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AlumNews: Talon Articles

Organization strives to develop cultural unity

Friday, October 26, 2007  
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By Kimberlee Rhodes

The Multicultural Student Association began another successful year at Oklahoma Christian University.

MSA began in 2002, and this year the name changed from Minority Student Association to Multicultural Student Association.

“We wanted an organization that was more inclusive,” President of MSA Ashley Thornton said. “One of our goals in MSA is to learn from each other’s culture.”

MSA Vice President Liz Ekpo says the association wants more people to be aware that all cultures are appreciated on campus.

“Our mission is to provide an atmosphere for cultural development through unity, love, service to God and service to community,” Thornton said. 

MSA has about 20 members this year, but with determination and a strong mission, they’re getting off on the right foot.

“Our goal for MSA this year is to be an organization where everyone feels free to get involved,” Thornton said. “Everyone has a culture and something they can bring.”

Another goal for MSA is to have more speakers at their meetings.

Senior Josh Murillo went to the Philippines for a mission trip with “Let’s Start Talking” and shared his experiences and memories with MSA.

“I’m looking forward to the speakers,” member Lindsay Autry said. “It’s an open forum. It’s different than hearing them in chapel because we can ask questions about culture shock and what they took away from the experience.”

Chaplain Johnnie Frye wants to get more people involved this year.

“I’d like to organize different churches with different backgrounds to do different things together,” Frye said. “It’s natural for people to sit by and hang out with people who look and act like them, but deep down we’re all the same, especially as Christians.”

Students have joined MSA for many different reasons.

Senior Gloria Madrid joined MSA because she wanted to get in contact with a more diverse group of people and embrace diversity.

“My favorite thing about MSA is the people,” Madrid said. “They’re so fun! I also like that it’s a small group so we can get along, and have accountability for each other.”

Frye enjoys being around people of different backgrounds.

“Here I can not only have pride in my culture, but I can also explore other’s cultures as well.”

MSA is working on several projects within the community this year, including working with Northeast Church of Christ and its tutoring program.

MSA has a strong history of service to the community and strives to continue it this year.

Along with service to the community, MSA is doing their part to help with the World Mission Workshop hosted this weekend by Oklahoma Christian.

“We’ll be making sure there’s enough food in the cafeteria and that it well represents the theme of WMW,” Autry said. “We’ll also be directing them [visitors] to different seminars and also helping with set up for different displays.”

MSA also has a successful history with projects.

Last year, MSA held a date auction as a fund raiser where students had the opportunity to bid on fellow students and a chance to go out to a nice restaurant.

Thornton enjoyed the auction and plans to do it again this year.

“We have done various activities to promote Black History Month like showing certain videos in chapel or having the MSA choir in chapel,” Ekpo said. 

MSA is planning more successful events, like the International Festival.

“We plan to have the festival next spring,” Ekpo said. “Various cultures will have the opportunity to set up their own booth displaying that culture’s food, artifacts, clothing, music and more.”

MSA is still developing the details of the project and is currently focusing on helping with the World Mission Workshop.

Thornton encourages students to come to the meetings.

Meetings are held every Monday night at 9:00 p.m. in WBC room 100.

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