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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Campus Inclusion

With paper lanterns and both traditional and popular music, Wofford students celebrate the Chinese Moon Festival with Terrier Dynasty.


As freshman pour into campus, Wofford’s clubs and organizations rally to attract new members. With the interest fair on Sept. 9th, students had the opportunity to find their niche on campus and support for their identity.

“Our incoming class is the most diverse group of students that we’ve had. We have to be able as an institution to support our students,” says Matthew Hammett, the assistant dean of students for student involvement.

Hammett oversees, among Greek life, Wofford’s diversity initiatives. “For students to really thrive, they have to feel accepted, they have to feel secure, they have to feel socially connected to Wofford, and I think having different supportive programs is a great thing for Wofford in helping all students feel connected,” says Hammett.

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Terrier Dynasty, Jambo Afrika, Spectrum and the Association of Multicultural Students are clubs and organizations that seek to promote diversity and connect Wofford students in the way that Hammett describes.

“As we live in a multicultural world, the main focus of Terrier Dynasty is to provide opportunity for those people who want to learn something about Chinese history, culture, festivals and values,” says Shirley Chen, president of Terrier Dynasty.

Members of Terrier Dynasty celebrate both the Moon Festival and Chinese New Year on campus. Students sing in Chinese, perform t’ai chi and serve mounds of Chinese food to the attendees. Jambo Afrika, an organization that promotes African culture, also invokes performance arts.

“Jambo Afrika’s focus is in providing a platform for any students who are interested in African culture, including language, music and film to discuss their interest,” says President Julia Smith.

The club has performed song and dance numbers at Wofford’s Got Talent, SCATE night and the VCOM international fair. Smith emphasizes that all students, regardless of nationality, are welcome.

“Jambo Afrika is not just for people who have been to Africa or are from there. You don’t have to have roots in Africa to be interested in it. Even if you don’t feel like you have anything to bring to the table, you’re welcome to come and learn more about a topic that you’re interested in from people who have been there or are from there,” says Smith.

In addition to celebrating culture, other organizations celebrate sexual orientation.

“The purpose of Spectrum is to educate the Wofford community on LGBTQIA issues and to be a safe space for Allies and LGBTQIA students on campus to come and share their opinions on different issues on campus,” says president Courtney Parsons.

Spectrum hosts National Coming Out Day, an event that integrates LGBTQIA students with the Wofford community. Spectrum also initiates discourse about LGBTQIA issues through panels.

“We are an extremely accepting and non-judgmental group of students. We want everyone, gay or not, to join us in making Wofford a better place,” says Parsons. “All you need to have is an acceptance of all kinds of people.”

Hammett echoes Parsons’s call for acceptance.

“Some of the challenges I’m going to offer our student leaders on this campus is to think about diversity education, inclusion and how we can help all students feel welcome on this campus,” says Hammett.

Robert Massey, president of the Association of Multicultural Students, believes that Wofford has had problems in the past with integrating all students into the community.

“In life we’re called to great responsibility, and we can’t be ignorant to problems around us,” says Massey. “Inclusion is the main word that we want to get across everybody’s mind. We want everybody to feel included at Wofford.”

“It hasn’t been like that in the past,” he adds.

With Jennifer Gutierrez, the new director of diversity initiates, starting work on Sept. 15th, Hammett believes that all staff, faculty and students need to be thinking about inclusion. Massey hopes that AMS can provide students with such inclusion.

“AMS is a place you can call home away from home. We want to create a family, a community,” says Massey.

Though each of these clubs is open to all Wofford students, students can create their own organizations if they feel they are not being represented.

Photo by Angelica Zhang (2)

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