The Office of Multicultural Affairs will host “Something to Chew On” this fall along with the Lumberjack Cultural Association. The event will take place at noon Wednesday in the Baker Pattillo Student Center, Room 3.102. The theme of this event is cultural climate.
“The purpose of Something to Chew On is to extend an opportunity to have open and honest dialogue about topics that are not widely discussed on this campus and are a reflection of society around us,” said Elda Echeverry, the president of the Lumberjack Cultural Association.
“This event will highlight issues of stereotypes, typecasting and prejudice in the classrooms at SFA and in social settings around Nacogdoches. We will be discussing how society shapes our thoughts and how to unlearn stigmas.”
This is the second “Something to Chew On” that has occurred this year. “Last year, the OMA led discussions about equality and the effects of generational trauma,” said Echeverry. “These are extremely important topics to educate people about, and the events were very successful. We hope that this year’s discussion is just as impactful as last fall and spring.”
Echeverry said the theme for this semester’s event was chosen because of the tension between students with different cultural climates.
“We think it’s important to lean into the discomfort and have open discussions to break stereotypes and typecasting based on race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and more,” Echeverry said. “Many students of color do not feel 100% safe and accepted on this campus amongst their white peers or students of color from different backgrounds. LCA wants to have this open dialogue to get more students to confront these issues head on in order to make this campus a more welcoming place for everyone.”
In order to help attendees feel welcomed and secure, the event will be more interactive and open for people to speak their minds.
“This event will be different in the sense that we are trying to include more interactive activities so that students feel more confident to speak up,” Andrea Flores, the student ambassador for the OMA said.
“It will be the same in the way that we continue to create a safe space without judgement. We hope to help everyone who attends understand what microaggressions look like in the classroom and what someone can do to stand up for others being discriminated against.”
Flores believes many students have become “desensitized” to the microaggressions on campus or may not be able to detect it.
“We want to make sure that they are aware of when they are being discriminated against,” Flores said.
“This event will discuss the SFA Cultural Climate and the issues that students of color tend to face within the classroom.”
The event will consist of food, several interactive activities, open group discussions and a presentation. It is open for all students, not just students of color.
“This event will spark open discussions that can’t always be had in different spaces,” Flores said.
Echeverry encourages people to attend and to bring their thoughts to the open environment.
“In order for this event to be successful, we need students and faculty who are willing to share their own experiences and listen to the experiences of others,” Echeverry said. “Even if you do not have much to say, feel free to come and listen to this dialogue while you enjoy a meal on us.”
For more information on this event as well as other upcoming ones, follow OMA on Twitter @OMASFA and the LCA @LCASFA_