Nidhi Kalva wanted to leave her mark on UF before she graduates next month. This week she plants to do just that.
The UF business management senior and chair of Student Government’s diversity division helped organize UF’s first Diversity Week. The week, which kicked off Saturday with an International Affairs Tailgate and will conclude Saturday with a drag show. Diversity Week is meant to facilitate conversations about diversity on campus and bring together students with different backgrounds, Kalva said.
“Before I graduate, I wanted to leave my legacy and actually create the very first diversity week at the University of Florida,” the 20-year-old said.
About 45 people came out to the international-themed tailgate Saturday where they cheered on the football team during the Gator Walk. The tailgate gave international students and domestic students the opportunity to interact and get to know one another, she said.
On Monday, about 150 people wrote what made them diverse on a sticky note and taped it to a banner on Turlington Plaza.
Students will go head-to-head in cultural trivia at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Reitz Union. Teams will have to match the cultural fact or tradition with the appropriate country to win surprise prizes, Kalva said. Everyone who participates will receive a free shirt.
On Wednesday, multicultural organizations will set up outside the Reitz Union for the Festival of Nations from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students can learn about different cultures while eating different countries’ foods, including kung pao chicken, Israeli cucumber and tomato salad, jollof rice, among other dishes, Kalva said.
The week will conclude with “Radiance,” a drag show hosted by SG’s LGBTQ Cabinet and Pride Awareness Month. Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 8 p.m. The show will feature contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race, including The Vixen and Miz Cracker, as well as some local performers.
Teresa Sellos, a UF computer science fifth-year, didn’t know about Diversity Week until she stumbled across the banner on Turlington Plaza Monday. Although it was the free pizza that drew her in, she was grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the conversation about diversity.
“I think that it can always be talked about more because we are a very diverse Student Body,” the 22-year-old said.