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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Hands Across Campus unites students

    Michelle Ochoa, a business junior, center, dances to an Indonesian music piece yesterday on the UA Mall along with graduate dance student Kris Shaw, left, and Pima Community College foreign language freshman Rebekka Williams, right, as part of the Hands Across Campus diversity fair put on by the University Activities Board.
    Michelle Ochoa, a business junior, center, dances to an Indonesian music piece yesterday on the UA Mall along with graduate dance student Kris Shaw, left, and Pima Community College foreign language freshman Rebekka Williams, right, as part of the Hands Across Campus diversity fair put on by the University Activities Board.

    Students, faculty and staff gathered on the UA Mall yesterday in attempts to help bring awareness to the diversity on campus.

    Diversity initiatives and other groups joined together to host the ‘Hands Across Campus’ event aimed at celebrating students’ diversity through performance and speeches.

    “”We have a couple of guest speakers who represent diversity in their own way and we also have dancers here to represent different cultures, like Oriental dancing and Arabian dancing,”” said Jaimy Schlesing, a business freshman who organized the event.

    Off-campus dance groups, as well as on-campus student organizations like the African American Student Affairs, helped make up the list of performers and speakers at the event.

    “”The purpose of Hands Across Campus is to promote community and diversity on campus and there are a lot of projects, such as service projects, that go on through the community and do something for the community but not a lot of people know about it,”” said Darren Scott, a media arts junior and member of the University of Arizona Blue Chip program who volunteered at the event.

    In addition to watching the performances, people were asked to participate in activities aimed at bringing attention to diversity awareness.

    “”We also have different diversity programs, like a hand collage and a diversity chain made out of paper links,”” Schlesing said. “”Really it’s all an effort to help represent the minorities on campus and to show what they are here doing.””

    The diversity chain represents more than just paper, Scott said.

    “”We are making the chain with a bunch of strips of paper where people can write their names, where they are from and what diversity means to them,”” Scott said. “”Then once we make the chain we are going to put it up in a building on campus. It’s not only that we are doing it, but later people can walk by and say ‘Hey look they actually did something about it’ after the fact.””

    Organizers of last year’s “”Hands Across Campus”” brought people together to hold hands, but didn’t have any performances, Schlesing said.

    Overall students involved felt the efforts to bring light to this issue on campus were fruitful.

    “”I think it’s an interesting and kind of new way to get the message out and people appreciate that,”” Schlesing said.

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