The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

Multicultural Student Services hosts its annual welcome back picnic

MSS student organizations come together to welcome back students
The+Welcome+Back+Picnic+is+just+the+beginning+of+the+road+for+the+different+multicultural+event+opportunities+present+on+campus+that+students+can+take+advantage+of.
Photo by Godwin Agbara
The Welcome Back Picnic is just the beginning of the road for the different multicultural event opportunities present on campus that students can take advantage of.

An event where all the multicultural student organizations come out to the Chippewa Lounge, right outside the McIntyre Library, with food, tables from all the MSS student organizations and live music.

According to their website, The MSS office, located in Centennial Hall, is a place that strives to create success and create a welcoming environment for students of color on campus. 

The office featured Uncommon Denominator, a cover band with members who are all UWEC Alumni, to add live music to the event.

The picnic also featured tables from the African Student Association, Leaders Igniting Transformation, The Civil Rights Pilgrimage, the Black Student Alliance, the Latinx Student Association and more.

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“When I was a student that space was a place I was in constantly. It was really an important space in finding who I was in terms of my cultural identity. And I really hope this event serves as a way to open that door and give that opportunity to others,” Gómez said.

Rosa Gómez, the MSS Student Services Coordinator and UWEC Alum said the picnic is something people on campus and the office look forward to every year. Gómez said her job consists of being an advisor for the multicultural students coming into the university. 

Gómez said the office is open to providing services to everyone, but specifically, the students with multicultural backgrounds, giving them academic advising and providing identity development programming.

“Being a student of color or minority on a predominantly white campus can be challenging, so having a space to talk is what we do a lot of,” Gómez said.

Gómez said that when she was a student, the event served as a reunion with friends and a way to meet new people. This is Gómez’s first year as a staff member, so the experience for her is different now than it was when she was a student at the university. 

“I think my favorite part is having all our multicultural student organizations lined up for everyone to see. It’s a really important element of students feeling like they belong to see people that look like them,” Gómez said.

Gómez said that the MSS office hosts events all throughout the year. This month, the MSS is hosting multiple events for Latinx and Hispanic Heritage Month. These events will take place Sept. 15 through Oct. 15.

“We have an annual Hispanic Month Banquet, Sabor Latin[Eau], where we have a two-time Pulitzer winner coming in, Sonia Nazario, Author of ‘Enriques Journey,’ so that’s going on in between there,” Gómez said.

The Welcome Back Picnic is just the beginning of the road for the different multicultural event opportunities present on campus that students can take advantage of. Updates can be found on the MSS website, uwec.ly/mss and on Instagram @uwecmss.

“It’s a really big flagship in terms of sending the message that you belong here. There’s a community that celebrates diversity and identity […] sending a message that higher institutions should be made for people like us,” Gómez said.

Agbara can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributor
Godwin Agbara, Arts & Life Editor
Godwin Agbara is a second-year english and journalism student. This is his first semester at The Spectator. In his spare time he makes music with his band DOG PAULSON. Sometimes he watches birds, and sometimes he bakes.

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