On Sunday afternoon, visitors to Old Campus were greeted by Yalies jumping in potato sacks, tossing water balloons and wheelbarrow racing — all in the name of multiculturalism.
Organizers from the Latino, Afro-American, Asian American and Native American cultural centers held the First Annual Intercultural Field Day in the hopes of promoting interaction among members of the Yale community, especially among ethnic groups, the organizers said.
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“Each center has really great communities already established,” said Assistant Dean of Yale College Rosalinda Garcia, who is the director of La Casa Cultural. “But for many years, students have been interested in having more events to bring more of the community together.”
In fact, this particular event, which was sponsored by the Yale College Dean’s Office, had been planned since last spring, Garcia said.
Angela Lee ’11, a member of the Asian American Students Association, said the various cultural houses work together well at Bulldog Days, but progress can still be made.
“Intercultural houses don’t do enough together,” Lee said.
In addition to the representatives from the cultural houses, there were also representatives from specific cultural organizations. AASA, for example, set up a table to recruit new members newcomers to join. Lee said the group touted its missions, both general — to raise cultural awareness — and specific, including the creation of an Asian American Studies major.
“We try to deal with stuff like how Asian Americans will affect the election,” she said.
Despite the larger goals, though, Sunday’s events were geared toward bonding more than anything.
Near Battell Chapel, catering company Joe Grate’s and Peg’s Bar-B-Que dished out hamburgers, hot dogs, cole slaw, fried beans and drinks to the 60 hungry underclassmen. And the attendees played — fairly seriously, too — games that included a potato sack race, three-legged race, wheelbarrow race, water balloon toss, dodgeball and capture the flag. Prizes ranged from $5 coupons for Ashley’s Ice Cream Cafe to $25 gift certificates to Barnes and Noble.
Angela Choi ’12 and Bianca Yuh ’12 participated in the three-legged race. Before even approaching the starting line, they had already discussed their strategy for dominating the event.
“I just want the gift card,” Choi said.
But, of course, Yuh was also interested in getting involved with some of the cultural groups at Yale — the Chinese American Students Association and the Korean American Students of Yale.
“I want to do CASA and KASY because your family takes you out to dinner,” she said. “And you get free food.”
Garcia said the Dean’s Office expects to hold four multicultural events each year.