Tabling for diversity week, a host of organizations


Courtesy of Chip Chandler

West Texas A&M University held a diversity week, which ran from Aug.29-Sept.1. During diversity week, there were a host of events, such as a poetry night by Brandon Current, who performed his poetry on Aug. 29 and a tabling of student organizations on campus was held on Aug. 31 in the Jack B. Kelley Student Center. On Aug. 31 during lunchtime, many organizations came together to table and showcase the ins and outs of their organizations.

Barrett Bright, a civil engineering major, spoke of the benefits of organizations such as Spectrum, a sub-division of Buff Allies. “Before [COVID-19], we did stuff with PASO, which is the Panhandle Aids organization and we volunteered at their annual drag show charity event,” Bright said.

Bright also highlighted the ways in which Spectrum has fun on campus and builds community. “We also do prom in the spring, which is an all-inclusive prom. We generally pick a theme this semester and set it up next semester,” Bright said.” Besides that, it is just a place where allies and LGBTQ+ students can have a place to go on campus.”

The Association for Latino Professionals for America also tabled. Dr. Leslie Ramos Salazar, professor of business communication and decision management, as well as the faculty advisor for ALPA, discussed the benefits of the organization to WT students.

“While we accept majors of all kinds, we do have a lot of programs that are beneficial for business students, accounting, finance, marketing and so forth,” Dr. Salazar said. “We provide a lot of workshops for students, such as resume building, interviewing, sometimes we do etiquette dinners, other times we do socials, go bowling or go to escape rooms, other times we do community service.”

The African Student Organization also tabled. Fougnigue Sefon, president of ASO, spoke on how the organization tries to change misconceptions about Africa while also being open to learning about other cultures. “We like to fight against misconceptions of the continent through enjoying events,” Sefon said.

F1RSTGEN also tabled, and Jonathan Cordova, study abroad coordinator and co-advisor of F1RSTGEN discussed the events they host and how they help WT students.

“We try to have a safe space for students and F1RSTGEN to participate on or off campus. If they have any questions, they can come to us,” Cordova said. “We do socials, we do service work, we also celebrate F1RSTGEN, such as the kick-off bash.”

Victoria Salas, Director of McNair Scholars Program and Kirbi Kelley-Diaz, student success specialist, spoke on the McNair Scholars Program and how the scholarship benefits WT students.

“[We are looking for] Juniors and seniors, and students who are interested in grad school, we are also looking for students who are under-represented, low-income and first-generation,” Kelley-Diaz said.

“[The students] do a research project, and then from there, they go on to different research conferences, and McNair funds all of that travel, and at the research conferences that also gives them a great opportunity to network,” Salas said.

The Black Student Union also tabled. Antonio Cervantes, a member of BSU spoke of the fun things the organization does on campus. “We do community things, like we paint and talk about our days,”Cervantes said. “One of our main events we are about to do is our stand-up night where people do comedy, sing, dance, perform, and we let people have fun and be open.”

One thing unifies the diverse organizations on campus which is the community shown through the events the organizations hold and the opportunities they provide for students to connect. If you are interested in joining any of these organizations, visit the Campus Organizations site to find your community.