Student Voice


July 22, 2024

Unity in the Community celebrates diversity

April 27, 2007

The annual Unity in the Community day, which is put on by the Diversity Awareness Committee (DAC), was held Wednesday in which members of the UW-River Falls and River Falls communities took part.

Blake Fry, the special assistant to the chancellor, said the event has been going on for about 15 years on campus and this year is the second year it has involved the city hosting events downtown in Veteran's Park.

"The event is to promote diversity on campus," Karyn Kling of Student Services and Programs said. "It really just celebrates all the diversity we have here."

Chancellor Don Betz opened the day's festivities with a speech, promoting acceptance on campus and in the community.

"What a great day," Betz said. "Unity Day, it's a wonderful time to understand why we stand together."

DAC Chair Ashley Olson was one of the students who spent a lot of time planning this year's event.

"DAC is the primary sponsor, but we also have to thank other organizations like Student Senate for their sponsoring the Faces of UWRF project."

Throughout the course of the day, Unity organizers plan on having most of the students on campus witness that the event is taking place. Students on a meal plan had only one option for lunch, and it was to eat at the Unity in the Community picnic.

Olson said the committee has been working to plan this event since the beginning of the school year. Aside from the campus committee, students have been working and meeting with the River Falls school district, the chamber of commerce and the mayor.

The day's events started at 10 a.m. and went on throughout the day. The activities lasted from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. in Veteran's Park The final event took place at 8 p.m. as part of the Wyman Series.

The Journey to a Hate Free Millennium was presented at 8 p.m. in the North Hall Auditorium.

There were a number of different activities and programs for everyone to enjoy.

A community drum circle performed along with Dance Theatre and various student performances. Olson said there are going to be signs placed at both of the entrances to the city stating that this is an inclusive city and that everyone who comes here will be accepted.

River Falls Mayor Don Richards was scheduled to speak more about the inclusiveness of the city and campus.

There were a number of different activities that students, faculty, staff and community members could take part in.

Also, various student organizations set up tables and distributed information for all who attended.

"It was a fun event last year," junior Megan Lach said during the event. "It was definitely worth coming to, and it brings the campus together."

Kling said the goal of the day is to bring the campus together and to celebrate the diversity of River Falls.

Unity in the Community is not the only event DAC plans. The organization also helps plan the diversity portions of the Wyman Series and supports other diversity organizations on campus.

DAC meets at 4 p.m. every Tuesday in the Mississippi Room of the University Center and invites any student interested to attend.