The Net Gala fully funded by Student Multicultural Center Grant

Francesca Barrett

Student organization The Network is hosting an end-of-year celebration called The Net Gala, celebrating minority-owned businesses — and students didn’t spend a cent in the creation of the event.

The Network pitched that the celebration be covered by the Social and Cultural Programming Grant fulfilled by the Student Multicultural Center. The Network had to present their idea of their event to the SMC and Dean of Students office explaining where and how the grant would be spent.

“At first it was just for our organization,” said Marquis Davis, an academic diversity outreach coordinator and an advisor for The Network. “But then we found out about the opportunity for the grant, so then the students thought this would be an opportunity for it to be more than just the group; an event on a bigger scale … using the grant to expand their idea to other students outside our organization.”

Davis shared that the event was created to honor and showcase minority-owned businesses, doing so by bringing in speakers and vendors from surrounding areas to talk about their experiences.

The Net Gala is organized and driven by students.

“At this event, we want students to walk away knowing how to build networking opportunities,” Davis said. “Hopefully students can land jobs or internships by building connections with business and with other students or people there.”

The Net Gala is open to Kent State students, faculty, staff and community members, so everyone can experience networking opportunities with the tabling businesses and vendors.

“Any students that are coming to the Gala will have the opportunity to network and talk to the different vendors or tables about their own businesses,” Davis said. “Knowing how to build networking opportunities, and hopefully land jobs or internships by building connections with business with students or other people there.”

The Net Gala is Saturday, April 28 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. The attire is business casual, with free food, a DJ and the opportunity to network with professionals from around the Kent, Akron-Canton and Cleveland areas.

Francesca Barrett is a student finance reporter. Contact her at [email protected].