Cultural clubs are for everyone

By Cameron Mccollum | Reporter

Have you ever wondered just how many cultures are celebrated on our campus? Are you curious to learn more about an individual culture, or do you want to experience more of the events Baylor has to offer?

Good news: Your opportunities to answer these curiosities are plentiful.

Cultural diversity brings a deeper understanding of the world — and with Baylor’s student body continuously growing in diversity, the opportunities to learn about cultures keep expanding. Baylor currently has over 40 academic/professional, religious, Greek and special interest multicultural groups that host events anyone can attend.

A common goal of multicultural organizations is to enrich the cultural diversity of our campus. Many multicultural organizations welcome anybody who wants to grow in their cultural appreciation and understanding.

For example, if you are curious to learn about Chinese culture, you can join the Chinese Language and Culture Organization, or if you want to learn about Polish culture, you can join the Polish Club. No prior knowledge is necessary.

There are also multicultural organizations dedicated to community service, such as the Special Olympics Unified at Baylor, and advancing careers, such as the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in STEM. The list of organizations is diverse in and of itself.

Now, I am not saying Baylor is the most diverse university. According to the 2024 Most Diverse Colleges in Texas ranking by NICHE, Baylor is the 26th most diverse college in Texas. Our campus is improving its cultural diversity one first-year class at a time. It is important that as our student body grows, we develop our cultural appreciation to become an even more welcoming community.

My point is that if you are interested in a culture or want to help at a cultural event as a member, then go to interest meetings, expand your understanding and learn how your peers celebrate their culture.

However, if you want to support multicultural organizations without being a part of the organizations themselves, there are many cultural events hosted for the student body as a whole.

The African Student Association hosts Afrique to appreciate African culture through a fashion showcase. The Hispanic Student Association hosts Fiesta for our campus to learn about aspects of Hispanic culture. The Japanese Student Association hosts its annual Harumatsuri Spring Festival in honor of Japanese culture.

These are just a few of the many events that multicultural organizations host for everyone in the community. Members put a lot of work into planning, funding and carrying out their events, and showing support by showing up is meaningful.

I come from a household with a Hispanic mom and a Caucasian dad. My dad picked up some Spanish to have a deeper connection with my mom’s side. By spending a lot of time with my mom’s family, he was able to learn parts of another language — and they loved him more because of it.

Appreciating cultures in this way will allow members of the Baylor community to form deeper connections with people they would not have met otherwise.

Baylor’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion says, “Living out the calling and mission of Christ means living within diversity.”

Having a diverse student body helps Baylor stand by the statement, but the student body needs to advance the message by appreciating and supporting multicultural organizations.