‘Who are you?’: A review of BC Identities Week

Monday, May 4, the College’s cafeteria was crowded with bustling students, live music, impromptu dancing, and dozens of booths set up for the College’s many clubs and other services and activities.

The event, which included a live concert, was put on for Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Day,  was in conjunction with the College’s Identities Week and aimed to lead students to be open and expressive about their individual identities.

In the spirit of this idea, student volunteers handed out “What Are Your Identities” questionnaires. These multi-colored cutouts were shaped like little gingerbread, all alike, and all generic, the cutouts were filled out by stduents and have been  posted all around the campus.

The Identities Week schedule succeeded in creating events that would appeal to individuals from all different backgrounds and interests. Monday, May 4 held the Asian Pacific Islander Heritage Day Celebration, which included the South Asian Student Association (SASA) performing dances and the Korean Club (KC) performing songs.

The events were accompanied by a bake sale, which aimed to raise money for FareStart charity.

May 5, Henry Amaya, retention specialist in Multi-Cultural Services, spoke for Cinco de Mayo. The speech attempted to clarify misconceptions about Mexican culture and the purpose of the holiday.

On Wednesday, May 6, Damali Ayo, author of the book, “How to Rent a Negro” enlisted the use of satire to examine the connection between race and human relationships in her presentation, “I Can Fix It: Racism”.

May 7, during the Walk and Roll for Hope and Change, which was sponsored by the Business Leadershiop Club, the Associated Student Governent (ASG), a few then-ASG candidates, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) and several other clubs participated in a fundraiser to combat hunger and homelessness through the organization Hopelink.
the bake sale, sponsored by the GSA, aimed to raise money for Farestart, an organization which provides homeless and disadvantaged people job opportunities by sponsoring them through non-profit culinary training.

The booth offered good on a ‘sliding scale’: Students were sold their desserts at whatever price they were able to pay.

A small poster-presentation at the side of the booth showed numerous statistics informing cupcake eaters and random passer-by alike of the statistics regarding homelessness in America.

Some of which included: An overall description of homelessness in America based on race, 50 percent African American, 36 percent white, 12 percent Hispanic, 2 percent Native American. As well as a description of America’s poverty line based on race, 10.5 percent white, 25.5 percent black, 21.5 percent Hispanic.

Other booths in the cafeteria included one celebrating Japanese culture with fliers advertising trips to Japan, workshops, and even Koi judging festivals.

In the spirit of Asian culture, the cafeteria was also host to the Indonesian Fellowship Club.

Each club came together with posters, food, television series, games, and many other parts of their individual cultures to share to the students and faculty.

Many of the passing students looked at some of the culture pieces as odd, astounding works of art or rare delicacy they themselves would never make, while others jumped to the opportunity to be a part of the experience.

On thursday, a student art table  sponsored by the GSA invited students to depict their identity through art. Over fourty students stopped by throughout the day to draw religious, gender, and ethnic symbols, sketches of their own faces, entire scenarios, and one rainbow-colored elephant.