Confluence is a space for ethnic minorities and allies to come together, mingle, exchange ideas, share in each other’s cultures and expand horizons. The aim is to bring about a sense of community for ethnic minorities and allies across Common Rooms, academic and non-academic staff and students, and to foster meaningful interaction among them. We asked JCR Ethnic Minorities Rep Éilis Mathur to tell us more about the recent Michaelmas Term event.

What does Confluence@Queen’s mean for you?

There is definitely a strong ethnic minority community at Queen’s and the annual Michaelmas Term Confluence dinner is a lovely opportunity for this community to come together. It is nice to see students from different year groups and subjects get to know each other and form connections, especially because it can feel a bit isolating from time to time. 

What are the aims of the Confluence dinner?

It’s a really good event. It aims to celebrate the richness of diversity within the College and strengthen a sense of community between students. 

Why is it important to have events like this one within the College community?

It is very important to have events like this one within the College community because although there are several University-wide societies and events, it is also important to have these on a smaller more personal scale. It is a really important reminder to ethnic minority students that there is a strong network and community here for them within their own College, whether they need someone to talk to, or just to have fun with people from similar backgrounds. Also, the support from College and having the Senior Tutor, Professor Seth Whidden, preside over the event also meant a lot to all the attendees. 

What other things do you have planned as part of your role as Ethnic Minorities Rep?

As Ethnic Minorities Rep, I intend to support and arrange different talks on a variety of topics, such as history and politics. I also plan on organising more informal events, such as movie nights showcasing the work of ethnic minority film creators and welfare brunches to provide opportunities for everyone to come together. I also plan on staying updated with the University’s new Equality, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) campaign strategies to see how that will affect Queen’s and students. 

How can the wider College community best support your work?

I think the support we have received so far from the JCR and College has been good and essential in having events such as the Confluence dinner. Continuation of this will ensure that events will keep happening. I also think support regarding the introduction of new EDI policies and navigating how they will be incorporated into the environment here at Queen’s will be important in ensuring it remains and becomes an even better space for ethnic minority students.