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ISEC hosts ‘For the Culture Preview Day’ to welcome multicultural students

ISEC graphic
ISEC graphic

The WKU Intercultural Student Engagement Center staff and students dedicated a community and resource-based event to welcome incoming multicultural students on Thursday, Feb. 2.

The event allowed visitors to gather information on all things concerning WKU, including financials, campus life and where to find help from staff and current Hilltopper students, all while maintaining an emphasis on diversity in the community. 

Several students of color spoke about their experience attending a predominantly white institution, ensuring incoming scholars that they still have the resources to succeed despite their differences.

“I just wanted students to get the impression that college isn’t as scary as it seems. I know that a lot of kids with situations like mine don’t always get the push from their parents to give college a chance, but things like this give students an experience to look forward to,” Tyler Neely, biology and pre-dental concentration ISEC student, said. 

Kendal Jones, a freshman agriculture major with a concentration in horse science, explained how talking to peers who look and behave like you can make you feel more comfortable in a learning environment.

“Younger people are in a position to make change right now, events like these show that people like us are here making those changes too,” Jones said.

Parents and chaperones had their own discussion with the Dean of Students and Assistant Vice President of Student Life, Martha Sales, who answered a multitude of questions regarding individual troubles that parents may have had regarding sending their children to the institution.

“These kinds of events are extremely important for our students of color. Here is where we can answer questions that people don’t feel comfortable asking when they’re the minority in a room,” Sales said. “We want these kids and especially parents to see that we have a safe place here filled with plenty of people who are just like them.” 

After all the guests toured the scene on topics such as housing, tuition costs and Greek life, everyone reassembled for the students to hear more about what ISEC is from Student Support Specialist Kiria Braden.

“Programs like these give our students a sense of belonging. When I was choosing my school, I didn’t have the luxury of being around too many people who looked like me,” Braden said. “We just want students who attend events like these to know that they can find a welcoming home here at WKU.”

ISEC will continue their “For The Culture” event schedule for Black History Month on Feb. 2 at 6 p.m. when they hold their “Mr. and Miss for the Culture Scholarship Pageant.”

Fellow ISEC undergraduate Jaden Marshall, a freshman broadcast major, informed the gathering on how ISEC staff helped him work through the struggles he faced in finding a career path that worked for him.

“It’s surreal talking to kids that are in the same situation I was in not too long ago. Being able to help them out with the same issues I dealt with coming in just makes me feel grateful that you have that kind of opportunity here,” Marshall added.

The chaperones themselves had a lot to say about the experience. Assistant Principal Arlando Johnson, from Owensboro High School, was surprised at the amount of work put into the event.

“It’s great to see so many eyes light up. When I was coming up in school these kinds of events weren’t present, but now we can break down the fears that students and their parents have when checking out these schools,” Johnson said.

Johnson also mentioned the kinds of bonds that high schools can create with colleges when they attend such occasions.

“As an administrator, this helps in finding places that will put my students on the right track,” he said.

News Reporter Larkin Ivory can be reached at [email protected]


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