R.E.A.C.H. Week ‘a sign of good things to come’

Photo by Josh Morris

About 400 students attended annual R.E.A.C.H. Week celebrations, which culminated Friday.

With events like “Ethnic Fest: Celebration of the Chinese New Year” and a screening of the new movie “Red Tails,” R.E.A.C.H. sought  fun ways to promote diversity within the categories of gender, spirituality, race and sexual orientation.

UnoBlessed Coons, vice president of diversity programming and R.E.A.C.H. chair, said she believes R.E.A.C.H. Week was a success.

Last semester, Coons stepped into the role of R.E.A.C.H. chair after former chair Alex Montgomery stepped down from the organization.

This change left Coons with less time to plan and organize the week’s events.

“Despite being late into the game, I think we did a good job of getting new people, especially freshmen, to turn out at our events,” Coons said.

The Chinese New Year celebration was the most well attended, Coons said. Organizers brought food for 100 people, and at least 150 people attended the event. The celebration was this year’s “Ethnic Fest,” which typically occurs during the fall semester.

As reported in a Sept. 21, 2011 issue of The Butler Collegian, Butler’s multicultural enrollment is one-third the national rate at other private, four-year, not-for-profit institutions.

Despite the challenges this presents to groups like R.E.A.C.H., the organization remains as devoted to its message as ever.

As an officiating member of R.E.A.C.H. who deals with issues of gender and spirituality, Brittany Staten said R.E.A.C.H. Week was all about “a chance for R.E.A.C.H. to be seen.”

“It gives students the opportunity to do things they wouldn’t normally do and learn about things students wouldn’t normally learn about,” Staten said.

Staten said she believes the short window between the start of the spring semester and R.E.A.C.H. Week may have contributed to a lack of student awareness on campus, but she is proud of the work R.E.A.C.H. did to promote its events.

Staten said R.E.A.C.H. Week events were successful in spite of a lack of significant advertising around campus. Staten said as a group in the beginning phases of promoting its message, she saw this week as progress and a sign of more good things to come.


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