The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Multicultural retreat planned

The Department of Multicultural Student Affairs is gearing up for its first collaborative overnight retreat on Sept. 8-9.

The three divisions of the department — the Association of Black Students, Asian Council and the College Hispanic American Students — have teamed up to provide an overview of multicultural options at SMU that first-year students may not be aware of.

According to Shawheen Molavi, the Asian Council chair, the retreat has three objectives.

“The first is exposing students to the organizations of the school,” he said. Molavi also said organizers want students to meet new people and gain experience with teamwork.

Molavi is working with Yurita Vargas, president of CHAS, and Lee Hinga, president of ABS, to plan the event and organize registration.

Newly appointed coordinators for African-American and Asian Student Services Keana Hardy and Nessa Duque are pitching in with veteran coordinator Fernando Salazar to help out the students.

“We make sure they’re on point and have the gear that they need to,” said Salazar.

Though the retreat is primarily for first-years, planners say they’re looking to upperclassmen for leadership.

“We want to use upperclassmen as planners and facilitators,” said Vargas.

And there’ll be no shortage of tasks for planners.

The retreat, which begins at 4 p.m., will start off with a cookout to let everyone get to know each other and the DMSA faculty.

After that, students head inside to the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports to take part in the “umbrella rotunda.”

“Each first-year will get the opportunity to visit all of our organizations,” said Vargas. The DMSA wants everyone to have an open mind, she said, and understand that “You don’t have to be Hispanic to be in CHAS.”

ABS, AC and CHAS will all do their own programming for the umbrella rotunda, but after that everyone will divide into groups — the goal is 14 groups of 10 or 11 each — and each group will participate in “Olympic” games that “range from the physical to the non-physical,” according to Vargas.

Hinga said the executive board has been planning since July for the retreat, but the concept of a unified activity has been prominent since last semester.

“Each group in the department used to have its own separate retreat,” said Salazar.

The groups also used to host separate Galas at the end of every school year, but they combined all of them into one DMSA Gala four years ago. That’s where they got the idea to have just one retreat, he said.

According to Salazar, “The past year’s exec board said that we want to come together as a community.”

Students interested in signing up for the retreat can drop by the DMSA office and pick up an application. The retreat has a $5 t-shirt fee and registration ends Friday.

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