The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE Diversity Expo takes students to South America, Africa

By Shameaka Jones/reporter

SE Campus students saw different aspects of cultural awareness, history and change at a Diversity Expo Oct. 18.

Student organizations, clubs and individuals representing different nations and cultures had booths in the Commons area, displaying pictures, historical information, clothing, food and other cultural memorabilia at the event coordinated by student activities.

A group of Polynesian dancers seemed to make one of the biggest impacts.

“I felt like I was transported to a Polynesian island,” student development assistant Amy Staley said after watching the performance.

Students also enjoyed the event.

“This is my first time seeing this,” said Nigerian student Quincy Ukhuakhua. “I have not joined a club yet, but I like being able to see different cultures, people and their beliefs.”

SE student development coordinator Frankie Ward was impressed with the variety.

“There is a lot here to be learned culturewise that people don’t know about,” Ward said.

The Latino Student Organization displayed musical instruments from various Spanish-speaking countries, including the cajon, an Afro-Peruvian drum made from a wooden box, and the charango, a miniature guitar made from an armadillo back.

“It [the charango] emulates the chords of the guitar,” said Ivan Miño, assistant professor of Spanish. “In the 1970s, it became a political instrument. It was not allowed to be played in Chile after the takeover by [President Augusto] Pinochet, who killed and tortured students.”

Food, provided by Orchard City Café, consisted of country-themed appetizers such as meatballs, pizza rolls, marinara sauce, egg rolls, nachos, beef taquitos and chips with salsa.

The diversity did not dwell only on geography.

“Our focus is on educating people on the different learning disabilities,” said Ada Bartley, a member of the Learning Differently Club. “A learning disability is something you have to learn to use to your advantage. I don’t want people to use them for a reason why they do not succeed.”

The SE NAACP also had a display at the Expo.

“We are here to offer alternatives to stereotypical negative imagery of African-Americans and to combat negative images of black women,“ said chapter president Marcus Smith.

Still, most of the Expo had an international flavor.

Kasanga Nguza, a student from the Democratic Republic of Congo, gave a presentation about his African royal lineage.

“Coming to America has taught me a whole bunch,” Nguza said. “In the perspective of me standing here, I am fighting the negative thought processes that are said about my country. When I was in Africa, I wanted to go to America, but now I see the same rain from there waters my backyard here.

“Hopefully, I can change some minds, not just about the Congo but the whole African continent. I showed a side of my people that probably was never seen.”

Tri Dang, treasurer of the African Culture Club, was pleased to share his club with the campus.

“It’s wonderful we got a chance to make others aware of our club as well as to see the variety of clubs on campus,” Dang said.

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