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Monday, May 16, 2022

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Diversity Roundtable hosts fifth annual UR World Cup soccer tournament

Diversity Roundtable, a student organization on University of Richmond's campus, is working to bring students, faculty and staff together through its UR World Cup soccer tournament.

"Our main goal of the soccer tournament is to get people on campus who wouldn't normally interact with each other, to interact," said Ashley Mekin, student coordinator of Diversity Roundtable and Westhampton College '15. "Soccer is something common and internationally known that people can bond over."

The fifth annual UR World Cup soccer tournament will take place Sept. 26 at 5 p.m. Teams of eight players will compete in round-robin style soccer matches for a grand prize of $100.

"Even though soccer is the theme of the event, it is much more than just a tournament," Mekin said. "It is a way for people to hang out and get to know each other. Non-players are welcome too, and there will be other activities, food and music."

Diversity Roundtable's main purpose is to foster collaboration among student groups and offer inclusivity programs, such as campus-wide discussions and the soccer tournament. The organization is composed of representatives from other student groups that address diversity and inclusion, social justice or cultural identity in their mission statements.

"DRT is an essential part of this campus," said Melissa Munoz, Diversity Roundtable student representative for Westhampton College Government Association and WC '15. "It is important for WCGA and other organizations to be a part of DRT, because it allows us to better inform our peers and to be better informed as well."

The Office of Common Ground sponsors Diversity Roundtable. Lisa Miles, associate director for Common Ground, also serves as Diversity Roundtable's adviser. Miles has seen the inaugural UR World Cup, and is helping to make this year's tournament another success.

"Isaiah Bailey '12 invented the tournament 5 years ago as a way to bring lots of students from around the campus together for something fun," Miles wrote in an email. "It has always been a big draw for international students and a way for them to meet and play with domestic students who also grew up loving soccer."

Mekin has also been hard at work organizing this year's soccer tournament. She hopes for a good turnout of both players and spectators. Jose Bustillos, Richmond College '15, plans to compete for the fourth year in a row. Last year, his team, "Una Vaina Loca," took home the championship title.

"Winning the tournament was one of the best feelings I have experienced playing sports in college," Bustillos said. "People should come out and participate. ... It's an event for everyone."

Contact reporter Meghan Cummings at meghan.cummings@richmond.edu

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