NU Celebrates International Week
If you are looking for an opportunity to learn about different cultures, look no further. Niagara University will celebrate International Week Nov. 15 - 19.
David Blackburn, the director of Multicultural and International Student Affairs, explains that “the purpose of International Week is to give international students, faculty and staff a chance to share information about their culture.”
International Week is observed throughout the nation every year during International Education Week, which is appointed as such by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Department of Education. Niagara University celebrates International Week during the week before students leave for Thanksgiving break.
“Niagara is looking to prepare our students for the new global society, to give them an opportunity to begin understanding about other cultures,” Blackburn explains.
Mike Switalski, an intern at the MISA office, adds, “We’re trying to get a better grasp on the population that the MISA office is serving.”
As for how the week is set up and what kind of events take place, Blackburn explains that it is mostly based on student and faculty suggestions. “We do promotions to request input from all members of our campus community,” he says.
The event schedule for the week is still tentative, but Blackburn is anticipating many different cultural groups and food samples to be available to the Niagara University community.
“On Tuesday, there is going to be a Native American hoop dance,” Blackburn explains. That event will take place Under the Taps in Lower Level Gallagher Center around 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday afternoon will be devoted to providing students with information about the study abroad program. “Every Wednesday there’s a study abroad fair that we do around noon Under the Taps,” Blackburn says.
On one of the days, “There is going to be a poster presentation from our Islamic studies group,” Blackburn explains. Professor Mustafa Gokcek and Professor Stefanie Wichhart of the history department “teach classes on Middle Eastern culture,” Blackburn adds. Their classes will present informative posters about Middle Eastern history and culture.
While most of the International Week will present a variety of cultures, Friday will specifically focus on Canada. “On Friday, we are doing Canada Day. Our largest portion of our international student population is from Canada,” Blackburn says.
Switalski, who is primarily responsible for coordinating Canada Day, adds that there will be a variety of Canadian foods served that day. “We’re looking into serving poutine, butter tarts and also ketchup chips.” For those who may be unfamiliar with poutine, Switalski explains that “it’s very similar to a (Rochester) garbage plate. It is cheese curds, french fries, gravy – all on one plate, mixed together.”
Other groups that are expected to share their culture during International Week are a Native American group from Canada called Woodland Creations, a Native American drum group, and Irish dancers.
International Week events will be held in Gallagher. All are encouraged by MISA to attend, learn about other cultures, and share information about their own.