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Under new leadership, the multi-racial student group looks to grow. When filling out the typical college application, students are asked to check off one racial category. But for multi-racial students, that is not possible. This dilemma is the namesake of the student organization Check One, which represents students of mixed races, heritages and cultures. "Its important to realize that virtually everyone is of mixed heritage at this school," said incoming President Desiree Strickland, a College sophomore. "It's something everyone has to deal with." And outgoing president and College senior Marc Lener noted that there is a "great amount of self segregation on campus" that this group seeks to combat. Check One was born seven years ago as a discussion group for multi-ethnic and multi-racial students, but has since evolved into a cultural and political organization. In October 1998, it was officially inducted into the United Minorities Council. The ethnically diverse group is gaining popularity across campus. It currently has approximately 25 core members, an increase from last years membership of about 10 students. "We've been really focusing on advertising and getting our name out," said Lener, who noted over the past year the board has devoted time and energy to becoming more visible. Last night, Check One elected a new executive board. The group elected Strickland president and College junior Maria Wormack vice president. "I feel very honored to be elected president," Strickland said. "Although its going to be a tough job I think that it will be a great experience and a lot of fun." As president, Strickland said she hopes to continue the recent efforts to increase Check One's visibility on campus while incorporating a community service aspect. "We all have a lot to give and there are a lot of people who need [us]," she said. Wormack echoed Strickland's opinions on the importance of outreach. "Now that there are more mixed children being born, there is more discussion about their varying perspectives on social issues," she said. "Due to this increase, I think that Check One is now more important than ever." Over the next semester, Check One plans to hold several events on dating between different races -- a key focus for the group. Check One's annual interracial dating forum features University students and faculty who speak on their interracial dating experiences and facilitate a discussion on the topic. And this year, the group is planning their first interracial date auction which will be held around Valentine's Day.

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