by Ciara Tucker
Excited after their September 8th well-attended meeting are Multicultural Student Union members Pariss Ruffin, Sydney Jefferson, and Amber Lewis. “We first need to understand others to understand ourselves,” states president Jefferson.
Mount Notre Dame has added a multicultural student union to its extensive array of extracurricular activities.
“This club is meant to bring the multicultural aspects of MND’s community to the forefront, as well as serve as a safe space for all MND students to discuss sensitive issues,” according to the club’s founding president, Senior Sydney Jefferson.
When she and the rest of the leadership team introduced the Multicultural Student Union to the student body on August 22, 2017, Jefferson wanted to make sure people knew the club was for students of all races, socioeconomic backgrounds and cultures.
According to Jefferson, “Events last year made it apparent that a space like this was necessary.”
Since then she has worked tirelessly to make her dream of a more open and accepting MND a reality. Founding the union was no easy task – Jefferson had to present her idea in front of the entire faculty. In the end, they welcomed the idea.
Mrs. Kelly Albany Crosby, a staff moderator for the club, feels that, like the staff, the MND community is a very special place that will welcome this club with open arms. So far, this has proven to be true; at the student activities fair on August 31,2017, 90 students signed up to be a part of the Multicultural Student Union.
According to Jefferson, “The meetings will be a place to discuss sensitive issues, but will also be an accepting environment with cool shirts and games.”
The club will address issues that MND students deal with every day and provide them with a place to talk about these issues without fear of judgment. Jefferson plans to address controversial subjects with respectful and open debates and discussions among students who desire to feel heard and accepted.
According to Jefferson, “To understand others, we first need to understand ourselves.”
The multicultural student union sets up a platform for all MND students to begin a path to self-discovery where they can learn more about those around them.
Jefferson hopes to recruit new students through word of mouth, presenting the club at the student activities fair, and sending a group email to the freshman class. She hopes to gain a large following among freshmen and sophomores to ensure the club survives and continues to benefit the MND community at large.
This club works to allow students to express what diversity means to them and to the community at large.
Long time peace activist William Sloane Coffin Jr. once said, “Diversity may be the hardest thing for a society to live with and perhaps the most dangerous thing for a society to live without.”
In this spirit, the Multicultural Student Union cannot stress enough that everyone is welcome to attend the meetings and celebrate the diversity of MND for the good of the school and society.
Mrs. Albany-Crosby believes that these meetings should be a space for students to ask questions, and learn about other people and cultures and share their experiences.
Although the student board will be leading these meetings Mr. Nick Hosmer & Mrs. Albany Crosby will serve as moderators. The Multicultural Student Union has the potential to strengthen the already established Mount Notre Dame sisterhood.