Mungano is the diversity organization at Baker University. The club provides a safe space for all types of people to come together and learn about each other’s cultures and place in society.
According to the Baker University website, the word Mungano is derived from the Swahili phrase “Mungano Wa Wanafunzi Weuzi,” meaning brothers and sisters united.
Senior and president of Mungano, Myan Elrington, says Mungano is her home away from home. “The family aspect is definitely my favorite. Everyone is very loving and through the group, I gained most of my friends.”
Each month, the club focuses on a new group or culture, with Sept. 15 being the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. They will meet, learn about and appreciate Latino Culture for the month.
Elrington and other members encourage everyone to try Mungano at least once.
“It’s just good to be aware of other people and their cultures and how they feel about life,” Elrington said, “if you go through life not knowing about a culture, you could say the wrong thing so just making yourself aware is a great reason to come.”
Senior Vice President of Mungano, Grant Boehm, got involved because both of his older sisters attended Baker and were a part of the group.
“I got more into it as the years went on and eventually got onto the executive team. I really just love the group and our purpose here on campus. I had to be a part of it.” Boehm said.
Because Boehm is a senior and this is his last year on campus, he really wants to see a good year for the group. “I want us to listen to one another more, I want members to stick around and stay strong all throughout the year.”
One thing Grant wants the student body at Baker to know is that Mungano is not the stigma they have.
“We have a stigma of being the ‘black club’ on campus, we aren’t the black club. Anyone is welcome in the group,” he said, “In order to be diverse, which is what we are on campus, we need a lot of different people of all different races to attend and learn about all of our differences.”
The main goal and hope Mungano has is to unite many different people while creating a safe space for open dialogue and honest conversation.
Junior, Maddie Smith, attended Mungano for the first time last year and loved it, “It was something really different and something I really enjoyed,” Smith said, “I got to create a poster board about me and what made me who I am today.”
Along with meeting every Tuesday evening in the Long Student Union at 8p.m, Mungano has many events throughout the semester open to Baker students.
From ‘Communities of Color & Disability Awareness’ on October first to ‘Open Mic Night’ Nov. 12, they have a wide variety of events.
A full list of Mungano club events can be found on the Baker University website here.