Battling Spring Fling's image as a "white" event, directors of the annual festival sponsored a forum for minority group leaders to suggest how to make Fling appealing to all students. The three Fling chairpeople sponsored the 45-minute forum -- the first such event in the event's 19-year history -- to elicit more minority input. Minority students have said they do not attend the event because they find Fling's location in the Quadrangle threatening and are not attracted to the type of entertainment. Only seven minority student leaders and one representative from the Greek Social Action Committee attended the forum, but Fling directors said they would continue to pursue minority input. They added that the Social Planning and Events Committee, which oversees Fling, will soon form a minority concerns task force that can address problems with the festival. Tri-director Rob Cohen said last night that although he was disappointed by the low turnout, he hopes more minority groups will help his committee change Fling's image as a white event. "It's not what Spring Fling should be," Cohen said. "It's not what it's intended to be. If that's what its perception is, it needs to be changed." Leaders from United Minorities Council groups attended the meeting, suggesting moving Fling or some of its events from the Quad to Hill Field or to Superblock. They added that entertainment has not included minority groups in the past. Fling directors need to be persistent in soliciting minority input, UMC Chairperson Nalini Samuel said. "The biggest thing you have to overcome is the perception of this as just a token effort," Samuel said, suggesting that the forum's low turnout was partially due to this image. Ileana Garcia, the president of La Asociacion de Estudiantes Latinos Americanos, suggested that increased "crossover" music that reflected the tastes of more types of people could entice more minority students to come. She pointed to this fall's 250th Anniversary Quarter Millennium Celebratory Jam as an example of an event which played music that appealed to most students and brought groups together. Greek Social Action Committee Tri-Chairperson Jeff Furman said last night that although he is not a member of a minority group, he was interested in hearing minority concerns to take back to his organization. His group aims to increase diversity awareness in Greek organizations. "The philosophy motivating the Greek Social Action Committee is to get people from different backgrounds to work together, to exchange ideas, and to basically increase positive interaction with each other," he said. "Then we can all effect a better atmosphere and level of understanding on campus." Representatives from the Chinese Students Association, Caribbean-American Students Association and SPEC also attended the meeting.Comments powered by Disqus
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