The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

ALANA Builds Foundations of Community, Diversity and Inclusion at The Palooza

The African, Latin American, Asian American and Native American Cultural Center (ALANA) hosted The Palooza, previously known as ALANAPalooza, on Thursday, Sept. 7.

The Palooza is a signature event hosted at the start of every new school year, displaying the resources of not only the ALANA Cultural Center, but also of the other groups at Colgate University that contribute to a diverse and inclusive campus. The event featured tables from the Center for Outreach Volunteerism and Education (COVE), the Office of Sustainability and the Center for Women’s Studies, with each department giving a rundown on their work and the goals of each of the respective fields. This event fosters a tight-knit Colgate experience centered around community.

Director of the ALANA Cultural Center Esther Rosbrook answered a few questions regarding the goals and future plans of the center. 

All are welcome to participate in creating a space where differences are celebrated, where bonds are forged, and where we embark on a new academic year as a united Colgate community,” Rosbrook said. 

The Palooza aimed to bring students together to construct a stronger Colgate community. Senior Raashi Jain, president of the Colgate Resolutions a cappella group who performed at The Palooza, commented on her experience.

“The Resolutions love to perform and actually look forward to attending [the] Palooza every year,” Jain said. “It allows us, as a group, to reach out and recruit members of underrepresented communities that are often overshadowed on Colgate’s campus. We love working closely with Esther and ALANA to strengthen our inclusivity as well as celebrate the fine arts community.”

Sophomore Lara Blanton expressed similarly positive sentiments about how the event fostered a sense of community.

“[The] Palooza was such a nice way to take a break and relax after school,” Blanton said. “[I] really enjoyed being able to eat good food, sit with friends and watch all the talented performers.“

Rosbrook also noted how the ALANA Cultural Center hosts many different events in which students can participate throughout the rest of the semester. For Hispanic Heritage Month, which takes place in the month of October, there will be a multicultural fashion show on Oct. 27, which is also the first day of Family Weekend. Rosbrook saw the fashion show as an opportunity for students to introduce their parents to the center, all while celebrating diversity and creativity. 

Students can also earn a Physical Education (PE) credit through the “Cooking Around the World” program that occurs throughout the semester. Students receive hands-on kitchen experience while meeting new people and interacting with new communities and cuisines.

“It is an enriching series of cooking classes that will transport you on a culinary journey, featuring delectable dishes from various corners of the globe,” Rosbrook said.  

Another major focus of ALANA is social justice. The Social Justice Peer Education program aims to enrich these ideologies and skills. The first open dialogue event for this program is on Sept. 26, the theme for which is “Resilience and Representation.” On Sept. 15 and 16, ALANA is also hosting their “Design Your Life” program, which aims to help participants plan out their aspirations and goals for the future.

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About the Contributor
Maya Egan
Maya Egan, Assistant Commentary Editor
Maya Egan is a sophomore from Rye, NY with a concentration in political science and a minor in English. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary section. On campus, Maya is an executive member of a Greek letter organization

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