Cultural club dance team a new addition to Dance Marathon

Paulina Firozi, Campus Editor

This year Dance Marathon will include for the first time a group of dancers drawn from different cultural associations on campus.

The joint-cultural club group, All Cultural Effect, offers students from cultural associations at Northwestern the opportunity to participate in the university-wide event in the spring as a unified group. DM finance committee member Michael Choi, who helped develop the idea for the new team, said the majority of groups that register are usually members from residential halls and colleges and Greek organizations. DM wanted to encourage different alliances on campus to come together for the 30-hour experience, the Weinberg sophomore added.

Choi and McCormick sophomore Chen Lu, both part of the International Student Association and the Chinese Students and Scholars Association, wanted to ask students in the organizations if they wanted to register for DM. It was originally just going to be a collaboration between ISA and the CSSA, but they realized they could expand it to include all cultural groups at NU.

“We thought it would be awesome if all the cultural clubs were in it,” Lu said.

Choi said through his experiences on the food committee last year and finance committee this year that “DM is constantly striving to be more inclusive.”

Noor Hasan, a member of DM’s public relations committee, said they sent a “rallying cry” to multicultural groups through email blasts encouraging them to join. Hasan, who is also a part of the University’s student diversity task force and Associated Student Government’s diversity committee, said unifying cultural groups was important to emphasize this school year.

“In the past we’ve had a lot of dialogue about inclusion and diversity,” the Weinberg junior said. “There are a lot of issues for students at Northwestern that don’t sit well with them. This change within Dance Marathon and within the community is a concrete change. It’s a movement to unite and celebrate something at Northwestern that belongs to everyone.”

McCormick junior Hanan Abdisubhan will participate in DM for the first time this year as a part of the All Cultural Effect team. She first heard about it from her friend Hasan, who is part of the committee that thought up the idea. She said was initially going to sign up for DM with members of the Muslim Cultural Students Association, several members of the group decided to instead join with the new cultural club team.

Abdisubhan said she was mostly excited to meet new people from other cultural clubs and be a part of a new NU tradition.

“Everyone at Northwestern takes it so seriously, and I’ve never had a chance to fundraise for DM and feel that Northwestern communal goal,” she said.

SESP freshman Shirley Ni said she wanted to sign up with the new group to meet different types of people while also experiencing DM.

“I thought it was really cool that there was going to be a dance group with people from all different parts of the country and the world,” Ni said.

DM executive co-chair Katie Amys said the joint cultural group represented an important step forward for DM.

“It was one of the decisions we made for the way we wanted DM to go in the future, to include more diversity,” the Weinberg senior said. “It’s one of the things that unites all of campus. It doesn’t matter whatever student group you’re dancing for, you’re all dancing together and having fun for the cause.”

Registration for DM is ongoing, and an official count for All Cultural Effect team members is not yet available.