Northwest students gathered together for the Office of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion’s game night Feb. 22 at North Complex.
Director of diversity and inclusion Justin Mallett started the game nights, but this is the first one that is directly hosted by DEI.
“We started doing game nights a couple of months ago as a way to bring students together,” Mallett said. “It allows them to have fun and hang out as well as creating a relaxing atmosphere.”
Adam Gonzales, the coordinator of diversity and inclusion, wants to foster a safe and welcoming space for all students and allow them to come together under one roof.
“Game night is a great way to provide a safe and welcoming space for all students to socialize with other students from across campus,” Gonzales said. “As well as have some fun in the process. “
Gonzales went on to talk about encouraging student connections and expanding their ways of thinking.
“We always encourage our students to make connections with other students from backgrounds different from their own,” Gonzales said. “We encourage learning about other cultures, other life experiences and ways of thinking. It was our hope that an event open to all would provide a space for these sorts of interactions to occur organically.”
Business management sophomore Lara Watson decided to go to game night to make more connections with people on campus.
“I usually come to game night because it is kind of an opportunity to see people I don’t usually get to see around campus,” Watson said. “It is a nice time to relax and have some down time from our busy schedules and have a break from homework and studying.”
Mallett believes game night was the best way to bring a diverse group of students together.
“It does not matter what color you are, white, black, blue or green,” Mallett said. “This event is designed so people can come together and have fun while playing a variety of board games. A majority of students already play board games in their residence halls, but this brings everyone together under one roof for a night of fun.”
The winter weather has played a major factor in DEI events this semester.
“It is has been difficult, this month especially, with all of the days of school canceled due to the weather,” Mallett said. “It has been difficult, but we are still going to do our best to have programming for our students.”
Watson said this is a good way for people to discover a sense of openness and get to know other students.
“I want people to discover the openness and what it is like to participate in an event with other people,” Watson said. “Where they would feel comfortable just walking up to a group and joining a game as well as having a free-flowing conversation with people they might not be able to see outside of these events as well as developing a friendship that would extend outside of the game night.”
Mallett’s goal is for students to have fun and meet other people on campus.
“The main thing is that you can have fun, and there are things to do even when you might think there is nothing to do,” Mallett said. “You can have fun and get together with other people while having a great time on campus.”