Press "Enter" to skip to content

SHAC is back

After a several-year hiatus, the Student Heritage Alliance Council (SHAC) is officially back. SHAC serves as an advisory board for several multicultural and multi-faith organizations on campus.

“Whenever we are hosting open events to the community, it’s a chance for people in SHAC or the multicultural or multi-faith organizations to get a chance to raise awareness, celebrate and share their culture with others that in part creates a more even platform,” said Taylor Ashley, advisor for SHAC and a coordinator for diversity and inclusion at Office of Diversity and Inclusion (ODI).

On Nov. 16, SHAC partnered with ODI and the UMaine Student Government to host a Friends & Family Feast, where restaurants and student groups across Orono and Bangor cooked and baked dishes for the UMaine community to enjoy. A delicious spread of za’atar roasted vegetables, aloo matar, smoked turkey, fried spring rolls and more fed over 350 people.

“SHAC is more or less a platform for our groups to represent themselves together as a collective rather than just separate identities because right now we’re kind of all fighting for the same goal, which is representation on campus, getting our voices out there, getting our culture to be immersed within the campus community,” Jon Guzman, a second-year marketing and business student and president of SHAC, said. “The goal of bringing SHAC back was so we can come together as one to hear our thoughts, reflect on each other, support each other and then collectively put on these events like the Friends & Family Feast.”

Currently, SHAC has six members: Hillel, the Black Student Union, the Caribbean and Latinx Student Alliance, the Asian Student Association, the Spanish Club and the Japanese Club. The presidents of each of the clubs hold voting power on the advisory board. Guzman hopes to host a meeting by the end of this semester to vote in and represent other multicultural groups.

As the Multicultural Affairs Advisory Committee Chair for student government, Guzman’s main role was to revive SHAC. Guzman explained that the organization became inactive during the pandemic, and now that the organization is thriving once again, his position as multicultural affairs chair is dissolved. Guzman will now represent organizations that are part of SHAC as the president in weekly senate and cabinet meetings.

In the past, SHAC hosted an event during Diversity Week in the spring called “Mosaic.” Each multicultural organization would decorate a room in the Union, creating immersive experiences for the community through food and activities. Guzman and Ashley both hinted at the return of this exciting event. Additionally, ODI plans to partner with SHAC and other student organizations to host “Rivers, cultures and their cuisines,” a cooking and dining experience that explores the cultures across eight rivers worldwide, starting with the Penobscot River. Fifteen students will prepare a meal for 80 people and present on the food and related cultures.

For additional information about SHAC, visit their page or follow them on Instagram

Get the Maine Campus' weekly highlights right to your inbox!
Email address
First Name
Last Name
Secure and Spam free...