Culture shock: club encourages diversity on campus

Posted on 24 October 2017 by Ian Schrauth

International Club gives members a chance to learn about different cultures

 

By: Brad Riaz
Staff Writer

 

Meramec’s International Club is a hub for the considerable diversity on campus, according to president Grace Dada. The club is designed to give students the opportunity to get up close and personal with each culture represented within the club.5

Dada said she not only wants the International Club to be a community in itself, but she also for the members to make their own impact. The club is looking to help society in a time where that help might be needed.

“We don’t want it to just be our club. We want to impact our communities, especially now,” said Dada.

According to Dada, one of the ways that club plans to extend its reach is by attending the Festival of Nations in Tower Grove park. The festival features different vendors selling food and crafts from their home countries.

“We encourage our members to go and see what other countries have to offer,” said Dada.

Dada said that attending the festival gives International Club members an opportunity to represent and teach about their cultures. In return the public gets to learn about these cultures in an interactive way. The club also hosts an annual end-of-schoolyear cultural banquet where attendees can view different cultural performances and sample a variety of ethnic foods. According to Dada, club members dress up for the event in either formal American clothing or traditional clothes from their country of origin.

“This year [the banquet] is going to be bigger since we’re incorporating our sister campuses and other international clubs from SLU and UMSL,” said Dada.

Although food is a big draw, said Dada, there are benefits to club membership beyond the edible. The club puts students in the center of club meetings, an opportunity that may not be given at other points in life. This gives members the opportunity to learn about people outside of a classroom setting. Not only is that knowledge important on a personal level, but having the International Club on a resume is physical proof of that importance, Dada said. Students also aren’t required to be international to join the club.

Dada said that despite the start of a new semester, the International Club is already teeming with fresh faces.

“All of our previous members graduated and all of the current members are new members,” said Dada.

According to Dada, this semester the club is focused on raising money and establishing scholarship funds. One of the ways to raise the money is the Six Flags booster program, where members are given the opportunity to work as temporary employees at Six Flags. Any pay accumulated during their shift goes into the scholarship fund.

International Club meets in the Student Center every other Monday with two sessions, starting at 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. respectively.

 

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