Penn State’s Paul Robeson Cultural Center Hosts 5th Annual “Pride in Our Community Pep Rally” for Homecoming | Penn State, State College News
Penn State’s Paul Robeson Cultural Center hosted the fifth annual âPride in Our Community Pep Rallyâ Thursday night at the monumental staircase of the HUB-Robeson Center.
The cheer rally celebrated “the diverse student community of color at Penn State through performances from different cultural organizations,” according to Carlos Wiley, director of the CEP.
Over 100 people crowded the HUB’s monumental stairs. Hundreds more watched from the ground, as well as the second and third levels of the HUB.
The Incentive Rally, which featured dance teams and spoken word artists, was launched to encourage more students of color to participate in Homecoming activities, Wiley said, and it had a positive effect. on “community engagement“.
The event also honored students of color who are members of the Homecoming Tribunal 2021. Wiley said students of color had not attended Homecoming in previous years.
Clair Dunham, public relations director for Homecoming, said Homecoming’s mission is to “celebrate pride and tradition” for all Penn Staters, regardless of their background.
âWe’re just happy to celebrate all of these different aspects of the community and showcase the diverse perspectives we have at Penn State,â said Dunham (senior public relations).
Lexie Wells, an event planner, said people of color felt “isolated from Homecoming before the [PRCC] connected the rally to Homecoming in 2020. “
Wells (junior management and information systems) said the purpose of the rally was “to instill pride in the multicultural community”.
One of Wells’ favorite parts of the event was when a girl with glasses took them off and danced.
âI didn’t expect her to kill him,â Wells said. “She did a good job.”
Wells also praised the Penn State Filipino Association dance performance.
Marika Reynolds, another event organizer, said she liked the performance of the Black Elites, a new dance organization that opened the cheer rally.
âI thought they were really setting the bar and really energizing everyone,â said Reynolds (junior world and international studies). “I think all of the dancers were very successful.”
Wells said she liked the multicultural aspect of the rally, especially when it came to the variety of Greek life that has arisen. She said she enjoyed seeing sororities and fraternities that were not part of the âNine Divines,â which historically means black Greek organizations.
Reynolds Aksi said she enjoyed seeing all levels of the HUB watching the rally and was impressed by the calls from the Greek organizations.
Tetsuo Takahara, a CEP graduate assistant, said that while the 2020 cheer rally on HUB Lawn was well attended, the cheer rally in its âoriginal formatâ this year went well.
Wiley said last year’s rally was socially distanced with masks and brought together around 200 people.
âThere was a really good energy,â Takahara (graduate-higher education) said. “I think the students were happy to be able to come back and celebrate the community and be together, especially after mid-season, so everyone is probably under a lot of stress going out.”
Takahara said he hopes to see more people of color in the PRCC in the HUB in the future.
Jalynn Burruss, one of the cheering rally hostesses, said she believes Penn State’s size has contributed to the isolation of people of color in the past regarding returning home.
Burruss (junior electrical engineer) said she enjoyed performances by Raw Aesthetic Movements, or RAM Squad, and the Philippine Association, but her favorite performance was Island Fever, the Penn State Caribbean dance team. Student Association.
Oluwafunke Alliyu, who has performed with Africa Fusion – the official dance team of the Penn State African Students Association – said she enjoys seeing the diversity in the performers.
âIt was really a great experience to see everyone represented here today,â said Alliyu (senior-data science).
Braelyn Showell, a friend of Alliyu, said the 2020 rally was cold and slightly dark.
âWe still had a great time, but I’m happy to be back in the HUB where we started,â said Showell (junior-marketing).
It was also great for Showell to attend the rally with her friends – many of whom were at home in 2020, she said.
Showell said seeing the Black Elites and supporting Alliyu and Africa Fusion were his favorite parts of the event.
The PRCC is a âhidden gem,â said Showell, of the HUB and Penn State as a whole.
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