A spread of vibrant rices and stews and trays of Subway sandwiches awaited the line of students at the Multicultural Center’s door for the first Talk About It Tuesday of Winter Quarter.
Talk About It Tuesday (TAIT) is a biweekly open dialogue put on by the Multicultural Center. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the University Union’s first floor, students are invited to discuss a new theme each session relating to global issues, hot topics on campus and community matters.
TAIT, as regular attendees call it, is geared towards “any open-minded individual who is willing, in a respectful way, to engage in dialogues across identities,” according to co-facilitator and ethnic studies junior Maiya May.
The forums began as Taco-Bout It Tuesday, a taco-centric event hosted by the Multicultural Center, and evolved into a comfortable space for discussion.
For each session, May, alongside TAIT co-facilitator and business sophomore Lydia Dasari hand-pick subjects they feel push the boundaries and are important for campus conversations. They led discussions after the blackface incident about “anti-blackness within American society,” according to May.
“We always like to look at different perspectives on a topic and bring in all the voices that we can,” May said.
“We choose a hot topic, provide food, and have an open discussion about the topic’s relevance to ourselves, to Cal Poly, and to greater society,” Dasari said.
Talk About It Tuesday sessions have covered young activism, workplace discrimination and ethicality of having children in a generation of climate change in Fall 2019. In future dialogues, hookup culture and transgender healthcare on campus are just a couple of issues Dasari said she hopes to cover.
“Topics like these deserve open spaces to be discussed honestly, and that is what TAIT provides,” Dasari said.
These issues are prevalent on campus and in the wider world, yet, they are rarely discussed, according to Dasari. TAIT sessions, she said, foster a culture for this important discourse among students.
When nutrition junior Sarah Verduzco transferred to Cal Poly, she said she felt isolated because she had not yet found the right resources.
“By going to Talk About It Tuesday, I’ve realized that there are a lot more people on campus who have experienced what I’ve experienced and I’m not alone,” Verduzco said. “I feel like I have a place again.”
At the start of each TAIT, students are encouraged to introduce themselves and their pronouns, be respectful, and be “graceful, because everyone is learning here,” May said at the begining of the meeting.
According to their website, Cal Poly’s Multicultural Center’s mission is central to upholding Cal Poly’s commitment to diversity for a more inclusive campus, which respects and affirms the equal human worth of every individual.
Every time someone signs into the MCC on the iPads near the entrance, data is recorded so that school administration is aware that the space is being utilized.
“I basically live in the MCC,” business sophomore Natalie Estilo said. “It is such a welcoming space for everyone because I am constantly surrounded by people who are supportive, caring, and help me improve as an individual.”