What better way to fend off winter blues than to celebrate the ethnic diversity of Kalamazoo College’s student body? In February a number of ethnic student organizations joined the Office of Student Involvement to host and organize the 4th annual La Fiesta Desi Soul (LFDS) event. Student organizations–including the Black Student Organization (BSO), the Caribbean society, Kalama-Africa, K-Desi, the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association (APISA), the Latino Student Organization (LSO), and the Young Persian Society–have helped turn this into the biggest Zoo After Dark event.
The event’s origins trace back to Fall of 2008, according to the Assistant Director of Student Involvement Kate Elizabeth-Leishman Yancho. It was sponsored at that time by BSO, LSO, and K-Desi. “Compared to the first time when the event took place in the Welles Dining Hall with a relatively smaller crowd, the event has become one of the most highly attended events on campus”, says Yancho. Furthermore, LFDS won the award for the 2011 Outstanding Campus Collaboration by the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA).
Participating student organizations put up visuals, serve different dishes (catered by Sodexo) and sponsor interactive games for everybody. Sashae Mitchell ‘14, the president of the Caribbean Society, said the purpose of this event is to “share aspects of the culture of the ethnic student groups through music, food, dance, and fun activities.” Mitchell added that she would like to see “more students attend the event so that it outgrows Hicks!” When asked about the future goals for LFDS, Brittany King-Pleas ‘13, president of BSO, said she hopes “the educational component continues to expand and the members of the committee work together to create a bit of cohesion amongst themselves.”