Being YOU at CLU promoted diversity

Being YOU at CLU is an event held in Kingsmen Park through the initiative of the multicultural program and campus diversity at California Lutheran University. Students, faculty and staff filled out cards of different shapes and colors where they wrote different key words about their own identities and then shared with the campus.

Junior Michael Kelly-Bocksnick (left) and senior Ryan Perez (right) enjoyed the delicious root beer floats served at Being YOU at CLU.  Photo by Brady Mickelson - Staff Photographer
Junior Michael Kelly-Bocksnick (left) and senior Ryan Perez (right) enjoyed the delicious root beer floats served at Being YOU at CLU.
Photo by Brady Mickelson – Staff Photographer

“Being YOU at CLU is a collective art project to celebrate our diversity inclusion at CLU,” said Juanita A. Hall, senior director for the Multicultural and International Programs and assistant to the president for diversity, “People have multiple identities and it’s to help people connect with those identities and their passion, and actually put it on display collectively, as a celebration of who we are.”

Hall said she hopes after the events concluded, that students, faculty and staff will stop by and take a look at it and see what people have put up.

The multicultural and campus diversity initiative for this event has changed things up since last year.

“Last year the event was primarily in the residents hall, with Resident Assistants as a program, and it was Being YOU at CLU, same title, except it was bringing a cultural artifact and sharing what it is and how it represents you,” Hall said. “This [year] we opened up to the whole community.”

Everyone working in the international office took part in this year’s event, even with inspiration from outside of campus.

Michelle Cerami, a  junior majoring in religion and sociology is one of the students that took part in creating this event with the Multicultural and Campus Diversity Programs.

“I got an email from Juanita [Hall] a few months ago in March, and they had just been to the ILI, which is an interfaith conference, run by the Interfaith Youth Corps, and they wanted to combine their event Being YOU at CLU, with the ideas behind interfaith, which is being better together,” Cerami said. “People with different faiths being better together, and this is a merging of that and Being YOU at CLU because we are better together.”

Daniel Lawrence, senior coordinator for Multicultural Program and International Student Services said he helped bring students into this event and thinks this event is very positive.

“[This event] is a great way for students to be able to highlight the unique things about themselves, and to be courageous enough to identify some of those things that might be closed inside of them to show the whole campus as a whole,” Lawrence said. “This gives them a platform to do that outside of just putting it on social media.They can do it on campus.”

Some of the students coming to the event were interested in the root beer floats that were offered but also thought it was fun to see everyone’s art work up on the wall.

“It was cool to see it all, but some of the cards on the different tables at the event were difficult to fill out,”  freshman Noah James said.

Amanda Hutchinson, a junior double majoirng in religion and global studies said she liked the event.

“It was a really great way for me to think about a lot of parts about my identity and realize which ones really matter and which ones might matter to other people but aren’t necessarily a big part of me,” Hutchinson said. “It has also been a great way to see the big spectrum that is here at Cal Lutheran. I didn’t realize how diverse our school was in so many ways, but I love every part of it.”

The collective art work created during the two days of the event was displayed on the spine on Sept. 18 after the event concluded.

Karoline Johannessen
Staff Writer
Published September 23rd, 2015