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‘Accepted: A Night of Open Arms’ is an event to showcase inclusive clubs

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Maggie Cipriano

More stories from Maggie Cipriano

The event at The Cabin informed students about campus resources over an acceptance-themed night

Students+from+the+Student+Wellness+Advocacy+Team+%28SWAT%29+lead+the+crowd+in+condom+bingo+to+end+the+night.+
Students from the Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) lead the crowd in condom bingo to end the night.

Students from the Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) lead the crowd in condom bingo to end the night.

Maggie Cipriano

Maggie Cipriano

Students from the Student Wellness Advocacy Team (SWAT) lead the crowd in condom bingo to end the night.

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It is no secret some students have a harder time finding their respective places at a university than others. With an event like “Accepted: A Night of Open Arms” last Thursday, students had a chance to learn about different campus and community organizations.

To begin the night inside The Cabin, there were speakers who talked about what they could offer students on campus in terms of resources and clubs. There were videos shown about acceptance and inclusivity. After the talks, there were many rounds of condom bingo.

A journalism/women’s studies class started the event. There were three groups in the class that were assigned either gender, race or class. With their assigned topics, each group had to make an actual change in the community. The gender group decided to start “Accepted: A Night of Open Arms.”

“It’s just a place for students to really find their home in a very welcoming place, under the terms of acceptance,” said Morgan Welsh, a first-year marketing student who thought up the event. “We would like to individualize the situation rather than make you a number.”

Organization fairs showcase the more predominant clubs on campus, Greek life and major-specific clubs. The clubs promoted at this event were those that could be easily overlooked in the chaos, Welsh said.

“The idea came about when I was really struggling to find my home as a student,” Welsh said. “I felt like job fairs and club fairs were too overwhelming.”

Throughout the event, different organizations like The Optimist Club and Organization for Meditation, as well as Amanda Mondlock, the coordinator for UW-Eau Claire’s Center for Awareness of Sexual Assault (CASA) gave speeches about Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In between speakers were informative and inspirational videos and Ted Talks.

“The divided political climate has caused a split,” Mondlock said. “The high school and university kids are speaking louder and using their voices and leaning more toward inclusivity. That’s what creates event like this. It’s really wonderful.”

The goal of the event, Welsh said, was to create a community on campus that is more involved. On a smaller scale, it was to show kids there are opportunities to get involved and to create a highway to resources.

“This was a great opportunity for students to learn about the resources on campus that they might not normally see or hear about, but they might need,” Mondlock said.

Katie Jamieson, a first-year elementary education student, was at the event to support a friend who organized it, along with her companion Olivia Cox, a first-year undeclared student.

The students agreed that even though they are pretty “mainstream people,” the event was interesting to them, and Jamieson said they “know people that may not be as mainstream and may need a place for their voice to be heard and to be accepted.”

“People need to keep in mind that we need to be inclusive,” Cox said.

Overall, the event was a success — every table and chair was filled. There were students, parents and friends learning about these organizations.

“You might be different, sure, but there are people who are different too, and that’s totally okay,” Jamieson said. “It’s helping people realize that it’s okay to be different. It’s totally cool.”

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‘Accepted: A Night of Open Arms’ is an event to showcase inclusive clubs