West Virginia University is getting in step with diversity on Saturday (March 17).

A group of students from the main campus in Morgantown are motoring downstate to West Virginia University Institute of Technology at Montgomery for a day that blends the excitement of step-dancing and the intellectual awareness of diversity and multiculturalism.

The two schools will stage WVU Techs first-everUnity Step Showfrom 5-6:30 p.m. at the Neal D. Biasi Athletic Center. Its free of charge.

This is pretty exciting for us,said Rodney Williams, a WVU graduate student who is making the trip with his fellow members of the multicultural, coed Alpha Omega Omega fraternity.Its going to close the gap between the two schools.

Step shows are elaborate productions built around step-dancing, orstepping,as the art is commonly known. With its roots in the African Welly boot dance, stepping was once a staple in traditionally black colleges and universities.

Students lining up Saturday will also be getting in step with a broader mission, said Williams, a masters student in WVU s Integrated Marketing Communications Program and graduate assistant in the Presidents Office for Social Justice.

Its a chance for all of us to work together,he said.Its not just going to be about black students at Tech,he said.Its going to be about all students at Tech.

The day begins with a series of workshops from 1-4 p.m. promoting diversity and direction, Williams said.

We want to teach culture,he said,but we also want to encourage them to start their own organizations.

A study of step-dancing, is well, a good first step, he said.

Stepping grew out of one culture but now all races participate,he said.And stepping promotes teamwork, dedication and motivation.

Alpha Omega Omega is a perfect example, he said.

There are all races in this frat. When we perform at other schools, people are amazed at just how multicultural it is.

In addition to their routines, look for other performances by WVU s traditional black fraternity and sorority, Alpha Phi Alpha and Alpha Kappa Alpha.

And members of WVU s Black Student Union are also making the trip to host several of that days workshops, he said.

Its a real community effort,he said.

Those two words,community,andeffort,couldnt be more appropriate, said Jennifer McIntosh, who serves as executive officer of the Presidents Office for Social Justice.

Its one thing to talk about it and another to go out and do it,she said.This is a group of young people who are going to teach and celebrate diversity. That should give us all hope for the future.

For more information, contact Williams at rodney.williams@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-8559. The WVU Tech contact is James Kerrigan, associate dean of students, at james.kerrigan@mail.wvu.edu or 304-442-3100.