The fall DISH Fair happened Tuesday, Sept. 12, with lots of fun and games to be had. DISH stands for, Diversity IS Happening, a cover organization for at least a dozen individual cultural identity based groups. These groups were all tabling at the event and represent many of our culturally distinct populations.
LGBT Center: this group was the first of its kind on any campus in Minnesota and the second in the nation. A couple of their upcoming events are a Drag Show, and the MOCC Minnesota Out Minnesota Campus conference.
Women’s Center: a woman support effort to create a safe and supportive atmosphere as well as a place to hangout.
Asian Pacific Students Organization (APSO): helps their students connect, provides skill-building and leadership opportunities.
Vietnamese American Student Association (VASA): currently looking for more members. They have a fitness and wellness program and an academic boot camp on Sept. 27.
Black Intelligent Gentlemen (BIG): meet bi-weekly to provide support and moral encouragement to black men on campus. They work diligently to increase retention rates and make sure their members have the support they need to graduate.
Black Student Union (BSU): provide support and advice to black students on campus and help their members acclimate to college life. They also do fundraising to help with those causes.
Oromo Student Union (OSU): represent the largest a of students from East Africa, including the countries Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. They promote and support their cultural beliefs while helping those students succeed.
Latino Students’ Wellness Program (LSWP): focuses on the mental health of Latino students via health-related activities, such as soccer and volleyball, to help with stress management.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE): promotes Hispanic students in the STEM courses by bringing professionals of those field in to speak, among other efforts.
Chicano Latin-American Students Association (CLASA): provides support and opportunity for its members. They have a Latino night coming up. They also help with homecoming events and are big on supporting DACA right now.
Native American Student Association (NASA): has ties to AIS (American Indian Studies) and AIA (American Indian Affairs) and provides traditional support for their members. They have a pow-wow coming up Sept. 22-24 at Land of Memories Park.
Hmong Student Organization (HSA): provides comfort and support to their members. They do a cultural day, a highway clean-up in the spring, a formal conference, and a camping trip.
Two more groups are part of DISH, but were not able to be interviewed.
The fair lasted from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. A Calypso style band called Pan Dimensions provided entertainment. Treats such as nachos, cotton candy and popcorn were available, and fair goers got a chance to win a t-shirt if they visited multiple tables and got a stamp from each of them.