After a short hiatus, the student organization series is back. This might be the final post of this series for a while since finals and the holidays are coming up, but I’m glad I get to (momentarily) pause with a student org that has recently made a comeback. Today, I’ll be showcasing Multi! Otherwise known as the Multiracial Students Association, Multi has created a space on campus specifically for multiracial students to create community amongst one another. It serves as an important identity space on Oberlin’s campus, and I’m excited to help showcase it on this page! Now we’ll take a look at the Q&A between myself and Ben, the Treasurer for Multi, a bit earlier in the semester.
Charlize: What is your organization and what do you all do?
Ben: Our organization is the Multiracial Students Association (usually abbreviated as Multi). We aim to create a space for productive dialogue about multiracial-related issues. Our organization was inspired by the hope to facilitate conversations and activities involving the unique experiences of people that identify as/with more than one race. We center the voices of students that self-identify as BIPOC and/or multiracial. We also hope to build and maintain coalitions with other organizations and people of color.
C: What are some events you look forward to?
B: We are looking forward to hosting our interest meeting for both new and returning members! We particularly want to hear what new members are excited about and what they want to do this semester. We'll also probably have some group dinners, movie nights, identity-workshops, and speaker events.
C: What is your favorite memory with Multi?
B: My favorite memory from Multi was when we had a dinner-dialogue where we all had a chat in North quad over the summer semester. We struck the right atmosphere where it was friendly and casual but could still talk about some of the more serious aspects of being mixed-race. Afterwards some people stuck around and we hung out and played card games.
C: What are some long term goals for Multi?
B: Similar to our first question, we want to establish a club that welcomes everyone of mixed backgrounds. This is something that can be difficult to accomplish as our experiences are so varied. To add some context, this is the second incarnation of Multi, and one reason why the first Multi stopped running was because many felt that the club only really spoke to a very specific type of experience. So our biggest goal is to ensure that all voices and experiences are heard.
C: How can students get involved?
B: Glad you asked! Multi welcomes students of mixed ancestry, as well as those who take interest in mixed identity issues. As usual for any club, students can get involved by participating in club events, voting in elections, and running for officer positions. One thing we want to do this semester is hold open officer meetings, so that way all members have the chance to express what ideas, issues and events they want the club to tackle. We really want to take into account what the community desires to ensure that Multi is welcoming to the various experiences and identities that result from being of mixed ancestry.
C: Tell me about your meetings or next event!
B: We are planning on holding weekly meetings in Wilder 208 on Sundays at 3 PM, with events alternating every other week starting on October 17th — such as dinners, arts and crafts, and academic discussions/workshops — and open officer/planning meetings where people can have a chance to voice what they want to see happen this coming semester.
Multi serves as an important identity-based organization on campus and creates community especially among BIPOC and/or multiracial students. When leaving home for an unknown (or lesser known) place like Oberlin, it’s vital to make community and connections, and this organization is one of several that helps facilitate those connections and community to help make Oberlin feel like home. It might be some time until I write about other student organizations, but there are orgs that fit nearly every interest, so don’t worry too much about finding a space where you can build community on common interests!
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