Doctor Abio Ayeliya, who organizes professional leadership and helps to oversee about 58 student clubs stationed throughout the many campuses of Salt Lake Community College, is proud to announce the SLCC’s first-ever diversity dinner scheduled to take place on Thursday, Mar. 4.
“The purpose of the diversity dinner is to bring people from different backgrounds that make up Salt Lake Community College to engage in a dialogue, have dinner, and just explore one another, understand the different beliefs, ideas, people,” Dr. Ayeliya says.
Although the dinner is free and open to the public, Dr. Ayeliya says that its biggest target is the students of SLCC that, “They will be able to understand who they are and what makes up Salt Lake Community College.” The program of Diversity Exploration, held on campus twice every semester and run by Dr. Ayeliya, helps to explain its purpose in such a large and diverse community. “Its concept is to explore what diversity is,” says Dr. Ayeliya. While Dr. Ayeliya may consider the college to be made up of the largest population of diverse people for a school, he says that, “We’re trying to celebrate the uniqueness of this institution.”
The Arts and Cultural Events Committee at Salt Lake Community College lends a helping hand by providing the funding and support needed to conduct this dinner, while SLCC plays host to this two-hour event. Dr. Ayeliya will coordinate and oversee the event; however, he willingly expresses his gratitude to Arts and Cultural Events Committee for making it happen. “[They] gave us the money in order to do this,” he says, “Give them credit.” Dr. Ayeliya also wants to extend thanks to the Multicultural Initiatives office, as well as SLCC Leadership for taking the time to organize the event.
There are many aspects involved, which make up the idea of diversity, and not just race. They range from cultural, economic, and even political aspects. Because diversity is a great passion of Dr. Ayeliya’s, he explains that stereotyping is a barrier that needs to be broken. “We want to promote [these ideas] by bringing these people [together] so they can engage and share with people that they don’t even know, in order to break such a barrier.”
Part of Dr. Ayeliya’s job as leadership organizer is to better prepare students to expect the unexpected with respect to diversity because he understands how SLCC is uniquely built upon the cultures, ideas, and beliefs of the people. “We want to get this information out to students, faculty, staff, and the community in general,” he explains. “So they can come out, share their ideas, find a way that we can be able to make this campus a very safe and peaceful environment that students can come and feel like this is their home for them, for their academic success.”
The dinner, scheduled for Mar. 4, is set to take place from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Taylorsville Redwood campus. Registration forms are available at Multicultural Initiatives offices, as well as the Student Life and Leadership offices of Jordan, Taylorsville Redwood, and South City campuses. Registration forms were due by Mar. 2. Ayeliya encouraged students to attend. “Because we are the new generation and we want to be able to share new ideas, have beautiful life,” says Ayeliya.