February is the Month of MCSU

Arelene Opio

After a 4-month hiatus, the Multicultural Student Union (MCSU) returns to action, with new advisor, Mr. Hutt, hoping to build on the popularity that the club enjoyed last year. Mr. Hutt looks forward to making his own contributions to the club as well.
“What I hope to bring is direction, action and implementation ,” Mr. Hutt explained. “. . . [A]lso an openness, I like for people to be open. You can’t change, they [can’t] change if they’re not open.”
All involved in the MCSU are dedicated to make the school and community a more well rounded and educated place, in major part to founder, President and Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Taylor Lee. After holding an interest meeting January 25, the ball is now rolling to pick up where the club had left off. Members will get the opportunity to volunteer on various positions in the Public Relations (PR) department of the club including: the MCSU newsletter staff, announcement, social media, and bulletin board committee. New members are always welcome to join, the next meeting taking place in mid-February along with a PR meeting at the end of the month.
February will be a major month for the club, also having plans for the celebration of Black History Month. “I definitely would like to get the badges that we did [last year] with historical figures,” said Lee. Last year the members of the MCSU researched a variety of important African American figures, printed out a picture along with facts about their chosen people, and carried it around school in a badge for a week. During their history classes the members were then to read the facts aloud, enlightening their fellow students and teachers. Lee also hopes to change things up a bit from last year.
“If we have a meeting with the badges, instead of doing another huge catering event, just to maybe during that meeting we would have food there and we would explain the significance of that. And I would like the same thing to go with Asian Heritage month too.”
There is much optimism and excitement for the future of the MCSU. The club was created in 2016 by Lee and had been supervised by former Dickinson teacher Mr. Johnson. Much anticipation and participation went into the club, even forming an executive committee to help take over some of the duties. The MCSU officers include Vice President Camryn Blake and Secretary Kleidy Rosales.
“I am very happy of the success [and] of the people who have been able to be involved [and] happy to be involved in MCSU,” said Lee
The MCSU had been Lee’s Creative, Action, Service (CAS) project for the International Baccalaureate Program, or what’s known to all as IB. However, that wasn’t the only reason behind creating this new school activity. “It was actually because of student government and the unfairness of the elections that happened during [my] junior year . . . it made it seem like [student government] was only for a certain group.” With the MCSU, Lee hopes to bring opportunities to students throughout the school. “. . . [E]veryone should be able to have a chance to pursue a leadership position . . . to become an efficient leader, which is one of our purposes.”
The MCSU is a club that holds meetings after school with their members, discussing cultural topics while snacking on provided foods. There are different topics of discussion at each meeting, whether it’s discussing the differences between saying “Native American” or “Indian” or analyzing the view of minorities in today’s day and age. With a committee directed by students of color, the MCSU has made it their mission to provide the school and students with a sense of knowledge and understanding – being aware of biases that may sometimes occur.
“I feel as though being a minority . . . you have a different perspective,” shared Rosales, a Guatemala native. “You’re able to see some of the unfairness and that could go for everybody else as well . . . that’s why it’s good to have a club or a secure place where somebody could just have a good opinion and to share that with everybody else.”
One of the core missions of the club is to share knowledge, bringing awareness to those who have not been exposed to worldly and cultural problems, according to the club’s founders. “The whole education system is sort of very biased,” said Lee, who also said she believes the standard curriculum focuses too much on achievements to those not of color.
“…[I]t [ignores] a lot of minorities and the building of our nations, whereas they did so much . . . there was so many things that were covered up and that we don’t know about.” Lee hopes to change that. “Just to understand their history and to understand our differences we’ll be able to understand each other and how we talk about each other. Just these stereotypes . . . we’re trying to get rid of that or understand where they come from . . . so we can have a better understanding when we talk to other cultures . . . and we don’t sound ignorant when we’re talking to other people.”
New members are welcome to join and encouraged. Both Lee and Rosales hope to make a lasting impression on those who are a part of the MCSU. “Many Hispanics don’t know their culture.” explained Rosales. “For example, I did not know of my culture until last year [when] I went to visit my country. . . Joining this club, I’m able to not only share that with everybody else but share that with myself as well because it will be something that I’m learning new as well.” As for Lee, she not only wants to shape one’s understanding, but also who they are as a person, having them, “Becoming a better leader . . . being a well rounded student.”
“Just how diversity is so important to our country and just about basically learning about other cultures. . . now you know about other cultures.”