair of the PDC.

The idea to create a day to celebrate diversity at Pierce came from the PDC during the spring of 2012, according to Mitra Hoshiar, committee chair.

“In order to be as inclusive as possible we decided to have one Diversity Day so we could celebrate everyone,” said Hoshiar. “All different backgrounds instead of celebrating just one ethnic day per group.”

The purpose of the event is to bring all of the Pierce Community together and celebrate the differences that make each one of us unique, Hoshiar said.

While people usually assume diversity is just culture, English professor Maria Bates states that diversity also comes in age, sexual orientation, and gender.

“It is a coming together of different people in celebration of different ideas about diversity, not just culture,” Bates said.

Diversity Day is not only a festivity, but also an event that aims to educate students on what diversity really is, and the different meanings it has for individuals.

“Our objective is to showcase diversity at Pierce while educating attendees of the benefits of diversity,” said Hoshiar.

This is the second year the PDC is celebrating this day. Last year it took place in the Rocky Young Park, but this time it will be in the Great Hall.

“We are trying to find a way to celebrate and commemorate this special day in some kind of exciting fashion for the students,” said Bates.

On the day of the event there will be free food, dances, an open mic and tables gathered around the Great Hall, with each one of them representing a unique side of diversity, according to Hoshiar.

“We are going to set up a label table where people can go and take a label that shows [for example] ‘I am a woman,’” said Hoshiar. “We are going to attach the label on ourselves and show how different we are. Everyone is going to have minimum one label.”

The activities will range from cultural performances to open mics, according Bates.

“There is some open mic component to it, but there is also an exercise that is going to be done to demonstrate what the kinds of diversity are,” said Valada.

Different clubs on campus will be doing performances, and are also invited to speak about different subjects involving diversity, said Bates.

“We are getting clubs to perform. They will mostly be doing cultural performances, but we are also inviting them to speak of subjects that they feel could help other people,” said Bates. “We have some people involved who will be speaking about gender, specially sexual orientation.”

This day is about embracing diversity, Valada said.

“It’s going to be an educational day for students,” said Hoshiar. “Hopefully students can take something nice from that session and they can walk away with a different perspective.”