SUU Students Celebrate Identity Week

Published: February 01, 2019 | Author: Parker Nelson | Read Time: 3 minutes

Student holding a sign stating "I am samoan" for a pictureThis week at Southern Utah University students celebrated Identity Week, a week-long series of events bringing awareness to the different cultures on campus.

Gwen Wood, president of the Student Programming Board said, “Identity Week this year was created by a whole team comprised of many clubs. This allowed many voices to be heard and created a week that really represented each aspect of identity.”

The week featured events such as a Cultural Celebration, a diversity centered Campus Connect, Friends and Faith, Spectrum of Gender and Sexual Identity Seminars, the Asia Project, ending the week with an event called “We’re all T-Birds.” Each event featured different clubs and organizations on campus.

The first event, a Cultural Celebration, showcased several outstanding performances by different clubs on campus. A few of the clubs that participated were the Black Student Union, the Polynesian Club, and the Native American Student Association. Each club also had a booth where students could get to know more about their culture.

The second event was a Diversity Campus Connect. Campus Connects are events partnered with different clubs on campus where students can learn more about the clubs and even join them if they want. The Diversity Campus Connect focused on all the diverse clubs SUU has to offer. Some clubs in attendance were the Black Student Union, Thunder Crew, the Poetry Club, LDSSA, and Improv Club.

The third event was the Friends and Faith event. It was at this event students were able to discuss various topics with the different student religious organizations on campus. This event featured some open dialogue and games.

The fourth event, Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Seminars, included several seminars at various times. There was a gender identity seminar followed by a sexual orientation seminar, then to wrap it up, an “How to be an Ally” seminar was held. These events opened discussion to students and gave insight concerning these topics.

The fifth event of the week was the Asia Project. This event featured spoken word poetry by the people behind the Asia Project. The Asia Project is a traveling group who combines music and spoken word poetry to create a beautiful story.

Student, Taylee Ciccone, said about the event, “The spoken word poetry was so incredibly moving and touching. During a few of Asia's pieces, there was not a single dry eye in the audience.”

The poetry read was both comedic and moving.

“One was completely comedic and a total knee slapper,” said Ciccone. “The other was so relatable and also made me tear up.”

The last event of the week was an event titled “We’re All T-Birds.” This event focused on unifying students and breaking stereotypes. At the event, students could socialize, snap a fun Polaroid picture, and focus on uniting as T-Birds. “Friday’s event, ‘We’re All T-Birds,” was really important because it focused on breaking stereotypes and celebrating the fact that we all have this unique experience to be T-Birds together,” said Wood.

Ciccone expressed that she feels “those who actively participated in any of the events this week have a new sense of belonging and love for SUU because of how much everyone came together to celebrate the differences and similarities among students. It was beautiful to see the different reactions on social media and my roommates through the events. It gave students a new perspective.”

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