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First Fridays Bring Collaboration and Education

Every first Friday of the month, the MUC Pit is filled with food, people and activities to bring light to groups around campus and educate the university community.

The Office of Multicultural Affairs hosts the First Friday events by partnering with different organizations and departments across campus. Marcus Destin, the Multicultural Affairs Coordinator, said these events can be very beneficial to students. 

“First Fridays give students a moment they’ve never had before,” Destin said. “At these events, students can get the opportunity to meet someone new, and building a community is very important for the campus.” 

Every event looks different depending on the group hosting, but there are also similarities between the events. Typically, there is some sort of food or meal that goes with the event and an educational aspect whether it is a presentation, speech or video. 

“When someone shares a meal with another person, that is when they really learn about them,” Destin said. “At these events, we encourage people to share meals and make connections.”

The First Friday events were created in 2018, and Destin said he has seen growth in the events since then. This is the first year that First Fridays is held in the MUC Pit compared to previous years when it was held in room MUC 219. He believes this can bring more awareness to the event.

“Our goal is for people to think ‘I didn’t know I needed to hear that but I’m glad I did’ while they are attending the event,” Destin said. “I don’t care about the quantity of people at the event, I care about the quality of the impact of the event on people.”

Destin has a big focus on experiences and being in the moment, and he hopes the attendees will feel the same when attending the event. He hopes the events create excitement since people will be learning and celebrating together. 

“Everyone is welcome to come to these events, and all groups or departments are encouraged to reach out to plan a First Friday event for the future months,” Destin said.

While they aren’t sure what their next event will look like, students can look at the @usdoma page on Instagram to find updates about upcoming events and stay in the know with the Office of Multicultural Affairs. Destin encourages everyone to come and see what it’s about. 

“Make time, because why not. I know we are all in the hustle and bustle, but it’s important to make time to build connections, and First Fridays are a great introduction to do that,” Destin said.