Multicultural Monday Makes Debut

By Alyssa Weston

Youngstown State University’s Diversity Program debuted a new hour-long monthly program called Multicultural Mondays.

The first Multicultural Monday was held in Kilcawley Center on Aug. 27. Students who attended the program put stickers into columns on a poster board to answer questions that best represented how they identified while they enjoyed cookies and refreshments.

One goal of the program was to think of ways to move stickers on the board next semester by filling out a pledge card.

Ani Solomon, assistant director of diversity programs, said she plans to revamp what was formerly the Student Diversity Council.

Solomon said she wants the new Student Diversity Council to be similar to a smaller-scale Penguin Productions.

“It’ll be a group of students who help plan and coordinate diversity-related events on campus,” she said. “[The events] could be social, maybe a little bit educational and my hope is that [the Student Diversity Council] will also be excited about running the Multicultural Mondays.”

Each Multicultural Monday is scheduled for an hour, so students can stop by between classes.

“It’s a quick stop-in program where folks can get a quick snack and maybe learn a little something, say hi to someone new, celebrate and recognize a culture or an identity different from their own,” Solomon said.

She said she expects a different crowd every month and wants to get students excited about the opportunities on campus.

“Diversity is everything that makes us different. I thought these monthly events would be a good way to hit on some of the identities that I can’t focus a whole month or a giant event on,” Solomon said.

She said on Multicultural Mondays, her goal is to get students to think about who they are, the identities they hold and how other people’s circumstances vary from their own.

“I want my Student Diversity Council, once it’s formed, to pick what other events will happen on Mondays,” she said.

Solomon said she wants the Student Diversity Council to help with some larger events as well, such as Hispanic Heritage Month and National Coming Out Day in October.

Curtis Beukeman, a sophomore civil engineering major, said he went to the program during some free time between classes.

Beukeman said he plans to attend more Multicultural Mondays in the future and wants to move his sticker by interacting with more strangers in public.

“I believe this event can help people be more open about different cultures and it’s a way to interact,” he said.

Amanda Paynter, junior human resource management major, said she attended the program because she wants to help bring together the diverse student organizations at YSU.

“I think we need to continue spreading the word about the event and make it bigger,” she said.

Paynter said she wants to move her sticker by attending more events where the majority of the people attending are not like herself.

“I hope to broaden my horizons and interact with more people who are different than me,” she said.

Multicultural Mondays will be held on the last Monday of every month in varying rooms in Kilcawley Center.