Pizza, snow cones and a DJ were all part of the kickoff event for Campus Fusion on Monday at Gregory Plaza.
Students for Equity and Diversity is hosting Campus Fusion, a three-day event during which different organizations showcasing diversity team up for a series of workshops and performances to promote unity among students.
Monica Torres, director of internal relations at SED, said the group is bringing back Campus Fusion after a decade-long absence.
“So back in ’04, ’06, during that time, they actually would put up Campus Fusion as a week of dialogue but with a social justice component,” said Torres, a social work and Mexican American studies junior.
Torres said this event is necessary because issues of diversity are still evident on campus.
“We should still celebrate our different cultures, different ethnicities, different backgrounds here at UT,” Torres said.
Latin American studies junior Jackie Tellez said Campus Fusion had a larger turnout in the past.
“It was put on by both the [Division of Diversity and Community Engagement] and Student Government in collaboration,” Tellez said. “It was a campus-wide event, and they had a lot of people come out and sponsor it.”
Tellez said the event includes not only cultural organizations, but any organization that promotes diversity on campus.
“Diversity is not just different countries or determined by ethnicities,” Tellez said. “We also have organizations like the [Gender and Sexuality Center] talking about gender. We have queer [organizations] and neurodiversity [organizations]. We’re not trying to cover just race, but all that diversity has to bring, which is all of those things together.”
Tellez said although the University encourages diversity, the different student organizations operate separately.
“UT is a very diverse school, but I feel like those communities don’t always interact with each other, and this is a space where those communities can come together and see each other all together instead of being separated throughout campus,” Tellez said. “We’re here, but we don’t always get the opportunity to come together.”
Sam Tedford, geography senior and co-director of social justice for SED, said Campus Fusion is not just a good public relations event.
“We don’t wanna just use [diversity] as a buzz word,” Tedford said. “We’re actively trying to make a diverse space in a multitude of ways. We want to work with other students to help promote and preserve their cultures.”