Kent’s multicultural organizations forced to maneuver like never before


Brothers Quinn McGuire (left), Daymond Williamson (middle) and Calil Cage  (right) of Phi Beta Sigma at a community service event.

Chris Bright Reporter

Finding a diverse group that represents some of many different backgrounds that attend Kent State can be troubling for students. Factor in a global pandemic and it becomes nearly impossible for these students to find a group where they truly believe they belong.

However, multicultural student organizations all across campus are now beginning to make the necessary adjustments to maintain relevance on Kent’s campus and reach as many students as possible. Coming together and adapting are key ways that organizations on campus are using to maintain their presence.

Katia Rodriguez, president of the Spanish and Latino Student Association or SALSA, described some of the ways her organization has had to adapt in the past year.

“I think that using our social media more than before is important, but also trying to support other orgs during this time. We’re not the only organization that is going through this; we’re all going through this. … I think being open to collaborating with other orgs and having their members see us and then having an interest in coming to our organization is important in helping each other out,” Rodriguez said.

Clubs like SALSA are not the only organizations being forced to adapt to today’s climate. Multicultural fraternities and sororities have also had to rethink the way they operate. 

Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. is another group on campus that hopes to overcome the many setbacks presented by the pandemic. Chapter secretary Quinn McGuire discussed the ways his organization is adapting to the pandemic’s effects.

“The pandemic has really forced us to find new ways to execute what our organization is entirely about,” McGuire said.

Divine Nine organizations, such as Phi Beta Sigma, are known for hosting lively events on campus known as probates. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the organization has had to organize new creative ways to get the campus interested and involved in their organization.

“The probates and the shows definitely are the big attraction, but I think that gives us even more of a reason to be more service-oriented,” McGuire said. “At the end of the day, that’s what our organization is about. If that’s what we’re using to represent ourselves, then I think that’s so much more effective in representing ourselves as an organization.” 

Chris Bright covers diversity. Contact him at [email protected].