Diverse food unites diverse group of students at University of Illinois

By Morgan Martin

A sorority on campus is promoting diversity through food. Several sororities and fraternities united at the Taste of Culture dinner Monday night at the La Casa Cultural House. The event featured food from different cultures, including Mexican, Asian, Puerto Rican, and Greek dishes.

It was sponsored by the multicultural sorority Lambda Tau Omega in an effort to promote diversity on campus and bring people of various ethnicities together. Junior in Psychology Nichole Rages attended the dinner and says it was a great way to bring people together through one common interest.

“No matter what race you are, you’re going to eat. You have to eat, and most of the time you’re going to eat a variety of things. I think that having an even such as taste of culture, will let people see that not all differences have to equal being separated.”

The annual event was first held in 2000. Junior in Psychology Joy Prempas is a member of Lambda Tau Omega and helps organize their events. She says the dinner was a success and had more people than expected. Prempas says being in a multicultural sorority makes her appreciate diversity and hopes Taste of Culture will spread that message to others.

“I think that everybody feels segregated at times, but because we are a multicultural sorority, we definitely make an effort to be the exact opposite of that. So we have events that cater to all different ethnicity.”

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After the dinner, the attendants held a discussion about diversity on campus. Rages says she feels the university has a lot of potential to further embrace diversity.

“The campus itself is very diverse. I know a lot of people get the idea of integration and diversity messed up. the campus itself is very diverse but it’s also extremely segregated. the problem is the cluster theory. Usually people feel more comfortable hanging around people who are most like them. So that results in a cluster of races segregated.”

Most of the attendants of the event were members of sororities and fraternities, but Prempas says this dinner and other events are open to the public. Their sorority has multicultural events every month. Upcoming events can be found on the Lambda Tau Omega website.