By Maddie Gee | Reporter
Once the student community at Baylor gets seperated by race, the once large unified community becomes a diverse map of much smaller communities. There are organizations on campus that work to express the needs of other diverse communities on campus to everyone, like National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
While they all have the goal of making Baylor more diverse, Houston senior Vivian Young said there can be separation between these communities.. That is why Baylor Multicultural Affairs started “Fusion Fridays.”
“Fusion Fridays” are when two multicultural organizations on campus come together to make one united event to demonstrate that while each organization may be different, they are also similar in ways many may not have known before.
San Antonio junior Daniel Medina of Hispanic Student Association (HSA) has known about “Fusion Friday” for some time.
“It has been in the process since last year, and I believe that it is a very good congregation between two organizations and cultures coming together both their similarities and differences — meeting different types of people — I feel like that is what a true community is,” Medina said.
Medina feels that “Fusion Friday” is an perfect example of the true Baylor campus.
“I feel like it is just a small example of what Baylor is. Baylor is just a mixture of different cultures. So this event is just a small part of Baylor. Two cultures coming together, having fun, eating food, and just enjoying each others company,” Medina said.
Due to their size, Medina said HSA really wanted to work with Asian Student Association (ASA).
“We have been working with other student associations, but we really wanted to get closer with ASA because they are one of the larger multicultural groups. So we thought we should work with them at first and then work with other groups as well … we did have events with other organizations — like with Black Student Union we had the ‘Empower’ event and then a ‘Neighbor Night’ next week with the Filipino Student Association” Medina said.
Young of ASA has also been working to collaborate with HSA.
“We have always wanted to do a lot of cross-cultural collaborative events in ASA … because me and the new president [of HSA] Gabriela [Fierro] were both so passionate about it we were able to get it done. I think with HSA we were definitely excited about collaborating with them just because they are always just so passionate about their own culture and about wanting to carry out the goals of multicultural affairs. So we both shared those ideals,” Young said.
Consisting of food, games and a discussion about each other’s cultures, the event worked to bring together two organizations through fun and discussion.
The event also was part of a process to make Baylor a more accepting and understanding place for all races and cultures according to Young and Medina.
“At the end of the day it is a learning experience and everyone can learn from each other. I think the thing is that people do not realize that they are isolating themselves. I think that it is human nature to want to be with your own people, but it is something that you need to do to learn more and to really broaden your perspectives,” Young said.
By becoming aware of each others perspectives and struggles, Young said we can work to become more understanding and caring of one another.
“Every different group has different struggles that they are going through that you might not be aware of, but by being aware we can maybe all work together, make a change and just connect with each other more personally and learn from each other. No matter what the group, you should make an effort to branch out and learn about other cultures. Even if you may feel intimidated, at the end of the day we are all people and we all have different things to offer and that is something that you should make an effort to know and learn about,” Young said.