Interaction with students of different ethnicities can be rare in the early years of a student’s University experience, attendees of a Campus Summit said last night.

Charles Goddeeris
LSA junior Galy Guzman and Engineering senior Naween Somani, a member of the Indian Student Association, talk yesterday at the Campus Summit.

Leaders from over 30 student organizations came together with faculty, staff and administrators last night to discuss promoting diversity, dialogue and integration on campus.

The Campus Summit was designed as a means of building unorthodox connections across campus and between student leaders.

The over 50 participants addressed questions of cultural separation and interaction between students as well as how and when to most effectively affect students and raise cultural diversity awareness campus-wide.

“I don’t think there has really been a forum that gets the campus together to address this issue on a larger scale,” said Arti Desai, president of Mortar Board, one of the groups that co-sponsored the event. Desai, an LSA senior, added that the summit is a way to unite the campus to participate in a necessary discussion and a way to help move the ideas from conversation topics to action.

“People talk about it in small groups, with friends or in student organizations, but they don’t necessarily talk between groups or with administration.”

For LSA freshman Nancy Stano, the event was an important chance to discuss what hinders people in their attempts to interact and get to know eachother. It also was a chance to find ways to help students overcome these hindrances and look for the uniqueness in others.

“Students have to want to get to know each other and to appreciate the differences in one another,” she said. “Students and groups have to appreciate their own uniqueness and want to share it with others.”

LSA sophomore Shyla Kinhal said she found the summit to be a positive and beneficial experience. “I think the summit was a really good place for open dialogue and connecting with people that are committed to the same goal of awareness on campus,” she said.

Kinhal added that individuals play a large part in what happens next with regards to the issue.

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