Students to Celebrate Different Cultures

By Anna Mayes
Elm Staff Writer

Every year, the Global Education Office (GEO) presents International Education Week, this year promises to be bigger and better. The GEO has partnered with the Student Government Association (SGA) to put on the event.
International Education Week is a nationwide celebration of international education in and out of the classroom. “It gives international students as well as domestic students the opportunity to showcase their culture, language, and heritage at certain events while also learning about others through interaction,” said senior Lis Engle, parliamentarian of the SGA and international student guide for the GEO, was in charge of planning the event.
This event is almost entirely student run. This shows that the students on campus are so passionate about global learning that they have dedicated a whole week to celebrating it.
“This isn’t something that faculty are trying to force students to participate in; this is something that I think students find personal to them, and want to share with the whole campus,” said sophomore Amanda Tran, SGA secretary of diversity.
Tran has always wanted to plan a global themed event that included culture-based organizations, and has been helping plan some of the events.
The Diversity Committee believes that since WC is a campus that is growing increasingly more diverse, these kinds of events really help the college come together. “I am expecting students to come together and be able to openly share their cultures with each other,” said junior Lindsey Jackson, member of the SGA Diversity Committee.
Sophomore Joanna Sperapani, SGA Diversity Committee member said that being on this committee is fun, but also very eye-opening. They talk extensively about the issues that international and minority students face. International Education Week
“Our main goal is to both celebrate different cultures, and bring a focus to diversity on campus,” she said.  Jackson believes this is a great way to spread cultural awareness on campus. “It is amazing to have such a diverse campus, and we have so much to learn from each other.”
The first night, “World Culture Night” is on Saturday, Nov. 12 in the Goose Nest from 5:30 to 8 p.m..
“It’s a great way for culture-based clubs to promote their club, and for students to show off their nationality,” Tran said.
So far there will be tables for China, Vietnam, Italy, Germany, Mexico, Korea, and Native Americans as well as the Black Student Union and Hillel.
Each booth will feature national dishes, fun facts, greetings, the national flag, and common phrases/jokes/greetings.
“I can’t wait to try all of the different foods as well as make some of my own,” Engle said.
In the middle of the week is “Language Speed Dating” on Wednesday, Nov. 16. “This event is especially geared to anyone who is interested in different languages,” Tran said. Participants walk in and are seated randomly across someone who speaks another language.
For five minutes, the two talk to each other. The person across from the participant will mostly speak in another language, but will teach phrases and greetings. After five minutes are done, the participant switches tables and goes through the same process.
The final event will be held on Friday, Nov. 18. This will be the “Welcome to America Party.” “The party celebrates the end of International Education week and the idea is that America is a great melting pot, and welcomes the different cultures that make up our country,” said Tran.
Other events include a foreign film and speaker night, trivia and game night, and bonfire and dumplings night.
Washington College is growing more diverse every year, and this week full of culture is just one way to appreciate campus diversity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *