Baha'i News -- Unity Month commences Friday with fashion show News

Unity Month commences Friday with fashion show

By Sarah Mendola
Contributing Writer

October 29, 2002

The newly-expanded Unity Month commences with a cultural fashion and talent show on McDonough Field Friday.

In years past, the celebration of diversity, organized by the Office of Multicultural Programs and Services, lasted for one week. But officials from OMPS, in conjunction with a planning committee and several student organizations, decided to expand the festivities to the entire month of November.

The cultural fashion and talent show will involve the efforts of the Unity Month planning committee, College Council and eight different student groups. Associate Director of Multicultural Programs Donna Wong and Programming Coordinator Sonia Sharma said they are especially excited about this event because of the amount of student collaboration.

One main event of the month will be a night of games and Middle Eastern food in Harris Parlor Nov. 4, co-sponsored by the Arab Cultural Association and Hillel.

Hillel President Dena Saliman wrote in an e-mail that this is the first co-sponsorship she can recall between the two organizations.

"I think it's great that our organizations are finally going to do something together where people can interact and have fun in a non-political atmosphere," she wrote.

Another highlight is Café Unity, sponsored by the Baha'i Unity Club. Bahar Azhdari, the club's president, wrote in an e-mail that in the past this event has garnered an attendance between 600-800 people.

"The purpose of the event is to bring together all types of people in an environment of love and unity," Azhdari wrote. "It sounds a bit cheesy, I know, but it works."

Sharma cited evidence for the need of the increase from a week to a month. According to an August Princeton Review ranking of colleges, Emory ranks in the top five nationally in student diversity, but falls near the bottom in regards to interaction among groups.

"Freshmen are really disappointed when they discover they have to pick groups because they think Emory is really diverse," Sharma said.

Wong said students and staff need to take advantage of the events during Unity Month as a way to unify the campus.

The Unity Month Planning Committee, OMPS and the student groups involved have been planning the month since last spring.

Students are urged to check the Nov. 1 edition of the Wheel for a complete calendar of events, or go to

©Copyright 2002, The Emory Wheel (GA)

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