This Lafayette College ceremony honors the diverse culture of our student leaders on campus
By Madeline Marriott ’24
On May 1, the Office of Intercultural Development (OID) and student leadership from cultural clubs and organizations hosted the second annual multicultural stole ceremony.
“The whole idea of the ceremony is to honor the diverse culture of our student leaders on campus,” says Karina Fuentes, OID’s associate director of intercultural development. “We want to provide recognition of the diverse cultures, the achievements, and the resilience that most of our student leaders from underrepresented groups have accomplished in their four years at Lafayette College.”
Students from several cultural organizations were honored in the ceremony. Students from the Association of Black Collegians (ABC) and other groups who identify as Black received kente cloth, which originated as a royal garment for African Asante people. Others received the multicultural stole, which recognizes the diversity of their backgrounds with an inscription in the Spanish language.
Natalia Baez ’23, a student coordinator of the event and recipient of a multicultural stole, found the event to be important for students whose cultures are not adequately represented on campus. “For me, it was just very heartwarming. It’s a very rewarding feeling—I have so many family members coming for graduation, so being decorated and having my cap and gown be decorative and colorful just goes to show that I did it. I did these four years.”
“I’m finally getting the recognition that I deserve, but also, I made a community, and I think that’s what was the most important thing—being part of these communities,” Baez continues. “In the ceremony, you’re cheering on your friends, and your friends are cheering you on, and it’s just a beautiful state of enjoyment and love.”