Culture with RHA

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Culture with RHA

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Among college students, it goes without saying that Friday afternoons are reserved for nap time. However, on Friday, Feb. 6, the SLU Residence Hall Association gave more than 100 students a reason to forego their midday siesta by hosting Cultural PM. This three-part event celebrated the diversity on campus by showcasing the many cultures and talents represented at SLU.

For the first part of the event, students got the chance to talk with representatives from the InSLUsivity campaign, the Residence Hall Association and the Interfaith Alliance club. As more people trickled into the event, some were asked what inSLUsivity means to them. Matt Ramsey said that being inSLUsive is part of being a Billiken. RHA collected a wide scope of responses including: being inSLUsive means celebrating our differences, accepting each other and following the Oath of Inclusion. Throughout the afternoon, people continued to have open dialogues about being inSLUsive, the Oath and diversity on SLU’s campus. Interfaith Alliance representatives also fostered their own discussions about different religious practices while recruiting new members.

This celebration of diversity continued with performances from several student groups. Kicking off the exhibition was Beyond All Reason, SLU’s all-female a cappella group. Their set include an amazing cover of “Rather Be,” originally sung by Clean Bandit. BAR was followed by League of Laughter, SLU’s improvisation group. They entertained the crowd with two improvisation acts: the “Dating Game” and “Number of Words.” Then, after moving the crowd back several feet, XQuisit, one of SLU’s dance crews, took the floor. They performed a beautifully synchronized, hip-hop number that highlighted their creative choreography. Next, the audience was treated to the vocal styling of Astha, another of SLU’s a cappella groups, who seamlessly blended Indian and American pop culture into their music. Finally, the Bare Naked Statues, SLU’s all-male a cappella group, closed out the show with a charismatic performance of Ed Sheeran’s “Sing.” A few audience members were even singled out for a bit of serenading.

However, the celebration wasn’t over yet. It continued with a buffet of Moroccan, Mediterranean and Thai food. While enjoying the meal, students had the chance to socialize and discuss the event. Molly Meyer, a member of RHA who helped plan Cultural PM, said, “I feel like the event met expectations, possibly even exceeded them. The performances were great, and it was a great way to bring people in.”

Hannah McEnery said “I thought it was really interesting how the groups incorporated culture into their own performances, especially Astha. I think they really did their own thing, and it was cool. My favorite part though was getting kissed on the hand by a Bare Naked Statue.”

After weeks of planning and organizing the afternoon’s activities, the members of the InSLUsive campaign and the Residence Hall Association Councils were able to declare Cultural PM a success. The event may have started out slowly, but by 3 p.m., there was quite a crowd. Molly Farmer, who spearheaded the event, said, “It went really well. We had a lot of different varieties of groups, and people who came in enjoyed partaking in fellowship with one another. The inSLUsive campaign committee[‘s] …  hard work paid off.”