Unite Game Night creates opportunities for marginalized students to come together


Left to right: Tala Niwash, junior paralegal studies major; Katia Rodriguez, junior PR major; Diana Coleman, senior hospitality management major; Antika Tendolkar, public health grad student; Alicia Robinson, Assistant Director of the Women’s Center, Ariadne Ray, senior fashion merchandising major; Lizzie Ruple, freshman biology major.

Kimmy Daniels Reporter

Meeting new friends was a common theme among students Wednesday night at Kent State’s Unite Game Night.

Along with the Division of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Women’s Center, Center for Sexual and Relationship Violence Support Services, Student Multicultural Center and LGBTQ+ Center joined forces to play Twister, Switch, Jenga and board games. 

Unite Game Night was the first event of the semester that brought minority groups together on campus this semester. Students wanted to use the night as a way to meet people they wouldn’t usually cross paths with. 

“I want to interact with different people and get to know what they’re about,” freshman psychology major Jack Paulozzi said. 

With five campus organizations at the event, students also had an opportunity to meet faculty and staff that can be helpful in finding jobs and getting connected to campus. 

“I’m here to network and make friends,” Roshani Hada, freshman fashion design major, said. 

All five groups involved in the game night promote diversity on campus and work with students to help them feel more acclimated to a predominantly white campus. However, the groups do not have many collaborative events that bring students from different parts of campus together.

“Within the minority community, we’re not brought together a lot,” Ariadne Ray, a senior fashion merchandising major, said. “I’m happy that they put this on so that minority groups can come together, play games, eat and actually connect.”

Over chicken tenders, shishkabobs and snacks, students used the event as a way to unwind. The room was both excited and calm at the same time —  students were ready to unwind after a long day of classes and eager to play games knowing that they were surrounded by people who share similar stories and lives. 

“I hate to say the words ‘safe space,’ but it’s good to mingle together in a relaxed environment,” senior hospitality management major Diana Coleman said. 

“We have a place where we feel together,” junior sports administration major Kiara Coleman said. 

Students find events like Unite Game Night important for those who don’t immediately feel welcome on campus. “It’s a place to meet people who experience the same things as we do,” junior special education major Katlyn Bekelesky said.

“As an international student, I definitely feel more comfortable,” Antika Tendolar, a public health grad student, said. “You interact, and you find that people want to know about your culture, and you want to know about theirs. It’s all about bonding.” 

Contact Kimmy Daniels at [email protected].