From organizations focusing on social justice to students who like boxing, Mason Hall was filled with students aiming to raise awareness about what their groups offer the campus community on Monday.
LSA senior Elise Jayakar was tabling for Intergroup Relations, an organization within the University of Michigan that works to involve students and faculty in discussions about gender, sexuality, socioeconomic background and race. Jayakar, who is pursuing an IGR minor, said the group hopes to engage interest from students.
She said she believes it is important for students to get involved in IGR to understand various identities that exist on campus.
“I think what we’re hoping is that more people get involved, and also that social identities become something that’s on peoples’ minds,” she said.
IGR’s name, Jayakar added, may contribute to students’ lack of awareness about the program.
“Our title is ‘The Program on Intergroup Relations,’ which doesn’t specifically tell you it’s linked to social justice; we’re trying to make that connection so that people know,” she said. “When you just hear the name, it doesn’t really tell you all of that, so we’re hoping to have people make that connection.”
Jayakar said she strongly recommends getting involved in the program or taking a course from the organization due to her own experiences.
“Out of everything I’ve done in college, this is the most influential and most impactful thing,” she said.
The African Students Association also tabled Monday to sell tickets to and advertise for “Afrolution,” their 18th annual cultural show on Friday. The show will feature music, dance, fashion and spoken word poetry to display culture from the African continent.
ASA Vice President Ashley Ogwo, an LSA senior, said the show aims to give the campus community more exposure to the continent and highlight the positive aspects of various African cultures.
“We use it as an opportunity to educate our audience and also give them a night of fun entertainment,” she said. “We show a variety of what the continent has to offer in terms of entertainment and also in terms of people and culture.”
Another group tabling in Mason, the UM Boxing Club, is sending one of its members, Social Work graduate student Wendy Cortes, to the National Boxing Championship in Los Angeles. However, while the team and the University compensate most of Cortes’ costs, she is still expected to contribute to some of the expenses of traveling and lodging.
To raise money for her competition, Cortes sold fried Oreos and arroz con leche, a Mexican rice pudding dessert. Cortes said she chose these treats because they were successful when fundraising for her undergraduate experience in Delta Tau Lambda, a Latina sorority on campus.
“We sold fried Oreos and empanadas and it was just really easy for us to make, and it had a high turnover rate and profit, and people loved them,” she said. “I’ve only been here for about 30 minutes, and I’ve had a steady stream of people coming through.”