Evidence of diversity is omnipresent on our campus, probably best showcased through student organizations, performances both at the university and around town, and public events.
Hooshir is a Jewish a cappella group that arranges and performs unique mixes of Hebrew songs and popular hits. Soul Revue, which incorporates elements of step dance, performs at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater near the downtown square, attracting both the IU and Bloomington communities. The annual World’s Fare in the Indiana Memorial Union each fall features international foods, clothing, and traditions from over 50 cultures.
Through understanding and appreciating backgrounds different from their own, students are able to enrich their experiences and deepen their worldly perspectives.
Increasing awareness of this diversity to all 47,000 IU Bloomington students is the ultimate goal of a new student group, BeIU.
As student body vice president, one of the biggest complaints voiced to me by students was the fact that it is difficult to meet other students unlike them. Not only did students have this request, but cultural centers also wanted more collaboration with each other. With the help with Martin McCrory, associate vice president for the IU Office of Diversity, Equity, and Multicultural Affairs, this past year, three cultural centers, more than 25 student organizations, and over 100 students were connected to develop an initiative and opportunity to bring students side by side. The purpose of naming the organization BeIU was to emphasize that this group of students would be active leaders and advocates going “beyond IU” – that the boundaries of learning are not confined to the classroom but extend to peers different from you.
Because of the new development of this organization, we decided that a kick-off event would be the best way to spreading the word to the large number of students on campus.
Weeks of collaborative conversations and discussions are leading to Project: BeIU, an event which will be held in Dunn Meadow on April 10 from 1-3 p.m. and filled with food from local Bloomington restaurants and performances by IU student groups. Designed to draw in and unite students from all backgrounds, cultures, and pockets of campus, Project: BeIU incorporates the two elements that appeal to everyone: food and fun. It is the hope that with this event, we will be on the road to allowing students to enjoy and appreciate the value of the melting pot that is Indiana University.