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Posted: Sunday, December 2, 2012 11:34 pm | Updated: 3:49 pm, Mon Nov 17, 2014.

Diversity is listed among the four goals of the University’s Flagship 2020 agenda, and minority students have done much to cultivate their community’s culture this semester.

Organizations like the Native American Student Association, or NASA, and the Vietnamese Student Association, VSA, sought to increase awareness of their cultures through social events.

NASA held a traditional powwow demonstration where students interacted with the Native American performers during their dances.

Skye Byrd, digital arts junior and Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana member, wanted to show students Native Americans still continue many of their tribe’s traditions. Byrd, vice president of NASA, danced in the Nov. 14 powwow demonstration wearing traditional regalia.

The VSA served food to the homeless in its first community service event Sept. 30 at the Society of St. Vincent de Paul of Baton Rouge. In the spring, VSA plans to serve traditional Vietnamese food to its members.

The African-American Cultural Center hosted the sixth annual Multicultural Student Leadership Conference Oct. 28. Sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the conference framed discussions on diversity to improve students’ understanding of the cultures around them.

At the conference, the Black Male Leadership Initiative addressed the statistic that few black men attend college. The Black Male Leadership Initiative, or BMLI, suggested African-American college students could serve as mentors to minority students in the K-12 system.

BMLI quickly followed up on its advice by hosting the second annual LSU Preview Day on Nov. 8. Preview Day allowed more than 100 young African-American males to visit the University to learn about the college experience.

The African-American Cultural Center hosted events like Umoja on Aug. 19 and Harambee on Sept. 9 to highlight diversity among the student body.

Political participation among minority students was also prevalent during the presidential election. The Black Student Union, or BSU, discussed each candidate’s position Oct. 21 while addressing the increasing debt from student loans in a struggling economy.

Kendale Thompson, political science senior and BSU vice president, said he voted for President Barack Obama because Obama’s plan would provide more opportunities for students.

For Estefania Reichard, international studies senior and president of the Hispanic Student Cultural Society, Obama’s stance on health care was more favorable to her than that of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

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