Oswego State’s fifth annual International Day Celebration was Wednesday, March 27. The event featured a variety of activities, from tables manned by clubs and student organizations, to dancing, as well as international foods and raffles.
“For many years the OIEP hosted International Food Fest,” said Lizette Alvarado, Associate Director for Study Abroad and Exchange Programs. “The goal of the festival was to bring the SUNY Oswego college and the Oswego community together to promote international programs and lastly to raise money for student study abroad scholarships. This event [was] discontinued in 2001.”
Oswego State’s department of international education sponsored a raffle for a free round-trip ticket to an Oswego Abroad program of the raffle winner’s choice, and the Caribbean Student Association raffled off an iPad Mini to one lucky winner.
The African, Latino, Asian and Native American student association of Oswego State had a table at the event. Maggie D. Rivera was one of the members present at the ALANA table. ALANA has been active at Oswego State for 27 years. It is a student leadership conference that represents many different cultures. ALANA sponsors events such as last year’s fashion show, which was completely sold out, and strives to showcase student leadership here at Oswego State.
Another one of the tables at the event featured members such as Garrett Wilson, assistant hall director of Cayuga Hall, who is in charge of an upcoming activity called “Cruise Around the World.” In this event, each residence hall adopts a country. Students can pick up a passport at the front desk of their residence hall in order to partake in the food, music, games and culture of their hall’s country.
The Alpha Phi Omega Greek student association was present at the event, where they were selling a variety of bracelets made by children in Nicaragua. All of the profits from their sales at the events are given back to the children who made them.
Also present was BeadforLife, which is a non-profit organization that works to help eradicate poverty in Uganda through sales of jewelry that is made out of recycled paper and soap made from shea butter. The organization will be hosting an upcoming event in a few weeks to educate students about global poverty.
There was also a table for Latin America, which featured traditional artwork, dolls, and musical instruments from the culture.
Other associations featured at the events were the Latino Student Union, the Muslim Student Association, the International Business Student Association, Oswego Going Global, the Japanese Language and Culture Club, the Institute for Global Engagement and the Phi Beta Delta Honor Society.
Some specific countries featured in the Oswego Abroad program were also present, like the Cuba POL/GLS Program, the Puerto Rico program and the Berlin program.
“International day was great,” said Nickolas Molocznik, an Oswego State student that attended the event and also participated in the study abroad program to Germany. “The trip to Berlin was absolutely awesome. The city provided so many great opportunities to experience Germany and Europe. From the food, such as traditional German eateries, to the historic museums and places like the Brandenburg gate, the city was just so multi-cultural that you could sit in a restaurant and have German, English, Turkish and Russian people and more all in one place.”
The Center for Service Learning and Community Service was also present. CSLCS sponsors the Alternative Breaks program, which is where students can spend their breaks in foreign countries, as well as several other programs.
The main performance of the event was given by dancers from the Kahurangi Maori Dance Company from New Zealand. The dancers not only gave a dance performance, but also sang, chanted, and educated about the culture of the Maori people.
Peter Tierney, a student at Oswego State, attended this year’s International Day Celebration.
“I met passionate folks who had a strong yearning to teach others about the great world we live in,” Tierney said. “The event is a great example of a good asset of this college.”
“The goal has always been to bring everyone on campus that is working to foster global understanding,” Alvarado said. “We have participation from faculty, staff, and students from all fields.”