Experience culture through clubs on campus


The African Students Organization is one of more than 100 UTEP clubs. It celebrates cultural diversity and encourages inclusion through a variety of events. Photo courtesy of the African Students Organization.

Elisha Nuñez, Staff Reporter

Like most campuses, UTEP has its share of student organizations that encourage diversity and inclusion. From a group that specializes in board games to one for people who enjoy creative writing, there are plenty of organizations at UTEP. 

With more than 100 clubs, UTEP has something for every student. One example is the African Students Organization. Though the name of the club sounds like it is for a specific student demographic, all are welcome, as described by the organization’s president, Tolulope Adeyina, a data science Ph.D student at UTEP. 

“The whole idea of the community is basically for the advancement of cultural diversity and inclusion at UTEP, and this includes people from everywhere,” Adeyina said. “We have a majority of members (that) are African students (from) over 50 African countries. We have African Americans, people that are also Hispanic, and we also have white people that are part of the organization. Basically, it’s an organization you join first to see the world from a different perspective, especially a perspective that you’re not aware of, which is from an African perspective.” 

Like the African Students Organization, there are also other clubs that encourage more perspective and diversity, such as the Muslim Students Association or the Bangladeshi Student Association.  

Along with the many characteristics of these clubs, they are also here to help students become more involved, not only in their university, but to also discover or expand on their identity. These organizations also come together during other campus events to unite UTEP students and exchange different cultures. 

“There is an event that brings international organizations (together), which I think (is) called the International Food Fair,” Adeyina said. “That is a fair that different cultures, the Indians, the Bangladeshis, Africans, Mexicans and the French come together. That brings a level of popularity and awareness to different cultural positions like ours, so maybe more can be done. Maybe more events (and) more meetings. I think (we should have) such programs that amplify inclusion and diversity.” 

Student clubs at UTEP are an essential part of student life, and they serve as communities that help strengthen the idea of unity within the campus for students who may feel alone in interests or physical characteristics. UTEP is a great example of a university that welcomes students of all backgrounds and shows that there is always a place for someone. Not only do these clubs help people find their place at UTEP, but they also help students showcase their talents or identities to the rest of the world. 

“I mean, the minority community plays a huge role, the African community plays a huge role in showcasing UTEP out there,” Adeyina said. “Recently, an African, a Nigerian broke a world record in (the World Athletics Championship 100 meter) hurdles. I feel that such (people), you know, could (be a way) of making UTEP proud.” 

Elisha Nuñez is a staff reporter and may be reached at email [email protected]