International food, music, staff, students, and friends all filed into room C120 on Thursday, October 22, for the annual Multicultural Services (MCS) Fall Gathering.
MCS has a vital role on the BC campus. Located in the B building, above the bookstore, MCS is committed to students of all shapes and sizes.
“We help students with the mission process, financial aid application, financial aid advocacy, and academic advising,” said Diane Harrison the Program Coordinator and Advisor at MCS.
According to their flier, “MCS is committed to students of color, LGBTQ, recent immigrants, refugee, and low income students. All students are welcome to use [their] services FREE.”
The staff members at MCS know the ins and outs of the financial aid application and help students with any questions the students may have.
The large attendance of both staff and students at the Fall Gathering was a token of how many people MCS truly helps, and almost every individual in the room had a story to share about how MCS worked with them.
Student Kimberly Mauk had plenty to say about Diane Harrison and the assistance that she offered. “As an older returning student, [Harrison has] helped me with financial aid paperwork, she’s helped me with counseling…I don’t think I could have been successful without her help,” said Mauk.
Simultaneously, many students who were in attendance either never went to MCS for assistance or didn’t even know that it existed. For example, new BC student Derek Dizon has heard of MCS but hasn’t used their services.
Dizon attended the Fall Gathering in order to learn more about MCS. “I think [the Fall Gathering] is awesome, and I think [MCS] should do more events like this,” said Dizon.
The Fall Gathering had many different aims.
“It’s a good way to start out the year. It’s a good time for students to check in,” said Harrison.
Ata Karim, Director of MCS, spent most of the time during the Fall Gathering taking pictures, mingling with students and staff, and ushering people towards the food.
“The idea [of the Fall Gathering] is for students to find out about MCS, meet students, and meet staff…and increase our visibility,” said Karim.
Karim also emphasized the point that MCS is about community building.
MCS staff and the students they help are like a “family,” said Harrison.
The Annual Fall Gathering is only the first event on a list of many more MCS has planned. There will be a spring celebration later during the year and an end of the year celebration in June, along with other events throughout the year.
Overall, the MCS Fall Gathering was a success. “I think it’s great that so many people showed up,” said Karim.
For more information about MCS, you can visit them on the web at http://bellevuecollege.edu/mcs, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org, or just hang out in their office in the B building