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MCC Gala showcases the significance of the organizations on campus

Photo By: Julia Guerrein/The Behrend Beacon


Julia Guerrein, Editor-in-Chief

The Multicultural Council (MCC) hosted their Annual Gala on Saturday in McGarvey Commons. This year’s theme was “Starry Night,” and the MCC e-board and advisors handed out  a number of awards and welcomed next year’s e-board.

The organization invited a former MCC member and Behrend student, Victoria C. Anderson, to speak at the event. Anderson graduated in 2004, and she spoke about how what she learned as part of being a member of MCC, the Association of Black Collegians (ABC), and the Student Government Association (SGA) shaped her journey after graduation.

“I think building connections with people helps you connect more with yourself,” said Anderson. She continued to talk about what it takes to serve for the justice of marginalized people and intersectionality.

Anderson went on to discuss how the fight for the rights of oppressed people within the Behrend community is still ongoing. She explained how she built on what the people before her had done, and how what is happening now is building on the foundation from previous students.

She said how the world is technologically advanced, but not empathetically or compassionately advanced, and that there is “more of a reason for MCC to exist today.”

After Anderson’s speech, superlatives were given out to members of MCC and clubs under the MCC umbrella. Organization awards were also given out.

Andy Herrera, Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs and Walaa Ahmad, Assistant Director of Educational Equity and Diversity Programs, the advisors of MCC, gave out the Keystone Award to three students: Maryanne Stallworth, President of Gender and Sexuality Equality Club (GASE), Karen Sin Li Hor, Vice President of MCC, and Oyinkansola Elizabeth Malomo, President of MCC.

To finish off the evening, the current e-board had the “passing of the gavel” to officially introduce the e-board for 2019-2020. Priya Patel, junior nursing major and current MCC secretary, will be president for the 2019-2020 school year. Currently Patel is also the Gamma Sigma Sigma President, President of the South Asian Student Organization (SASO), and a resident assistant. She became involved with organizations in MCC when she was a freshman.

Patel’s main goal for next year is to help the organizations under MCC more with events and meet with their eboards.

“A lot of [the clubs under MCC] were a little inactive or a lot of big events the clubs did fell through, or they did it and it didn’t go as well as it usually does, so I want to make sure that all the organizations that are planning to have their big events, if they need help, we are there to help them,” explained Patel. “MCC organizations [are] where most of the events come from, so if we don’t get their stuff together then MCC is going to kind of fall through.”

The Gala highlighted MCC’s contribution to Penn State in the past, currently, and into the future. The MCC is looking to collaborate with more clubs next year, and Patel encourages anyone who wants to work together to reach out.