By SHANNA GHAZNAVI
The BYU Multicultural Services will highlight the culture of Pacific Islanders for October as a part of its effort to make BYU students more aware of the cultural diversity on campus.
There are more than 2,000 multicultural and international students at BYU, saidthe On-campus Education Coordinator for Multicultural Services, Richelle Andersen.
She said since most BYU students share a common religious culture, she does not think people on campus realize what a diverse community exists at BYU.
The Multicultural Office’s program featured Hispanic culture in September and, Andersen said, “I’m really pleased with what’s been happening so far.”
The Polynesian club will be sponsoring events this month including a Polynesian booth during Homecoming week and a live reggae/Polynesian band at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 18 in the Garden Court of the Wilkinson Center. There will be a dance afterward, said the Polynesian club’s publicity director.
Aimee Fetui, the publicity director of the Polynesian club, said there will be a fireside Oct. 26 and a Halloween dance on Oct. 31 in the Wilkinson Center.
Marcus Fifita, a sophomore majoring in business management from Aurora, Calif., said “It’s nice to be a part of the minority.”
He said he enjoys being unique and he loves the “Aloha spirit” on BYU campus which invites companionship.
Fifita said, “I feel extremely blessed to be a part of a culture that is filled with so much love for the gospel and our fellow brothers and sisters.” Fifita, a member of the Polynesian club, said “I’m proud of my heritage.”
Multicultural Services is planning to feature a different culture each month throughout the rest of the school year, Andersen said.
In November and December, the cultures of Native American and East Indian will be highlighted.
The Multicultural Office, Andersen said, acts as a bridge between multicultural students and the various services available to them.
Andersen said students from minority cultures face problems of loneliness and stereotypical thinking and she said she “really wants to break those barriers down.”
Andersen said she wants BYU students to be careful in their relationships with multicultural students.
“It is appropriate to re-examine our relations with the multicultural students.”