Why Students from All Over Flock to Diversity Club

Diversity Club has rapidly grown in popularity since it was first established in 2007. Here’s a behind-the-scenes look into the popularity behind the club.

Mara Xiong, Staff Writer

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Diversity Club is, without a doubt, one of the most popular clubs in the Upper Division. With over 127 members, the club meets every Friday during lunch to discuss a variety of current topics and global issues, ranging from race to gender to religious differences and even sexual orientation. But what fascinates people the most about Diversity Club? Why do so many people join? The Fanfare sat down with three members of the club to answer these questions: Kayla McLoone ‘20, Shaila Ghanekar ‘17 and club sponsor Christine Ortega Gaurkee.

 

Kayla McLoone, a freshman who recently joined, took a moment before answering. “It [Diversity Club] seemed like a really cool way to meet people, because I’m new to Berkeley, and I don’t know, I just like to gain insight on different perspectives in life,” said McLoone.

 

GAME PLAN: The Diversity Programming Team holds its first annual retreat. Many clubs hold annual retreats to plan for the year ahead. For the Diversity Club, a retreat like this is key to bring a group of 127 members together.

Christine Ortega Guarkee
GAME PLAN: The Diversity Programming Team holds its first annual retreat. Many clubs hold annual retreats to plan for the year ahead. For the Diversity Club, a retreat like this is key to bring a group of 127 members together.

 

McLoone’s admiration on the club’s varying perspectives was shared by Shaila Ghanekar, a senior who joined the club her freshman year. “I first joined Diversity Club because all my friends joined,” Ghanekar said with a laugh, “and then I really started to get into all the issues that they were talking about, and it was really interesting to see everyone else’s perspective. That’s why I really started loving it.”

 

Upper Division faculty member and club sponsor Christine Ortega Gaurkee had her own thoughts about what she thought made Diversity Club so appealing. “I think it’s really because students have an opportunity to say what they think and talk about each other’s thoughts and opinions. All perspectives are completely welcome, any time. It’s also completely student-led, so there’s not a teacher in front of the room, telling them what to think or what to remember.”

 

TEAMWORK: The Diversity Programming Team works together to solve an escape room. Pictured above is Tristan Facenda-Kerswill '17, Peter Tanner ’19, Mikae Provine '19, Alexa Rudolph ’17, Shaila Ghanekar ’17, Bella Diaco '18, Dylan Davis '18, Dylan Davis '18 and Theo Vasiloudes '17. The escape room has recently taken off as a way for teams and organizations to learn to work together in high stress situations.

Christine Ortega Guarkee
TEAMWORK: The Diversity Programming Team works together to solve an escape room. Pictured above is Tristan Facenda-Kerswill ’17, Peter Tanner ’19, Mikae Provine ’19, Alexa Rudolph ’17, Shaila Ghanekar ’17, Bella Diaco ’18, Dylan Davis ’18, Dylan Davis ’18 and Theo Vasiloudes ’17. The escape room has recently taken off as a way for teams and organizations to learn to work together in high stress situations.

 

Several members of the club expressed their belief that the club, while extremely attractive and enthralling, also promotes Berkeley’s message of making a positive difference on the world. “It [Diversity Club] definitely makes a positive difference on the world!” said Ghanekar, “The goal of the diversity club is to educate the community on how to be more culturally aware and be more culturally accepting. I mean, these are the kinds of issues that are plaguing our world, what with everything that’s going on, and we’re making an effort to educate our community on how to separate prejudices from fact.”
For those interested in joining such an interesting club, consider stopping by room 251 on Friday during lunch. There, you’ll find a family of 127 students ready to change the world with you.

 

DON'T JUST SIT THERE: A Diversity Club meeting takes places in U253 where heated discussion goes back and forth regarding different topics about diversity like race, gender and sexuality. Recent topics of discussion have included the Black Lives Matter movement, socioeconomic status and and the Hispanic community.

Christine Ortega Guarkee
DON’T JUST SIT THERE: A Diversity Club meeting takes places in U253 where heated discussion goes back and forth regarding different topics about diversity like race, gender and sexuality. Recent topics of discussion have included the Black Lives Matter movement, socioeconomic status and and the Hispanic community.

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