San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

San Diego State University’s Independent Student Newspaper Since 1913

The Daily Aztec

One SDSU Community Kickoff: A celebration of diversity, campus initiatives

The annual event highlights SDSU’s commitment to diversity, showcases resource centers and introduces campus initiatives for the upcoming semester
Ryan Kehl
One SDSU leadership passes out conchas at their Kickoff Event. The event also featured information and resources connecting with the theme “Know Yourself, Connect with Others, Embrace Diversity.”

With the fall semester back in swing, One SDSU hosted its annual Community Kickoff at the Aztec Student Union on Aug. 24. 

Against a lively campus backdrop, students — enticed by conchas and boba — explored tables spotlighting upcoming events, all underscoring SDSU’s dedication to diversity.

The kickoff was a collaboration between One SDSU Community and several key partners: the Center for Intercultural Relations, Student Life & Leadership, Division of Student Affairs and Associated Students. 

Also present were various resource centers: the International Student Center, Student Disability Services, Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA), (AAPI)phany SDSU, Latinx Resource Center and the Black Resource Center. Each contributed to the vibrant mosaic of arts, culture and student support at SDSU.

At the heart of One SDSU is a mission that was felt throughout the Community Kickoff: “Know Yourself, Connect with Others, Embrace Diversity.”

Kevin Araujo-Lipine, director of the Center for Student Organizations and Activities, spoke about how this mission shapes the initiative’s objectives.

“One SDSU is essential to our campus culture, emphasizing the richness of our student diversity and creating opportunities for both staff and students to engage,” Araujo-Lipine said. “Its primary aim is to foster meaningful relationships among all.”

Emphasizing the teamwork between Student Affairs and Campus Diversity, Araujo-Lipine noted the program’s commitment to unifying the various university departments.

By facilitating dialogues among different groups, the initiative aspires to weave a tighter, more inclusive cultural fabric into SDSU.

Kaleigh Lacouture, student life adviser for Student Organizations & Activities at SDSU, spoke about the inclusiveness and informational aspects of the community event.

“The kickoff event was designed for all students, faculty and staff,” Lacouture said. “Everyone in the SDSU community is welcome. Today’s focus was to educate students about the programs for this semester.”

Lacouture also emphasized that the One SDSU Community Kickoff allows students to interact with the centers involved and meet with the event coordinators.

One SDSU undoubtedly plays an important role in fostering a community, and upcoming events aim to strengthen that bond even more.

As students engaged with resource center representatives and sampled the boba and concha treats, Stephanie Majsterski, a senior sociology major, spoke about her reasons for attending campus events.

“I always go to campus events; it’s a good way to meet people at SDSU,” Majsterski said. “And they often have treats, like the conchas at this one.”

During the event, Araujo-Lipine provided details about upcoming activities planned for the upcoming semester.

“We’ve lined up a variety of programs, including ‘Barbershop Talks,’ partnerships with ‘Arts Alive’ and the ‘Anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act’ with Student Disability Services,” Araujo-Lipine said. 

Araujo-Lipine also spoke about the challenges faced in organizing this year’s event compared to previous years. 

“There’s nothing unique this year,” Araujo-Lipine said. “Thankfully, we don’t have the same COVID restrictions, so things are fairly normal.”

Building on the event’s theme of inclusivity and the upcoming recognition of a pivotal legislative moment, Peter Vu, interim assistant director of Student Disability Services at SDSU, spoke about the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the “Game Changer” initiative.

“When we discuss diversity, disability has to be part of that conversation,” Vu said. “Without our contributions in this area, a significant void would exist. Our goal is to relay this importance and ensure the whole SDSU community knows.”

On the topic of the “Game Changer” initiative, Vu noted its role in heightening student visibility. Collaborating with various campus departments, the aim is to cement their position and reshape the narrative on disabilities. Vu also emphasized the urgency in actively promoting services so the SDSU community recognizes their mission.

As the kickoff ended at the Aztec Student Union, the atmosphere remained charged with spirit. Much like the alluring conchas and boba, One SDSU’s event underscored the university’s commitment to diversity and community, setting the tone for the semester ahead.

For more on the upcoming events this semester, visit the partners of One SDSU: Center for Intercultural Relations, Student Life & Leadership, Division of Student Affairs, Associated Students, International Student Center, Student Disability Services, APIDA, (AAPI)phany of SDSU, Latinx Resource Center and Black Resource Center.

About the Contributor
Ryan Kehl, Staff Writer
Raised in North Philadelphia, Ryan is a senior majoring in journalism with an emphasis in advertising. He recently completed a copywriting internship at Motive and served as vice president of public affairs on the Professional Studies and Fine Arts College Council. His interests include "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia," Meek Mill, "Rocky," and "Elden Ring," along with cheesesteak egg rolls and soft pretzels.