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UNH Looks to Change Campus Culture Around Cinco de Mayo With New 'Unity Day'

Mike Ross / UNH

Officials at the University of New Hampshire are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s racially charged Cinco de Mayo celebrations with a new community service event this Saturday.

Images of UNH students partying in sombreros and ponchos on Cinco de Mayo last year set off a firestorm of controversy that brought national attention to the Durham campus.

It also spurred a year of soul-searching at the university about how to make minority students and faculty feel more welcome.

UNH is hoping a new community service event called Unity Day will be a step in that direction. On Saturday students will clean up outdoor areas on campus and around town. The school hopes the day will become a tradition that it hopes will ultimately change the climate that currently surrounds Cinco de Mayo on campus.

Jason Moon is a senior reporter and producer on the Document team. He has created longform narrative podcast series on topics ranging from unsolved murders, to presidential elections, to secret lists of police officers.
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