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Beach party in the park

Portland State University held its annual Party in the Park event on Friday, Sept. 28. The event highlighted student clubs, university services, local musicians and organizations that serve the campus and greater Portland area.

Cultural and educational groups were present, such as: the Association for Chinese Students and Scholars, a volunteer organization that promotes cultural, academic and social activities of interests among Chinese students at PSU; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the country’s oldest and perhaps most respected civil rights organization; and M.E.Ch.A, a progressive organization founded in 1969 to encourage Chicano/a youth to aspire to higher education, assist Chicano students in schools and instill a sense of cultural pride.

Service and social groups were also represented. Among them were: Amnesty International, which exists to help free people unjustly imprisoned around the world; PSU Career Center, which helps students and alumni through all steps of preparing, searching for and securing employment; PSU Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the university’s official crisis counseling center; Helen Gordon Child Development Center; Students for Unity, a new group that works toward racial, social and economic justice on campus and in the greater Portland community; PSU Student Health Service, the university’s official health center; Queers and Allies, a group that celebrates and promotes sexual diversity; and the Women’s Resource Center.

“I think that the event is great because it gives the campus community an opportunity to get together and meet each other,” PSU sophomore Sweeta Darrow said.

Other university groups present at the event included media, recreational and religious organizations: KPSU 1450 AM, the university’s radio station; the Vanguard; PSU Crew Club; PSU Snowboard Club; Kickboxing Club; Campus Crusade for Christ, the oldest and most recognized Christian college ministry organization on campus; and the First Unitarian Church.

The highlight of the entire event may have been a performance by the Portland-based samba bateria, The Lions of Batucada. The group was formed in 1996 by Brian Davis, Derek Reith and Andrew Hartzell. They describe themselves as a marching percussion ensemble, which plays the syncopated, African-influenced dance music of Brazil known as samba.

“We’re a performance group that emulates the Brazilian-styled samba schools. In Brazil, samba is more like an event, something like what the Super Bowl is here in America.

In addition to performing, the group offers classes that teach people how to play and dance to the rhythms that constitute samba. Those interested in finding out more about the group are encouraged to visit their official Web site –

For more information on any club or service offered by the university, students can contact Student Development by calling 503-725-4452 or visiting their office in Smith Memorial Center Room 443.