By Alex Bacon/The AS Review


At 6 p.m. on Monday nights in the Ethnic Student Center (VU 420), the Mixed Identity Student Organization (MISO) holds its weekly meetings.


MISO has roughly 30 members, but 20 show up weekly, according to Alekz Wray, MISO president.


"MISO is a space for people who seek to have control over their own identity," Wray said. MISO is for people who don’t buy into stereotypes about how specific groups are supposed to act or are expected to act, he said. An example Wray gave was that a black person is "supposed" to listen to hip-hop but instead might listen to country.


"We’re an accepting club," Wray said. "Don’t get too caught up in the idea of ‘mixed’. It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people."


Wray said people tend to assume mixed race when they hear the term "mixed identity" but that doesn’t apply to all of the members of MISO.


"It’s a place for everyone to come and explore their own identities and hopefully love those identities," Wray said. "Everyone is mixed in one way or another."


During a typical meeting the group goes around in a circle and tells their high points and low points of the week, Wray said. Then students answer a "crazy" question such as "what’s your favorite type of rain boot?" Next the club deals with any voting or decision making they need to do. After the business has been taken care of there’s a fun activity that follows.


One activity Wray described involved a ball of yarn and a circle of people. One person in the circle starts by saying something like "I grew up in Eastern Washington." The other people in the circle that grew up in Eastern Washington raise their hands and the person with the yarn tosses the ball to someone with their hand raised while keeping an end of the yarn in their own hand. The circle repeats the process using different statements until all the yarn is gone. Wray said it’s a good exercise to see how much students have in common with other students.


After the activity, students have a discussion. Often they discuss how their life experiences affected their responses or actions in an activity. Wray said sometimes the discussions are very deep. One common topic is what being "mixed" means to individual students.


Last Year, MISO won "Ethnic and Cultural Club of the Year."


"That was pretty exciting," Wray said.


According to Wray, MISO puts on small events each quarter, which he said are usually social and fun. The club is working on putting on their first heritage dinner. At this point, the heritage dinner is planned for spring quarter.


There are no requirements to join, Wray said. Just show up and be ready to have a good conversation with fun people.