Multicultural groups to host block party Block Party hopes to expose first year students to resources on campus

Multicultural organizations are teaming up to present a block party on the HUB Lawn September 3rd, an event to welcome first year students and expose them to the various resources available on campus.

At University Park, Penn State’s flagship institution, the makeup of the campus is overwhelmingly white, with white students making up 64% of students enrolled. Because of this, the campus can often feel isolating for students of color, especially first year students.

“Being a student here at Penn State, I see that sometimes there can be a disconnect between minority students and their knowledge of their available resources on campus,” said Raenika Crew, a junior agricultural business management major and one of the organizers of the event. “College can be stressful and being a minority student at this PWI can be a major adjustment as well.”

The Block Party will feature inflatables, food, games, giveaways and music from local DJ Erv Gotti. There will also be student performances from Urban Dance Troupe, Island Fever, the Latino Caucus Dance Team, the Dark Storm Step team, student musician RiZ, with more performances to be an announced.

Interactive Map: Big Ten Racial Diversity

Most importantly though, the event will expose first year students to the various multicultural clubs and organizations around campus.

“We have wonderful organizations that are centered around minority students on this campus and having that personal contact with students will help towards having more student involvement with these organizations,” Crew said. “I want freshmen to see all that Penn State has to offer them and I feel this Block Party was the way to do it.”

Tatiana Brown, a senior kinesiology major and co-organizer of the event also added that she hopes the event will be unifying for multicultural students. “I just want to see us come together and learn together and support each other,” she said.

Organizations involved in the planning of the event include Penn State’s chapter of the NAACP, Black Student Union, Caribbean Students Association, National Society of Black Engineers, Cubaniches, Latino Caucus, Asian Pacific American Caucus, Dominican Students Association, Queer Trans People of Color, Black Caucus, the National Pen-hellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council.

Although this is the first year for the event, Crew hopes that the tradition continues. “The committee has been working very hard to put together this event that we hope will become something that happens every year on this campus,” she said.

The Block Party event is free and open to public on Sunday, September 3rd from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story and its titled called the block party the ‘first ever’ by multicultural groups on campus. The Black Leadership Union (BLU) has hosted block parties on the HUB Lawn in the past. RISE Magazine regrets this error. 

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