THIS SEMESTER, Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME) has been working hard to create a great deal of new and exciting events and programs. This year’s theme is “Self-Care.”
Angela Buck, Assistant Director of IME, said that the theme was inspired by an IME event.
“We really want to create community at our weekly event called IME Rest & Relaxation (R&R),” Buck said. “It’s a weekly event that we host here in our suite that just brings people together. They are stress free activities such as coloring or eating cake or playing with puppies. Like, it’s just a place for people to kind of be themselves and not have any social pressures and heal from different things or different tragedies happening in the world.”
The IME R&Rs are hosted every Wednesday between 4-5 p.m. The events are located in the IME suite above the Council Chamber in Templeton. At the last R&R, students got together to relax and piece together a puzzle of Frida Khalo. The puzzle was inspired by IME’s Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place until Oct. 15. For the final event, there will be a film screening of the movie Frida. The event will take place this Friday, Oct. 14, in the Council Chambers at 7 p.m.
“I mostly go to the events such as the R&Rs just to hang out and have a little space to relax and wind down and talk to Nathan [Baptiste] or Angela Buck,” Selina Ibarra Bustamante ’19 said. “Another way I’m involved with them is through L.E.A.P. which is Leading to Engage All Pioneers. It’s a mentorship program where I mentor first generation and students of color and help them adjust to life at LC.”
L.E.A.P. aims to build strong relationships amongst different underrepresented groups of students. The program pairs older students with incoming students coming from a variety of identities.
“Older students can give a perspective and help the incoming student navigate a life that is maybe very different from their home life and gives that peer to peer kind of mentorship,” Buck said. “So it’s very easy for students to feel comfortable and ask questions and help figure out where their place on campus is. The other social events we put on with both L.E.A.P. mentors and L.E.A.P. mentees, as well as the other social events we have, seek to bring folks together really around authentic experiences. It creates these feelings of home that maybe the given environment won’t naturally give to them.”
Another event series that IME hosts are the Diversity Dialogues. The dialogues are related to multiple issues related to differences and identity that all students can participate in. The last dialogue, on culture shock, was hosted by Luz Aguirre ’17, the IME Student Life Intern. Students got together to talk about what it is like to navigate in a new environment, whether they are coming from a completely different home environment or even if they have just returned from study abroad.
“My first Diversity Dialogue was on Culture Shock and it went really well,” Aguirre said. “It was a conversation where we tied in our personal experiences with the broader definition of what it means to experience culture shock both at LC and outside LC. I think there is still space for this conversation to continue in terms of our personal experiences and how cultural adjustment also ties into the subject matter. Later on in the semester, I do plan on following up with another event designed more as a workshop to discuss this theme further alongside a student from Akin who will be co-facilitating.”
As the IME Student Life Intern, Aguirre keeps to a busy schedule. She hosts the Students of Color Speakeasy’s and the Diversity Dialogues, runs the Social Justice Tour and plans the IME Banquet at the end of the Spring semester. Soon, Aguirre will be hosting another Diversity Dialogue.
“An upcoming Dialogue will also be around Code Switching,” Buck said. “When you’re in different physical spaces how do you show up? Whether you’re at a board meeting or a social event, your identities impact whether you’re able to go back and forth between communication styles and relating to others and how to maximize that given your identities.”
Students can expect even more upcoming events from IME this semester including an evening with W. Kamau Bell, a sociopolitical comedian. The event will be happening Nov. 7 at 7 p.m.