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As I wrote about in a earlier post (click here), Culture week was a blast.  It was a success and we fully intended for our successors to continue to do this event every other semester.  However, as we handed over the Diversity Council (DC) to the next executive board (e-board), we encountered a fundamental disagreement.

Joe, a co-creator of the event and a founder of the DC, did not want to orchestrate the second culture week again and only wanted to do the Talent Show.  He felt that every organization could handle their own day/event for that day, because the weekdays preceding the Friday of the Talent show were always devoted to the organizations putting on their own cultural events.  I felt, however, that the organizations needed help and that since the culture week event was fundamentally ours, our energy’s should have been spent coordinating the events, advertising for the organizations and doing whatever else we could do.  Essentially, I felt that the days leading up to the Talent show were the most important.  The new executive board sided with Joe.

As the semester progressed, however, the new executive board became overwhelmed.  Half of their e-board left that semester and the other half had just become second semesters.  With block exams and a hectic schedule, the weeks before the culture week turned into days.  Members of the second e-board did not even want to do the culture week events because it turned out that no one was ready.  Furthermore, the dates of culture week had changed last-minute.  I was able to argue successfully for culture week to continue.  The reason for the last second date change was Joe had once again run into room booking issues with Dr. Testa, but this time, he did not fight it and just changed the date of the Talent show.  The Diversity Council e-board decided to also change the dates of culture week.  The other organizations had to scramble last second to get room bookings.  It was a mess.  Advertisements were put up the day before for culture week events.

When Culture Week finally came around, few people showed up.  Some organizations had decent turn outs and were pleased.  Some were upset that everything had been changed last second without little notice.  The president of JMSA (Jewish Medical Student Association) at the time, a fifth semester who was leaving the Island, tried single handily to organize an entire baking workshop.  Because of room mix ups, other issues, and the low turn out – he was pretty upset about the entire operation.  None of the diversity council officers attended the event.  I was told afterwards that the DC officers didn’t attend anyone’s events and that the two second semesters barely helped with the Talent show.

I admit that I did not want to go the second Talent Show because of what happened to Culture Week.  I am glad I went though because the Diversity Council’s Talent show was actually diverse.  This talent show was more than just guitar, rock and string instruments.  It was a good show showcasing a lot of cultures and was very well organized.  Ironically after the event a teacher came up to me saying, “See, look what all your hard work paid for.”  I told him it wasn’t my work, but Joe’s, that led to “all” this.

That semester the Culture Week died in a way, our first tenets of cooperation and focus on culture week shoved aside for the glory of the talent show.  I didn’t go to anymore Talent shows but I was told that once again the Talent show returned to guitar, rock and string instruments.  Also, I found that the third DC e-board put up signs for culture week several days before the actual event.  So I’ll call it progress for now but I know that the Culture Week will unfortunately remain a sidekick to the Talent show.  Also, it seems to me that the level of cooperation we once enjoyed between the organizations and students has faded away.  I only hope it hasn’t gone away forever.

What do you think???

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Purpose of this Blog

This blog is an account of past and present struggles at the American University of the Caribbean Medical School (AUC). My colleagues and I endeavored to make our Caribbean Medical School more progressive and supportive of all its students. We worked against an administration and student government to end marginalization of students and fight ignorance. When all was said and done, the administration at AUC claimed that they had single handily brought more diversity to AUC. It's time to share the whole story.

This is the story of those that fought for progress, stood up to AUC's administration/SGA and, just sometimes, won.

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