Diversity at Lakeland

Lakeland students celebrating their cultural differences during International Night.

Michaela Schmitz, Staff Reporter

Robert Allen says, “Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that could benefit all of humanity.” Lakeland embraces the idea of celebrating cultural differences and displays this support by hosting events like International Night. International Night took place on April 9 at the Bradley theater here at Lakeland University. The event highlighted the uniqueness and rich history from a pastime and brought it to the present with a variety of traditional dances and clothing.

Bora Ajdini, an international student  from Albania, and Vice President of the Global Student Association (GSA), says, “International Night is precisely a night dedicated to promoting different cultures, and we were able to focus on our fits, music, and dances that really shows where students come from.”

It is important to not only accept diverse cultures, but it is also important to encourage the expression of differences in our cultures. This is something that Lakeland University does an amazing job of promoting. Ajdini says, “Lakeland is a place of diversity and growth. Cultures are celebrated every day here by simply interacting with each other. Here at Lakeland, you will always see diverse people spending quality time together and learning from one another. I think that is the highest form of culture celebration.”

Michael Barragan also participated in International Night and finds that culture is an incredibly important aspect to an individual’s identity and self-esteem. He says, “At International Night, celebrating and watching different international dancing was amazing. You could notice some songs were in sync. When performing and showing some of Mexico’s customs was actually great! Now many people who were at the event ask and want to know more about Mexico, and its culture.”

Speaking on  the cultural celebration here at Lakeland, Barragan says, “Cultures celebrated every day at Lakeland Varies. Coming in as a transfer and with COVID -19 happening Lakeland is doing a great job of bringing back and starting up many ways to educate students about some of Lakeland’s student’s different cultures and customs.”

If you are interested in sharing your culture with Lakeland’s community, there are many opportunities available to you. GSA is just one of the many organizations that embraces and actively celebrates the diversity seen around campus. However, they are not alone, other organizations like, ALAS (Association of Latinx American Students), BSU (Black Student Union) Japanese Association, Gentlemen of Virtue, and Enactus, also connect and promote diversity here on campus and around the world.

To learn more about the organizations Lakeland University offers, please go to https://lakeland.edu/clubs-and-organizations.