The Office of Student Diversity (OSD) hosted their annual Come and Go Social event on Tuesday, August 25 in Cleveland Plaza.
Per the university website, “The Office of Student Diversity seeks to enrich the academic, cultural, and social development of diverse students and to cultivate a culture of respect, understanding, and awareness among the entire PSU community.”
The OSD hosts several events including diversity seminars and workshops. They also provide services such as support for student organizations, celebration of nationally recognized heritage months, advisement, leadership training and multimedia resources.
“The Office of Student Diversity is an office that just offers services… here on campus such as free printing, scanning (and) faxing,” said Emely Flores, assistant director of the Student Diversity Programs. “We also have these multicultural student groups that are under… our OSD family. That’s just a place where students can feel at home with one another, people that they can relate with and celebrate victories with and just share common experiences with one another. This is just an office that also offers a space for people to come in between classes and get to relax or enjoy the conversations that we have daily in the OSD.”
According to Flores, the goal of the event was to meet students on campus and tell them a bit about the OSD and what they do.
“…The goal was that through having free food and offering free masks, we would have an opportunity to engage with students on campus and let them know where we’re located,” Flores said. “That’s why we were in Cleveland Plaza, that way we were able to point out to Horace Mann… for the Office of Student Diversity and let them know about our first meeting which is next week and just have them know about us in general like general information about… student groups in our office.”
Due to COVID-19, Flores says there were “massive changes” and that the event looked “very different” from previous years.
“(There were) massive changes (this year),” Flores said. “I’m a little bit discouraged actually because last year was high energy, fun activities, everybody was laughing and having a good time with one another because the way we held it in a room in the… Overman Student Center and we had music going on and we had food and snacks and we were playing these games and activities with one another and it was just more engaging. This time around, because we knew how many students would attend it because last year it was around 50 to 60 students that attended it, we couldn’t hold it anywhere. So, we had to be outside, and it had to be a Come and Go. For food, we had to have it prepackaged rather than Sodexo… Then we had catering from Jimmy Johns and we were… handing them off so it was like these little boxed lunches. So, our students that were volunteering had to have masks and gloves and they were generally spaced out throughout the area. We had three tables and people could come in, they would check in through our Gorilla Engage attendance section. They would grab a mask if they were following us on social media and then they would grab the lunch if they had RSVP’d… Everybody got lunch because they RSVP’d because we’re mandating that every event student has to RSVP and we would keep attendance of that. If they grabbed anything, then they would be scattered on the table like… the masks were scattered around the table and they were scattered by somebody that had gloves on and so that way it wasn’t like grabbing from a community jar or a community container. So, different things, very different, massive changes for sure.”
The Office of Student Diversity is located on the first floor of Horace Mann.