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Try Culture offers students a diverse cultural experience – The Daily Texan

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Life and Arts Reporter Sarah Zaidi

Bright, colorful lights swept across the ballroom at the William C. Powers Student Activities Center, and rhythmic, upbeat pop music blasted from the speakers and filled the space. Students from different cultural groups on campus gathered around the table to eat, laugh, talk and enjoy each other’s presence.

Students gathered in the ballroom on Thursday for UT’s Campus Events and Entertainment Cultural Experiential Event of the Mexican-American Culture, Asian-American Culture, and African-American Cultural Commissions. Students share stories and dishes with students from other backgrounds at events, It featured lively music and a buffet of food from different cultures.

“I love seeing different perspectives here, acknowledging other cultures on campus and seeing how they are represented,” said a junior in Chemistry and Mexican-American Latino/Research. said Candice Cantu.

Annie Wong, President of the Asian American Cultural Commission, said the organization recruits successful Southeast Asian, East Asian and Pacific Islander headliners in the industry to speak and attend at various events hosted by the organization. said to invite.

“There is so much diversity in Asian communities,” said Wong, a sophomore in biochemistry. “(Try Culture) raises awareness of these cultures and (encourages) people to participate.”

Jeter Ocampo He said he particularly enjoyed the event’s ability to represent both dishes from his own traditions and other racial backgrounds. In addition to providing a safe place to learn about, students are exposed to various student-led cultural organizations on campus.

“My friends tell me that joining an organization that they identify with is an interest, an experience and a passion,” said a sophomore in electrical and computer engineering. One Ocampo said. “I want to spread awareness about organizations that help other people of color.”

The African American Cultural Committee hosts events for black students on campus. This includes talent shows, high profile speaker events, game nights, and more. It also hosts UT’s annual black student talent show — Culture Shock — an event where black students across campus can showcase their unique skills and abilities in singing, painting, and dancing. Last year, the African American Cultural Commission hosted a high profile speaker event where actress and TV host Vivica A. Fox spoke to students about the entertainment industry.

“We are dedicated to improving the black community on campus,” said Duncan, a sophomore in computer science. “Last semester, we did a Burnt Orange Table Talk to address community issues.”

Over the past few years, Try Culture has offered more games and performances, but Cantu said he only hopes to grow from here with more interactive events in the future. . She hopes more organizations will participate in the festival and create a safe space for students to celebrate their cultural backgrounds on campus.

“It means a lot to me to come to a predominantly white institution and have a place to hang out with my sisters,” Cantu said. “I really hope that we can create a safe environment for people to share.”