Speaker spreads word of diversity through his S.A.L.S.A progam

By Jacqueline Evans

DeKALB | Salsa dancing and a lecture on diversity intertwined Thursday night in the Diversions Lounge at the Holmes Student Center when speaker Stan Pearson visited NIU.

Pearson is a bilingual salsa dancer who uses an interactive workshop entitled S.A.L.S.A. to inspire people to go forward in all endeavors regardless of racial, socio-economic or cultural differences. The program was organized by the Campus Activities Board.

S.A.L.S.A. stands for support, act, learn, strive and accept, and Pearson said it was important to tie all of these themes together.

Latisha Brandon, CAB associate vice president of educational leadership, said she wanted to find a speaker who appealed to everyone.

“I wanted to get a diverse speaker that all NIU students could relate to and someone who would be fun,” Brandon said.

“I thought it was important to relate the dancing to real life,” Pearson said. “The students of NIU were great; they were really dialed in.”

CAB President Byron Neal II said he felt this was an important program for NIU students to attend to increase diversity awareness.

“Diversity is very important to NIU, and supporting programs that bring a spotlight to diversity will bring us all together as Huskies,” Neal said.

“I really enjoyed the program. [Pearson] brought up issues and ideas that I have never thought of before tonight.”

Some NIU students were pleased with the lecture and enjoyed the dancing.

“It was really fun and interactive; the salsa applied to real life,” said Camille Hatchett, senior OMIS major.

Other NIU students said the program allowed them to relax.

“The dancing was a lot of fun,” said Brian Zlotorzycki , junior mechanical engineering major. “I was able to let loose.”