Appreciation of different heritages and lifestyles was on the menu at Strawberry Fest and Diversity Day, which brought Stony Brook students together to celebrate individuals of all identities, cultures and backgrounds through music, dance performances and creative arts.
The annual event, held May 3, also featured an array of strawberry dishes, including greens with strawberries, crispy chicken sliders with strawberry-habanero glaze, plant-based chorizo empanadas with salsa verde and roasted corn, and bean salad and chatpata nachos.
Students took a break from classes and studying to enjoy cultural displays and performances by the High C’s, the Belly Dance team, MALIK, Raaswalas, Caribana, Junoon, and CASB Dance. Alumnus Shaheer Khan, former student government president, was the guest speaker and introduced the student performances in SAC Ballroom A.
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) offered students a passport card which was stamped as students visited tables for international snacks, fundraising, a world map, and a photo booth. When completed, students traded the passport for a free admission ticket to the strawberry festival.
Tanisa Rahman, spirit and tradition coordinator for student life in the USG, noted the efforts this year to coordinate with the Office of Multicultural Affairs to bring more attention and greater student involvement. “USG wanted to get involved to just make the event more student oriented and get more people to attend,” Rahman said. “While we hoped to hold the event outdoors, this is our end of year event and I’m happy to see the students wrap up the year for us.”
USG worked with CulinArt to design a menu that focused both on strawberries as well as food from different cultures and backgrounds. William Sheehan, marketing manager for CulinArt at Stony Brook University, said, “We worked with USG to create a menu that was inclusive for different cultures. We picked some different concepts based on things that we’ve done in our dining units that they’ve enjoyed, and then tied in our strawberry fest so we have some things infused with strawberries to cover both themes.”
CulinArt prepared the menu for an anticipated 3,000 students and community members.
— Beth Squire
View a photo gallery of the event: