Malden High Does Not Host Multicultural Night

As one of the most diverse high schools in the country, celebrating the wide range of cultures present is important to Malden High School. Usually, this happens at the school’s annual Multicultural Night. This year would have marked the 10th year of the celebration, but a lack of student participation made planning and setting up the event difficult. 

Usually, advisor of the Multicultural Club Yahira Marquez would work on the event with around 20 students, but this year “There didn’t seem to be the consistency and commitment on the students’ end,” said Marquez. Marquez has run the event since the start of the celebration in 2011 along with a changing group of students.

Marquez believes that this is in part due to COVID. “People who knew about [the event] and had seen it for years hadn’t anymore,” explained Marquez. “Freshmen don’t know what Multicultural Club is or about the celebration.” 

Planning the event is a lot of work, “It’s a huge undertaking that takes more than a single person to do,” said Marquez. “We take the whole spring semester to plan for it,” she emphasized. Planning “really starts in January and it happens in May.” Among the many to-dos are: researching and contacting outside groups to participate, finding clubs within the school to participate, getting students and teachers to make dishes for the best dish competition, promoting the event, and getting donations. 

One club that has taken part in the event almost every year it has been held is the Haitian Club. Paul Degenkolb, Advisor of the Haitian Club, agreed with Marquez, “I think the only reason it didn’t happen is because there wasn’t a committed group of students.” He added, “Ms. Marquez is one person and she does a ton of work for the event and she needs support to do the event.”

“People just aren’t used to the commitment that is required to pull off an event like that,” Degenkolb said. He explained that COVID has made things like running clubs just a little bit harder. 

However, Degenkolb is hopeful that the event will return next year. “Every year we hit a reset button,” he added. The students “have some power… If they are upset that we didn’t have this event let’s talk about it and figure out a way we can do it moving forward.” He emphasized that it is in the students’ hands to make this event happen and to make the school the way they want it to be.

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