Fall Fest provides a space to de-stress

Multicultural program helps students find mentors, student tutors



Katerin Gomez, host of Native American Student Mentoring Program, shares her excitement for the Fall Fest on Monday morning in the Lighty Cafe. “The Fall Festival is just a time where mentors and mentees come together after midterms, she said.

RACHEL KOCH, Evergreen reporter

The Multicultural Student Mentorship Program is giving students a chance to unwind with their second annual Fall Fest.

Event promoter Katerin Gomez is a mentor for the Native American Student Center.

“The Fall Fest is just a time where mentors and mentees come together after midterms,” Gomez said. “It’s not really school focused. It’s more like us getting to know each other better, interact and kind of de-stress.”

MSMP allows first-generation or multicultural students to have an older student to guide them throughout their first year at WSU, she said.

“It can be really hard for students, especially around this time, because they get really homesick,” Gomez said. “We just want to help them succeed and continue growing.”

According to the website for Multicultural Student Services, MSMP has specific student centers within the program to best meet each student’s identity and needs.

These include the Native American Student Center, the African American Student Center, the Asian American and Pacific Islander Student Center and the Chicanx Latinx Student Center, Gomez said.

The directors of MSMP examine statistics every year, and they consistently find that students involved in the program who participate, Gomez said.

“Their grades are higher, their GPA is higher and they usually come back,” she said. “It really helps to be part of a mentor program just so someone can guide you if you need any help.”

Francisco Ochoa, mentor for the Chicanx Latinx Student Center, said he credits Multicultural Student Services, or MSS, for his academic success.

“My freshman year, it was really hard for me to transition into college because I really was not ready,” Ochoa, a first-generation student said. “It was very difficult for me to just hold myself more accountable.”

As a freshman, Ochoa said he looked up to and respected his former mentor.

“For [MSS] to be providing and have funding for student mentors, for me to have my own when I was a freshman, it really made a great difference,” he said.

Ochoa added that his study skills and ability to focus have improved.

The Fall Fest is one of the only events that either MSS or MSMP hosts, Ochoa said.

“These mentees sometimes are shy and don’t really reach out to us as much as we would want them to,” he said. “They will feel more comfortable because there will be a ton of other students just like them coming in.”

The Fall Fest will have free food and activities such as strawberry decorating, musical chairs and a photo booth, Gomez said.

She added that the event is open to all students, even if they are not involved in MSMP.

“We really welcome everyone,” Gomez said.

According to the event Facebook page, the venue for this year’s Fall Fest is the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center.

“It’s really cool that we’re using those spaces that were meant for us in the first place,” Ochoa said.

The Fall Fest will happen from 6-8 p.m. on Wednesday at the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center There is no cost of admission.