Nothing rains on awareness parade; Diversity Rocks a success

Lynn Steller

Inclement weather aside, “Diversity Rocks” was still a hit.

Last Thursday students attended “Diversity Rocks” inside Downing University Center, a new twist on the fourth annual event.

Usually held on DUC South Lawn, rain and threatening thunderstorms forced the event inside. Rain might have slowed people down a little, but it didn’t deter enthusiasm.

Bands boomed near the entrance of the food court, groups set up booths, bookstore employees handed out hot dogs and Melissa Howard from MTV’s “The Real World” spoke about her life.

Groups such as Student Disabilities Services and The Outlet promoted equal opportunities for all students, no matter what their disposition.

Matt Davis, coordinator for Student Disabilities Services, said everyone needs “equal opportunities to be successful in class.”

Several students promoted acceptance of the gay and lesbian population at Western through The Outlet.

“Helping other people makes you more comfortable with yourself,” said Taylorsville freshman Jeremy Marone.

Other students promoted “Up ‘Til Dawn,” an annual event to raise money for Saint Jude’s Research Hospital.

One of Western’s newest departments, social work, also had an informational booth. Saundra Starks, associate professor of social work, said social work promotes social justice, equal rights, women’s rights and the well-being of all people.

Bowling Green graduate student Mike Pierce is a student in the new program.

“Social work is all about diversity,” he said.

The Campus Activities Board sponsored Howard, the guest speaker, and about 55 people attended the speech, held in DUC Theater.

“I grew up in a tolerant, liberal household,” she said. “Being a famous person of color gives [me] an automatic platform to speak on.”

Howard spoke about her experience on “The Read World” and her time since then. She also mentioned her background and life as a biracial female.

“Don’t ever say you’re sorry for who you are,” Howard said. “If I wake up Oprah one day and go to bed Connie Chung, you’re just gonna have to deal with that. That’s my right as a human being.”

Reach Lynn Steller at [email protected]