GVSU hosts intercultural student reception
Thursday afternoon, the Grand River Room in Kirkoff came to life with hip-hop and R&B being mixed by a disc jockey at the front of the room. Caring faculty and staff from all over campus lined the tables around the outside of the room, eager to help students know that they are supported.
“From student organizations to faculty this is such a great opportunity to connect with a combination of different individuals” said Bobby Jo Springer with the Office of Multicultural Affairs.
“The more we know, the better we feel, this is especially important for freshmen who may not have made many connections yet,” Springer, who also helped plan the event, commented.
Students were certainly making connections all over the room as they spoke with each table, receiving a stamp on their stamp cards after each talk. These stamp cards offered students a chance to win prizes throughout the reception. Not only did the reception raffle off prizes, they also provided catering with delicious food for all to enjoy.
The event was not just about the food and prizes, many faculty members commented on how important the event was to them.
“Outreach and connecting with students of color here is important to me, to let them know they are supported on their college journey,” said Martha M., an intern with the GVSU student research scholarships program.
“It is my goal to interact with all students and get the word out about how many ways students can get involved at the rec center on campus,” said Bob Gildersleeve of Campus Recreation.
Last year, over 5,000 students were involved in campus recreation programs, including fitness classes, intramural sports and more, and most of the 5,000 involved were involved in more than one activity, according to Gildersleeve.
This year they are hoping to increase that number.
The Speak up Against Bias program was also present at the event to spread awareness.
“We want students to know that we care” said Takeelia Garrett-Lynn Assistant Director of Housing and Resident Life and member of the Speak up Against Bias program. The program members also passed out stickers for students with their logo on them.
Kirkhof College of Nursing Senior Academic Advisor Cassonya Carter showed a deeper level of pride than most. As the director and founder of the Voices at GVSU Gospel Choir, Carter plays a few roles here on campus.
“It’s wonderful to see such a diverse population, every nationality come together as one this early on in the semester,” she said of the reception.
As a 25-year faculty member at GVSU, Carter also sees the importance of connections.
“It’s nice to see staff members taking the time out to show our other hats so that students can see us in a whole new light,” she said.