Booming hip-hop music welcomed visitors to the Mandela Room Thursday afternoon, as 44 student groups representing varying cultures and religions tabled at the second annual Multicultural Resource Center (MRC) Cultural Fair.
According to Mengchen Huang, program coordinator for the MRC, the fair is meant to provide students a chance to get involved with the cultural side of Binghamton.
“We serve students of all backgrounds, especially the student groups that are historically underrepresented, and ones with a cultural, religious or LGBTQ background,” she said.
For this year’s fair, Huang and the MRC teamed up with six other offices on campus, including the Center for Civic Engagement, Educational Opportunity Program, Career Development Center and Campus Activity, to bring it back on a larger scale.
This year, the fair featured door prizes, a performance by DJ Special K and free food from Lupo’s S&S Char Pit. Participants who submitted a response to a brief survey were entered into a raffle for tickets to the J. Cole concert, as well as movie tickets to the local AMC theater. Other prizes included Binghamton University products and MRC merchandise.
Wianda Jean, the educational coordinator of the Haitian American Student Association and a senior majoring in sociology, encourages students of any nationality to join.
“We hold events that spread our culture, but we’re not just a Haitian organization,” she said. “We just want to give the campus a taste of Haitian culture.”
The Philippine-American League echoed the sentiment of wanting a diverse club population.
“We encourage everyone to expand their cultural horizons,” said Jessa Camacho, a junior majoring in biology.
One visitor said that he enjoyed the large variety of clubs on display at the fair.
“It looks cool, there are a lot of cultural clubs I didn’t know about,” said Seung-Hyun Kang, an undeclared freshman.
Yonaida Valentine, a freshman majoring in psychology, said she found multiple groups that interested her.
“I think it’s very interesting, and I definitely saw at least three clubs I want to join,” Valentine said.
The fair also presented a variety of cultural games including a Korean-originated game called Balance War, archery and a dartboard.
Several newly chartered clubs also took advantage of the fair to advertise themselves on campus.
“We’re here to promote the Russian culture in the same way we experience it ourselves,” said Daniel Bakman, a member of the Russian club and a senior majoring in neuroscience.