Multicultural Center Mixer and Tips for First Generation Students

Updated: Nov 16

By Mackenzie Pharaoh

The Multicultural Center (Photo by Mackenzie Pharaoh)

The Multicultural Center held a mixer for first-generation college students and professors to mingle and get guidance and receive advice. The Multicultural Center is a space on campus located in Fort Awesome. It's a community space for students to come together and have class or to gather and meet people of different ethnicities.


As a first-generation college student, I was incredibly happy to see an opportunity to meet more people who are first-generation; unfortunately, I was the only student in attendance. A few Purchase faculty members who are first-generation college students were eager to share their advice and on-campus resources. If you couldn’t attend the event on Monday, here are some words of wisdom you may have missed.


“I went to Purchase,” says Jeffrey Arroyo, the experiential education coordinator/career counselor. A piece of advice from Arroyo was to “find the people that want you to succeed, people that want you to go above and beyond…and stay connected.” Prior to this mixer, I never looked into a career counselor mainly because I didn’t even know there was one on campus. As someone who doesn’t really know where their future is going, learning that there's someone on campus to help guide students in the right direction was extremely helpful.

A sign in the Multicultural Center (Photo by Mackenzie Pharaoh)

As a first-generation college student, I get uncomfortable reaching out and putting myself out there when it comes to new opportunities. President Milagros Peña’s advice was, “Take a leap of faith, get involved with different opportunities, and really embrace the college experience.”


Student Services Coordinator Els van-den-Bosch says students should reach out and ask questions when it comes to classes and waitlists. She said, “Don't take it for granted if you get a no, go around the system a little bit, you should ask if you can get into the class.”


Nicholas Garmendiz, the residence coordinator for Fort Awesome, said, “Advocate for yourself because the bumps and bruises are gonna happen.”


“Don't be afraid to ask questions,” said Arroyo.


There are many upcoming events at the Multicultural center for the rest of this semester, including “Do All Purchase College Students Think the Same?" This event will take place on Nov. 16 from 3 to 4 p.m. Right after this event is another at the Multicultural Center titled, “Lunch & Learn: Calling In/Calling Out...Over the Holidays” from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.


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