Cal Poly students can celebrate diversity today during Stomp the Plaza in the University Union Plaza.
The event is put on by Diversity CORe.
Diversity CORe — “COR” stands for “Clubs and Organizations Resources” — is a new campus organization that attempts to unify Cal Poly’s many different cultural clubs and Greek organizations.
Emily Hong, a biological sciences and political science junior who helped start Diversity CORe, said Stomp the Plaza is the first event in a movement to bring together groups that celebrate diversity in culture, gender and sexual orientation.
“The goal of the event is so that students can celebrate with us diversity on this campus,” Hong said.
Stomp the Plaza will feature booths hosted by the Pride Center, Women’s Programs & Services, Intervarsity, Student Community Services and clubs associated with the MultiCultural Center (MCC).
The name of the event was inspired by the movie “Stomp the Yard,” and was originally going to focus on stepping — a tradition common in black fraternities — and cultural clubs. Instead, Hong said Diversity CORe decided to invite other groups to focus on different forms of diversity as well.
“Clubs needed to be connected, and organizations across campus all stand for diversity in some way, shape or form,” Hong said. “We’re trying to bridge these gaps so that we can all come together.”
For Hong, the main purpose of Stomp the Plaza is to introduce Cal Poly students to the wide variety of clubs and organizations on campus that celebrate students’ differences. Many of the MCC’s events have low attendance because students are not aware of them.
“We’re a resource center for students and we would love for them to realize that diversity is present on this campus,” Hong said.
The Pilipino Cultural Exchange (PCE) is among the clubs contributing to the activities at Stomp the Plaza. PCE will host a booth where members will answer students’ questions about the club and sell lumpia, a Filipino spring roll.
Civil engineering junior and member of PCE Mariel Cuison said she hopes the event will pique Cal Poly students’ interest in different cultures on campus.
“Honestly, I think that some people don’t know that we have cultural clubs at Cal Poly,” Cuison said.
Both of PCE’s dance groups, PCE Modern (a hip-hop group) and Kasayahan (a traditional Filipino dance troupe) will perform. Cuison said the performances showcase the variety of PCE’s activities.
“We can do hip-hop dancing and be down with hip-hop culture, and stay traditional and be up to date with Filipino culture,” Cuison said.
PCE is open to any Cal Poly student, regardless of ethnicity, and Stomp the Plaza is a chance for the club to reach all of the student body.
“If someone’s really curious about Filipino culture, why not ask?” Cuison said.
The Movimiento Estudiantil Xicano de Aztlán (MEXA), which focuses on social issues facing Latinos, is also hosting a booth today where students can buy desserts.
Ethnic studies sophomore and member of MEXA Isabel Montenegro said she believes the event is important because it brings attention to a frequently ignored section of Cal Poly culture.
“We’re just happy that we’re being allowed to do this on campus,” Montenegro said. “It shows that we have some support.”
Stomp the Plaza is one of the first cultural events of its kind to be held on campus, Montenegro said. MCC typically hosts CultureFest — a weekend event showcasing Cal Poly’s cultural clubs — at the beginning of the year, but at an off-campus location.
Biological sciences junior Devon Buddan said Stomp the Plaza is important because it’s being held at Cal Poly, and hopefully will draw more students.
“Stomp the Plaza is basically a mini CultureFest on campus,” Buddan said.
Hong, Buddan and Diversity CORe hope to make Stomp the Plaza an annual event that will introduce students to the variety of clubs and organizations, as well as unite the groups themselves.
“We’re all here for the common cause,” Buddan said.
The event will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.