CME launches year with BBQ

The Center for Multicultural Education hosted its annual Welcome Back BBQ in the Maucker Union Coffeehouse on Monday, Aug. 26.

SOFIA LEGASPI, Campus Life Editor

The Center for Multicultural Education (CME) kicked off the new school year with their annual Welcome Back BBQ on Monday, August 26. The event ran from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Maucker Union Coffeehouse.

“It is really great to have students back on campus,” UNI President Mark Nook told the crowd as the barbecue began. “It’s so quiet over the summer, and college campuses shouldn’t be that quiet. So welcome back; I hope you guys have a great school year.”

“And for freshman and transfer students who are new to this university,” Nook said, “make as many friends as you can. Start tonight. Figure out some of these clubs; meet some people around here.”

The evening provided many opportunities for both old and new students to make connections. Students enjoyed food from a variety of cultures, including empanadas, sopapillas and halal burgers, as well as frozen treats and Insomnia cookies.

Attendees also saw performances from student groups such as Latinx organizations Lambda Theta Phi and Lambda Theta Alpha and dance groups The Movement and International Dance Theatre (IDT) Dance Company.

Many of these performing organizations and others had information tables set up. Groups included ThreeHouse: A Wesley Foundation, Black Student Union, the Northern Iowa Feminists and others.

Overall, the evening maintained a party atmosphere as students cheered for performers, played giant checkers and Jenga and enjoyed free food and music. At one point, a large group gathered on the dance floor to do the Cupid Shuffle.

“We are so glad that you are here, that you have chosen UNI,” said Jamie Chidozie, director for Diversity, Inclusion and Social Justice. “Please get involved […] We look forward to having you attend our future events throughout the semester and the upcoming year. If there is anything, absolutely anything, that we can do to support you, please let us know, okay? We’ll be here for you.”

The office of Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice encompasses three departments including the CME, Gender & Sexuality Services and Military & Veteran Student Services. All offices are located on the plaza level of the Maucker Union.