Multicultural Club to Expand Outreach, Recruiting Strategies

Left to right: Multicultural Club members Gardyney Deshommes, Noni Silas, Kierra Kimble, Habrienne Louchie, Chabely Espinal, Gabrielle Padilla, Tayler Fleming, and Creily Torres pose by their clubs sign-up and information table.

Left to right: Multicultural Club members Gardyney Deshommes, Noni Silas, Kierra Kimble, Habrienne Louchie, Chabely Espinal, Gabrielle Padilla, Tayler Fleming, and Creily Torres pose by their club’s sign-up and information table.

Iana Davis, Reporter

Multicultural Club leaders question a decrease in membership and seek to grow it.

The club once had over 90 members, but now it has about 15.

Habrienne Louchie, secretary and  junior nursing major, said she is frustrated by the lack of active members. Habrienne sent emails to over 90 students in an effort to recruit new members, but she received only a few replies, she said.

“It’s a lot of hard work, I would have to say. We have the same five to 10 volunteer all the time. It would be nice to have some more help,” Louchie said.

 Members think that they may have found some of the problems, and they are now working on solutions.

 Creily Torres, who is among the active members, said she heard the club referred to as the “black office,” and members said they were  understanding but frustrated. Members said that a general lack of knowledge of  many cultures has led them to hold  events that revolve around the same cultures and themes.

They said the club is not only for students of African American backgrounds. Club members are diverse and include students of many races and ethnicities, including those of Hispanic, Dominican, Jamaican and Italian backgrounds. This group does not shy away from diverse cultures; they embrace them, members say.

Louchie said members have many ideas for expansion.

“I think a good way to expand our club would be to have a meeting, because they do work well, or maybe by sending out a poll to figure out the different ethnicities on campus because we are unaware.”

Members say they work hard with the manpower they have, but they are confused about the lack of student interest.

Torres, sophomore government and national law major and a two year member,  said she looks for ways to make the club better.

“I know that our purpose is to spread diversity on campus, but we need all members to be active, so if you cannot show up to the meetings then ask to be updated, read the emails and help at events. I’m very proud of the turnouts at our events. It shows the unity,” said Torres.

Members hosted a welcome back BBQ in the beginning of the year to welcome previous and new members, and many students came to support the club. Member attendance declined by more than half as they year progressed.

“Meetings are the biggest concern for the club, because members do not show up mainly because of work or sports,” said Torres.

 One cannot force people to attend events, but spreading the word is always important, members say.

“I mention the club any chance I get really, especially when we are talking about what we are doing. If I’m not working, I mention the meetings,” Louchie said.

Members have started advertising events and meetings from their own social media accounts.

Officers say advertising must become a priority for the club’s growth, and they are improving the standard recap of meetings, upcoming events, and sales that they email to students so the messages grab readers’ attention. 

The club is planning to provide more events to keep its members intrigued, and the members are even looking forward to making new friends because of the changes to come. 

“Once we try to alter the viewpoint, that is something we are working on, but we do not know what else we could do, but we are open to suggestions,” said Louchie.

The club wants to provide students with more opportunities to explore multiple races and ethnicities.

“Pay it forward. It’s a great school with a lot to offer if it was more inclusive, so with this club we have a platform to increase that inclusiveness and diversity,” Louchie said.

Members say they try try to work with all students’ schedules, even those of its athletic members because they say the club provides students with the opportunity to  gain leadership skills and help others in need.

“This club provides that family atmosphere, and if that is what students are looking for then this is the club for them.”