Multicultural Student Association hosts event to share migration stories

“…to share opinions that might not be heard otherwise.”


Students participate in discussions of migration stories in Elrod Commons. Photo by Rossella Gabriele, ’19.

Grace Mamon

A group of students gathered in the Elrod Commons living room to talk about immigration as part of Multicultural Student Association’s first “Migration Stories” event.

“Immigration is a really important issue,” said Allie Lefkowitz, ’20, an MSA board member. “Obviously it’s very contentious right now, but it’s been important for many years and we just wanted to start conversation and hear as many viewpoints as possible.”

The event was held on Tuesday, Feb. 5. Lefkowitz said that desire for different perspectives led MSA to partner with Amnesty International and Latinx Student Organization, as well as advertise the event to everyone in the university’s community.

One participant, Anukriti Shrestha, ‘19, shared her experience as an international student and how recent policy changes have affected her plans for the future.

“When I came here, I had planned to graduate and get a job,” Shrestha said. “But with recent changes, it’s just logistically more difficult for me to be able to work after graduation, so now I’m going to do grad school.”

Discussion revolved around various topics, including the detaining of immigrants, which MSA member Natasha Gengler, ‘22, called a “humanitarian crisis,” refugee issues and the different avenues of immigration.

Gengler said these types of events are important for the student body to attend.

“I do think that W&L is lacking in diverse opinion in comparison to other colleges,” she said. “I think it’s really important to have events like this to share opinions that might not be heard otherwise.”

This is the first year that MSA has put on the Migration Stories event, with the goal to be more active beyond large events such as the Black and White Ball and Diversity Days.

“Events like this give us a platform to be able to come together and have a civilized discussion,” Shrestha said. “It allows us to talk to people who don’t necessarily agree with us. It helped me see why certain people have the opinions they do, which I think is important.”