ETSU’s Office of Multicultural Affairs organizes multiple events throughout the semester to help educate students about various aspects of diversity, both on and off campus, to help facilitate a climate of respect and non-discrimination.

On Saturday, they will be hosting ETSU’s ‘The Voice’, followed by the Brown Bag Dialogue on Monoraciality and Diversity on Monday, Oct. 26.

This will be the third year in a row for ETSU’s ‘The Voice’, which is modeled after the popular TV show singing competition.

Auditions were held on Oct. 1 and 5 to choose five finalists that will perform in front of a panel of three judges on Saturday.

The judges for the competition will be Christina Romero, a finalist from last year, Matthew Potterton, a professor in the ETSU Music Department and Stacey Deshkulkarni, a faculty member and student of the Music Department.

“From those five finalists that were chosen they were assigned a genre ranging from folk ballads to gospel, rock, country and blues,” said Laura Terry, Multicultural Affairs director. “They were given genres different from what they would usually sing. The contestants were then free to make whatever song selection they wanted from that genre.”

In the past, the event has proven popular among the students and faculty.

The Multicultural Affairs Office encourages as many people as possible to attend this fun and entertaining event that highlights some of the student talent here on campus.

“This event is always bringing out new student talent that we have here on campus,” Terry said. “Sometime’s it’ll be someone from one of the music groups on campus of the Music Department, but then you’ll have those random students that just really come out and shine. I love finding hidden talent like that.”

ETSU’s ‘The Voice’ will be held in the Auditorium from 7 to 9 p.m.

The event is free to attend and plaques will be awarded to the winner as well as first and second runner-up.

Following ETSU’s ‘The Voice’ will be the Brown Paper Bag Dialogues on Monday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Culp Center’s East Tennessee Room.

The purpose of the Brown Paper Bag Dialogues is to educate students and bring awareness to  special topics or issues centered around diversity.

The topic for Monday’s Dialogue, “Monoraciality vs. Diversity” focuses on the issue with self identification that many multi-ethnic and multi-racial students and people in general still face.

“There are people who see things through one lense, and there are people who see things through multiple lenses,” said Nathnael Tadesse, Office of Multicultural Affairs assistant. “The current system is established to see everything through one lense which adds to the struggle for people to be accepted, appreciated and recognised as diverse individuals.”

Examples of the problems that this focus on Monoraciality creates can be found when people encounter issues filling out forms, paperwork or even with how they are perceived based on other’s’ assumptions.

“I’ve found that a lot of students have a multi ethnic background, but categorically they may not fit into one specific classification to accurately describe their ethnic background,” Tadesse said. “It forces people to have to settle with a classification that most likely doesn’t speak to their true identity.”

The Brown Paper Bag Dialogue will focus on the issues that arise from subjecting diverse groups of people into monoracial classifications, which essentially robs them of crucial parts of their cultural and personal identity.

Students are encouraged to pack a lunch if they wish and attend this thought provoking discussion.