One year of CDC’s First Fridays
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One year of CDC’s First Fridays

The Center for Diversity and Community last year created First Fridays, a luncheon program created to bolster conversations and invite students and USD community into the center. 

The CDC held their second one of the year in the MUC Pit last Friday, offering food catered by Famous Dave’s.

Laura Chandler, director of the CDC, said the program has fulfilled its purpose by creating an avenue for fellowship within the USD community.

“It was really a chance to give students time to relax and have a good conversation over a good meal,” Chandler said. “It has grown into more than we anticipated it to be, turning into one of our popular events of the year.”

Roma Trivedi, an MBA graduate student and graduate assistant for the CDC, said the luncheon has boosted the number of students in the CDC since its inception.

“I have seen a lot of progress and a lot of awareness about the goals of the CDC. There has been a lot of students coming in because of it,” Trivedi said.

Marcus Destin, a junior majoring in communication studies, said the program has progressed more than they had anticipated. He said the reason for the program’s success is student engagement.

“First Friday has come a long way, so much so that we had to change the location of our event to a bigger space,” Destin said. “We needed more space to do more,” he added. “The students run and lead this initiative. They are the main success for the success of First Friday.”

Aside from sharing lunch and engaging in conversations, the event highlights a student organization every month. 

“This year, we are more intentional about focusing on our student organizations,” Chandler said. “In September, we highlighted the African Students Association, and so attendees were able to learn about their upcoming events, and mission.

Destin said future plans for the program are planned on a “day by day” basis.

“I think we take it day by day, event by event, every First Friday,” Destin said. “We can only plan for what we have and the demographics year by year, so I think in the future it will be much bigger.”

Destin said having the event in different spaces around campus creates an ambiance across campus.

“We are trying to make every space as comfortable as the CDC, as inclusive and welcoming to our different demographics and to the majority on campus as well,” Destin said.

The CDC will hold its November luncheon at the Native American Cultural Center on Friday, Nov. 1, and feature Native American student organizations on campus.