The Cavalier Daily
Serving the University Community Since 1890

Mixed Race Student Coalition hosts its own Young Alumni Reunion for the first time

MRSC members reflect on how far the coalition has come and engage with founders

<p>Laughter and avid conversation echoed across the Rotunda Multipurpose Room this past Saturday when the Mixed Race Student Coalition hosted their own <a href="https://alumni.virginia.edu/yar/"><u>Young Alumni Reunion</u></a>.&nbsp;</p>

Laughter and avid conversation echoed across the Rotunda Multipurpose Room this past Saturday when the Mixed Race Student Coalition hosted their own Young Alumni Reunion

Laughter and avid conversation echoed across the Rotunda Multipurpose Room this past Saturday when the Mixed Race Student Coalition hosted their own Young Alumni Reunion. From 3 to 5 p.m., students and alumni mingled amongst themselves — some chatted casually with old friends, while others excitedly conversed with new ones at tables covered in dark purple cloth under gold hanging streamers. 

About 40 students and alumni turned out Saturday afternoon to take photos on the Lawn, enjoy a buffet table catered by Whole Foods and Treasures by Treasure and spend time with members of this unique and growing community. 

Natasha Smith, fourth-year Commerce student and current MRSC president, seeks to uphold the mission of creating a place for mixed students to feel welcome and seen.

“The Mixed Race Student Coalition is a multicultural organization here on Grounds that serves to include people who don't really feel like they fit into a specific box, a specific racial or ethnic category,” Smith said.

This year is the first time ever that the MSRC decided to host its own event during YAR. 

Alexa Wells, second-year College student and current MRSC outreach chair, said she wanted to host this event to get to know older alumni her friends know personally.

“I'm also excited to get to show them what we've done with what [the alumni] gave us,” Wells said. “When they were here, this club was seven people in a Lawn room, and now it's a GroupMe full of over 200 people.” 

Smith shared a similar sentiment of excitement at the prospect of connecting club veterans with the coalition’s current members.

“Having this reunion reception will really be a reflection moment and also a really great learning opportunity for any young leader in our club who wants to step up in any organization that they're involved in, whether or not that is MRSC,” Smith said. 

Jaelen Guerrant, Class of 2021 alumnus and founder of the MRSC, attended the event to reunite with his peers and connect with current members. 

“It was really about making a place for our home, for people who identify as mixed or anywhere in between so that they have a sense of belonging here at U.Va.,” Guerrant said.

Guerrant believes that it is the differing backgrounds amongst all of its members that truly makes the coalition special.

“It's the multitude of identities that made [MSRC’s] own identity,” Guerrant said. “There's no real thing that defines being a mixed person because everyone is different in their own way.”

Sasha Porter, second-year College student and current coalition member, said she feels there is often pressure to try and represent all sides of your ethnic backgrounds as a mixed person, but joining MRSC has made her see otherwise. 

“Being in MRSC has helped me realize that you don't necessarily need to represent both sides,” Porter said. “I think it just helps to realize that being mixed is your identity, you don't have to just be one side … I think it’s just about creating your own [identity].”

For Guerrant, the most important element is that the members of the club can come to see who they are.

“Knowing that the mission of having people have that sense of discovery and explore who they are as individuals in terms of the complexity and the intersectionality of being a mixed person is still at the core of everything that we do,” Guerrant said. “We're here to have a good time together.”

Comments

Latest Podcast

Today, we sit down with both the president and treasurer of the Virginia women's club basketball team to discuss everything from making free throws to recent increased viewership in women's basketball.