UI’s annual Multicultural Block Party brings together cultural group

Kufre Ituk, News Reporter / October 27, 2022

Lillie Hawker / A block party-goer grabs a plate of egg rolls at the Homecoming Multicultural Block Party on Tuesday, October 25, 2022.

Both students and various cultural groups attended the Block Party, which occurred outside on Tuesday.

The University of Iowa held its annual Multicultural Block Party on Tuesday, an event aimed at bringing together the community’s different cultural groups.

Hosted by the UI Homecoming Executive Council and Office of Multicultural and International Student Support and Engagement, the block party was held outside several of the university’s cultural centers like the Afro-American Cultural Center, the Latino Native American Cultural Center, and the Pride Alliance Center.

Jasmine Lee and Gustavo Orellana Santos, two UI second-year students, served as co-directors for the Multicultural Block Party. The Multicultural Block Party happens every year as part of the UI’s Homecoming week celebration and highlights diversity within the university.

“We wanted to elevate and give an outlet,” Lee said. “Its intent is to give marginalized students a voice in Homecoming at a predominantly white institution where voices have been erased in the past.”

Santos also thanked one of the sponsors of the event, MISSE, for helping coordinate the block party by inviting vendors and student groups.

Multiple types of groups attended the event, including student organizations, sororities, and fraternities.

Gilberto Ruiz, a UI second-year student and member of the Sigma Lambda Beta fraternity, attended the festival work at his fraternity’s booth. Sigma Lambda Beta is a fraternity that focuses on uplifting Latin men and other men in the UI community.

“We’re open to anyone, and we provide space to speak up about themselves,” Ruiz said. “We provide help with academics and provide people with mental health struggles with support.”

Fraternities like Sigma Lambda Beta are part of the university’s Multicultural Greek Council, which includes sororities like Lambda Theta Nu Inc. and Gamma Rho Lambda.