By Mayeesa Mitchell, Staff Writer
“The International Club has existed at HPU for many years, but we are bringing it back into full activity this year,” said Luiza Fogaca, current International Club president. “Many of the international students didn’t even know the club existed so we reached out to a lot of people, especially the new freshmen.”
The International Club is made up of students from all over the world as well as American students. These students come together to promote global and cultural awareness. Recently, the club has gone on a hiking trip and gone to restaurants in High Point to experience different ethnic foods.
“Since I’ve been an adviser, this is the biggest event we’ve ever done,” said Mariana Silvia, a Portuguese and Spanish professor at HPU and International Club adviser. “This is by far the thing that I am most proud of. It’s going to be fantastic!”
Silvia speaks of International Week, a five-day schedule of events organized and sponsored by the International Club.
“International Week has two purposes. The first is to raise money for an organization in Colombia that gives medical care to children with cancer. The second is to bring global awareness to the campus through multiple cultural activities,” said Silva.
Diana Dau is the administrative assistant in the Department of Modern Languages and adviser of the International Club. When asked what she was looking forward to most during International Week, Dau said, “I am looking forward to seeing [the international] students share their cultural heritage with others and bring out the diversity of our campus throughout the many events we will have.”
International Week began on Nov. 26 with a T-shirt sale. The T-shirts were designed by members of the International Club and featured the word “peace” in multiple languages. The proceeds went towards, Asociación Milagro de Vida, an organization that provides adolescent cancer care in Colombia.
That night, members of Alpha Phi Omega, the co-ed service fraternity on campus, and members of the International Club made presentations about their experiences volunteering in foreign countries.
On the second day of the event, the International Club provided international coffee and Krispy Kreme doughnuts as an additional fundraiser. The cultural event of the night was an International Soccer tournament held at Vert Stadium. Faculty and students alike created teams to compete against one another in the most popular international sport.
The T-shirt sale resumed on Nov. 28, and the cultural activity of the night was held directly after a chapel service. The International Club succeeded in conveying the cultural importance of faith and food by providing the refreshments after chapel. A Mediterranean vegetable and cheese platter, spring rolls, and crepes along with multiple international beverages were part of the menu that was provided that night.
On Nov. 27, international desserts that were donated by local bakeries were sold as another fundraiser. That night, a documentary entitled “Las Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo and the Search for Identity” was shown in the Extraordinaire Cinema.
The documentary told the story of a group of grandmothers in Argentina who have banded together to search for their grandchildren who were taken from their parents and given to new families during The Dirty War. After the movie, Dr. C.A. Tuggle, a journalism professor at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and the producer of the documentary, was skyped in for a question and answer session.
On the final night of International Week, an International Show was held in the Extraordinaire Cinema. The advisors, members of the club and performers from other universities, showed off their talents and exposed the audience to entertainment in multiple cultures. Education and entertainment collided in the show that featured singing, dancing and even a bit of comedy.
Each event during International Week was well attended and fulfilled the goal of increasing cultural awareness on campus.
Dau summed up the week best when she said, “As our HPU family continues to grow, so does our diversity and we were thrilled to be able to dedicated one entire week for multicultural awareness and understanding!”