There are 11 cultural and ethnic groups affiliated with the Center that, along with many other campus organizations, promote and support students while focusing on the critical issue of intercultural understanding and respect. Collectively, these groups organize under an umbrella group called Mosaic. Mosaic is currently comprised of the following student organizations:
Amandla! promotes better understanding of the many communities of the African diaspora. The organization sponsors lectures, campus discussions, and performances for the College community. Amandla! provides a mentoring program serving children of African descent in the Lewiston-Auburn area. Recent speakers sponsored by Amandla! include Sonia Sanchez, bell hooks, and Sistah Souljah. Amandla! sponsors Triad, an annual campus-wide party that serves to teach, through various theme rooms, aspects of the African diasporic culture and life.
OUTfront (formerly Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual Alliance) provides the Bates community a forum for education and discussion of gay and lesbian issues. The members also serve as a support group for gay, lesbian, and bisexual students. Events sponsored by the group have included a play reading, parties, the Gay and Lesbian Film/Video Festival, comedians and two workshops, Who Is Saying What About Whom? and Circuit Breakers (two workshops on coalition building), and comedians.
International Club aims to promote understanding and awareness of diverse cultures and ethnicities through the activities of its members, as well as to provide support for international students on campus. The Club consists of both American and international students and is open to anyone who wants to join. Some activities of the Club in the past have included bringing ethnically diverse speakers and performers to the Bates campus, showing films, and sponsoring arts and craft fairs as well as the famed international dinner and dessert. The Club also sponsors recreational activities such as trips and parties.
Hillel aims to raise awareness of Jewish cultural issues on the Bates campus and provides a support network for the Bates Jewish community. The organization observes the following holy days in a campuswide setting: Shabbat, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, Purim, Passover, and Yom Hashoah, among others. The Hillel also sponsors sociocultural events such as lectures, plays, movies, films, and speakers that serve the Bates community in a variety of ways. The organization’s office holds books, magazines, and newsletters that pertain to the Jewish religion and culture. One of the purposes of the organization is to increase awareness of Judaism; thus all are welcome to participate in activities sponsored by the organization.
Mushahada (the Bates College Muslim Student Association) was created to bring together the Muslim students of Bates College and help them in their practice of Islam. The club organizes religious events for the Muslim community at Bates which are open to the whole campus. Mushahada plans to sponsor several speakers and organize educational and social activities involving both Muslims and non-Muslims to promote greater awareness of the Islamic faith and traditions.
Sangai Asia was created to promote Asian and Asian-American awareness, identity, and fellowship. “Sangai” means “togetherness” in Nepalese, and that’s just what this club strives for. The group holds an annual conference with the Asian student groups at Bowdoin and Colby colleges to discuss issues facing students on the three campuses. Open to the entire Bates community, Sangai Asia has held events such as dinners, exhibits, film series, art exhibits, and lectures focusing on Asian and Asian- American identity and cultures.
Latinos Unidos explores Latina/o history, politics, language, and cultural traditions, and promotes greater awareness of the diverse Latina/o groups in the United States, as well as in Latin America and the Caribbean. Events such as the Columbus Day anticelebration, Latina/o student lecture series, and Latina/o video series serve to raise campus awareness. The organization also sponsors students to attend conferences and rallies. Solidaridad Latina also has become the name of the organization’s magazine, which gives the Latina/o community at Bates, as well as at college campuses throughout the nation, the space to express concerns and interests.
Women of Color celebrates the rich and diverse experiences of women of color. The group confronts issues of racism, sexism, classism, heterosexism, and other forms of prejudice that affect women of color. The organization sponsors the annual Fall Ball, a fund-raiser from which all proceeds go to regional and national organizations that work on issues of particular concern to women of color. Women of Color also sponsors a number of events surrounding International Women’s Month, including speakers, workshops, phone-ins, a coffeehouse, and a party. The group also publishes Dialectics, a literary journal collectively written and edited by women of color.
AFRICANA CLUB: The purpose of the Africana club is to celebrate the African continent and its people. We achieve this by fostering an awareness of the peoples, histories, and cultures of Africa on the Bates campus. Furthermore, the club creates a platform on which all students in the Bates campus interested in Africa can interact with each other closely and also share their thoughts, and experiences with the Bates community at large. Similarly, Africana club brings together students who want to study abroad in Africa and those who have been or lived there. The club also develops an avenue for connecting its members with Bates alumni who have interests and/or connections with the African continent.
SANKOFA is a student led cultural organization which seeks to explore the vibrant cultures of the African Diaspora through music, dance, poetry and prose. Students explore the meaning of “Blackness” by reflecting on personal experiences; researching and identifying historical and contemporary events that continue to influence the development of people who claim Black and/or African heritage. The goals of Sankof include fostering social and political awareness about issues that affect communities and individuals claiming African ancestry; embracing numerous cultural differences found throughout the African Diaspora; in addition to community building beyond campus borders and barriers. The group is open to students, faculty, staff as well as members of the Lewiston community.
WOMEN’S ADVOCACY GROUP is a student-run organization that promotes awareness, discussion, and activism around gender issues on a local, national, and international level. The group is intended to serve as a safe and comfortable space for women as well as students of other genders on campus to: exchange ideas, meet with peers and professors outside of an academic setting, encourage dialogue between Batesies on subjects related to gender, listen to guest speakers, organize programming, and facilitate action to raise campus awareness of and around gender issues. The group’s activities are meant to foster an atmosphere free of discrimination and violence on campus. We hold weekly meetings to discuss ideas and plan events. Meetings are open to the entire Bates community. New members–of any gender–are always welcome!
You can also access the full list of student organizations.