Shapemaximize playTriangle

August 31, 2018

Inclusivity, community and a sense of belonging. Those are just a few of the feelings Asbury University’s Intercultural Affairs programming hopes to inspire within international, third-culture and U.S. ethnic students.

As late August rolls around, a new crop of freshmen will no doubt find their footing within a variety of Intercultural Student Groups for international, third-culture and U.S. ethnic students. Greek Week allows the campus community to become familiar with these Intercultural Student Groups through food, music and information on the events to come later in the semester. This week, Asbury’s Greek Week spotlighted the following groups as they met for the first time this year to get acquainted with new members and plan upcoming events.  

“The Office of Intercultural Affairs creates a safe and caring environment where students from diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds feel supported and have opportunities for positive and affirming community through student organizations,” Associate Dean of Intercultural Affairs Rev. Esther Jadhav said.

According to Jadhav, there are several new, exciting initiatives that the Office of Intercultural Affairs will implement this year. One of these is a mentoring program with Jessamine County Schools. Interested students can inquire about the new program by contacting the Office of Intercultural Affairs.

Stephanie Beltran ’19 currently serves as the Vice President of Student Intercultural Programs (SIP) and spent two years serving as the LSA President. Beltran noted that the group will be spending time during “Greek Rush” promoting their first major event of the semester, Latino Festival, as well as sharing some sweet treats with new students.

Beltran emphasized the major impact that LSA has had on her during her four years at Asbury and hopes that the wider campus community will continue to become more involved with all of the wonderful programming provided by the Office of Intercultural Affairs and the SIP branch of the Executive Cabinet (EC).

“Within the EC branch of SIP, there are three committees (Equity and Worship, Cultural Celebrations and Advocacy and Comprehension), that encourage people from every background to come together and not only learn from different cultures but work collaboratively to bring what it is they have learned to campus as a whole,” Beltran said. “The branch of Cultural Celebration often collaborates with the student groups to help them bring to campus their vision of festivals, markets or other celebrations.”

Beltran contributes much of the success and community she’s found on campus to her involvement with LSA.

“My freshman year I spent the first semester struggling to focus and find a purpose here at Asbury,” Beltran said. “But by the time the second semester came around, I was approached about joining LSA and that was easily one of the best decisions I have made during my time here. After joining, I felt a sense of belonging that was vital to my academic and social success.”

Her time serving as LSA president and on the Executive Cabinet allowed her to provide similar experiences for new students.

“I was able to experience the fulfillment of reaching out to people that might have felt the same way I did as a freshman, as well as being able to be an advocate and a voice for people that felt unheard or underappreciated,” Beltran said.

Demarion Johnson ’21 currently serves as the BSA Publicist and Appointed Class President. His sentiments on his involvement with the Office of Intercultural Affairs echo those of Beltran.

“Asbury is a liberal arts university, meaning that they want their students to be educated in as many ways as possible to help them later in their professional lives,” Johnson said. “In my time here at Asbury, I have been highly involved in BSA and with the Office of Intercultural Affairs. BSA has given me opportunities to work alongside some amazing people and has granted me some amazing opportunities.”

For Johnson, the community paired with the leadership opportunities found within BSA helped him get clear on career interests and life plans for the future.

“Over the past year I made a major change from Psychology to Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations,” Johnson said. “BSA has made me realize that working with groups of individuals to find ‘solutions,’ how to combat issues together and to be an advocate are things that I truly enjoy. BSA has had a huge impact on making my education at Asbury that much better.”

To learn more about the Office of Intercultural Affairs visit asbury.edu/intercultural-affairs