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MavsFest celebrates diversity week at UT Arlington

By Brittany Senglin
Staff Writer
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UT Arlington Multicultural Affairs hosted MavFest on March 6, an annual outdoor diversity carnival, in which different culture clubs set up booths, games, refreshments and, music in the University Mall

Since spring 2009, UT Arlington Multicultural affairs has collaborated with Office for Students with Disabilities and the Moving Mavs in helping set up MavFest for leaders on campus to educate students about diversity. They give college students the chance to experience a campus celebration.

MavFest was brought to UT Arlington by Director of Multicultural Affairs Leticia Martinez, an executive board leader and Women in Leadership adviser. She came to UTA as an adviser with the idea of not trying to replicate other organizations’ events on. Instead she decided to create diversity week which eventually transformed into MavFest.

“We were so good at the educational part in the beginning that we almost went so over board that there wasn’t anything social and so we were like we really need something that’s going to be like a good campus-wide celebration of diversity at UTA,” Martinez said.

MavFest rules were created by Martinez, allowing participates to show different cultures by sharing diversity through activities that shared tradition. This is the first time Martinez did not attend MavFest, instead this year she went to Las Vegas and hired people for new positions at UTA’s Multicultural office.

The time it took for organizations to plan for MavFest varied on how much they brought and what they wanted to from students learn, Tierra Chatmone said.

Groups started setting up the University Mall in the morning the day of the event.  It was between lunch hour and 2 p.m. when students started to participate.

Former student Sara Tadesse said the event took her mind off of everything.

More than 2,500 students, faculty and staff participated the first year and this festival continues to grow. Last year, about 15 organizations participated in MavFest, but this year only 10-12 student groups were involved in the event.

Photo courtesy of UTA

Photo courtesy of UTA

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