The third floor of McGuffey Hall swelled with the scent of local foods and the sounds of live performances, a Capella, drums and dance music .
On Thursday, Nov. 16, Miami University’s Diversity Affairs Council hosted its third annual Global Holiday Party since it formed in 2014. The party included a lineup of performances, both local and global. Nine on-campus organizations, including the African Student Union and the Japanese Taiko group, lined the outside of the room ready to inform interested students about the cultural holiday celebrations from around the globe.
The global holiday party kicked off with a few announcements from the Diversity Affairs Council’s programming director, Morgan Neal. She spoke about the purpose and importance of the event, introduced the lineup of performers and thanked everyone for coming.
“We saw people from all walks of life here tonight,” Neal said after the show. “It wasn’t just the organizations that presented. It was everyone from Miami, and I think that Miami can only continue to grow if we encounter each other. This was an amazing way for the different organizations and the students to encounter each other.”
The performances kicked off with The Wrong Crowd, a student band led by singer-songwriter David Dabney. The Wrong Crowd’s performance included politically and socially charged messages about the environment, diversity, culture and being in “this,” the pursuit of unity, together.
After hearing about the Global Holiday Party, The Wrong Crowd quickly volunteered their talents to support the Diversity Affairs Council.
“I knew it was a cultural event and I wanted to help bring culture to Miami,” Dabney said. “I feel like this represents the voice of a generation, you know what I mean? That’s what culture is, it defines what it’s like to be me at this time. We definitely wanted to take the opportunity to contribute to that tonight alongside so many other great performers.”
The a Capella group Just Duet, The Walking Theatre Project and Miami’s all-male a Capella group Open Fifth followed The Wrong Crowd and performed for the nearly 200 people that attended the event.
As people stood in a line that stretched from one end of the room to the other, they waited to sample the food, applauded the many performances and had the opportunity to discover some of Miami’s cultural groups.
The attending organizations were given the freedom to represent their culture in whichever creative way they saw fit. This led to a pseudo-Mega Fair information booths that attracted many of the attendees. Somos Miami, the new Latin organization, even brought traditional Latin food such as empanadas.
To finish the night, the African Student Union dance team showcased its dancing talents, and the Japanese Taiko group performed multiple elaborate, highly energetic drumming routines which attracted the full attention of everyone in the room.
“It’s amazing so many people came tonight, and we’re really hoping this positive energy continues into our spring event,” Neal said. “Next year we’ll plan for a Global Holiday Party this size, if not bigger. We’ll have more food, more organizations and, since the Diversity Affairs Council is new, hopefully we can get the word out and continue to grow.”