Day: December 12, 2018

Cultural Connections Winter 2018 (photos)

by Sifa Kasongo and Cynthia Ntinunu

The Center of Multicultural Advancement and Student Success (CMASS) held a “Cultural Connections” event on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2018 in the Campus Center Auditorium. This was the second time Cultural Connections is happening; the first event was held at the beginning of the semester.

All photos credits go to Sifa Kasongo and Cynthia Ntinunu

Cultural Connections is a time for students, faculty, and staff to come together and get to know each other better. It’s a time and space where people can truly be themselves while enjoying various performances, conversations, and of course good food.

Performances included poetry reading by Student Government Association vice president Nathalie Amazan, dancing by Students of Caribbean Ancestry (SOCA), a performance by Shaha: The Storytellers, and Irish step dancing by newly founded UMass Irish Dance.

The room was filled with friendship, laughter, and a mini dance battle between one student and faculty member. But most importantly, it was a welcoming space for all to come and leave their worries at the door.  

Socialization Tax: Why Students of Color at UMass Amherst are Paying to Have a Good Time

by Sifa Kasongo

When Deborah Kibazo, now a junior, first came to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she tried to embrace the social life. Like many students, she tried out the fraternity parties. But Kibazo, who is black, said she was often turned away from the doors.

“I was told it was full and as I was walking away just to see them let some non-people of color into the building,” Kibazo said. “My friends and I could tell that it wasn’t full.”

Kibazo added that when speaking with other black students on campus, she realized that she wasn’t alone. Many students of color had felt both unwelcomed and uncomfortable at parties on a campus that is predominantly white. The students of color that had attended said they found little in common with the other partygoers to enjoy the party.

Continue reading “Socialization Tax: Why Students of Color at UMass Amherst are Paying to Have a Good Time”