UCR’s global get down

 Madiha Jamal/HIGHLANDER
Madiha Jamal/HIGHLANDER

A breezy and mild 75 degrees cast the perfect setting on a Wednesday afternoon as Highlanders scattered all across the Bell Tower lawn, interested in the UCR Goes Global campaign. Hosted by the International Student Resource Center, many other organizations were gathered to help celebrate and promote the annual International Education Week.

Festively decorated with bright blue and gold tents, tables and balloons, UCR’s students were directly drawn toward the celebratory event. Upon approaching the main tent, students and staff from the International Student Resource Center readily welcomed all Highlanders with information about the campaign and the activity being hosted. The staff eagerly informed students that UCR Goes Global is meant to celebrate the diversity of our campus while advocating the globalization of education in honor of International Education Week.

Students were then offered stamp cards illustrated with miniature globes to encourage them to stop by each club that was tabling. The tents were strategically set in a large circular shape, making it easier for students to go around and visit each organization to learn about the cultures and backgrounds they were representing. After gaining 10 signatures from different tables, visitors were promised free mouth-watering, globe-like cupcakes and reusable blue bottles. If that wasn’t enough of an encouragement, the will to be more culturally informed sure was.

On-campus resources and clubs that were present included the Middle Eastern Student Center, the Queer Association of Asian and Pacific Islanders, the Filipino Martial Arts Club and the Salsa Club — just to list a few. In preparation for the event, each table was supplied with information guides and adorned with decorative symbols and representations of their respective cultures and networks. Likewise, UC Education Abroad Program (UCEAP), managed to give out nearly every single pamphlet on studies, internships and volunteer programs imaginable.

The campaign gave many students an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones as they found themselves visiting many organizations that they would normally disregard, fulfilling the purpose of the event, which was to advocate an increase in awareness and support of international affairs. A correspondent from the Lebanese Social Club stressed that they encouraged their own members to “branch out to others” by sharing their cultural history to both those who do and do not identify as Lebanese.

“I’ve always wanted to learn more about the study abroad programs, but never found the motivation to stop by and ask them my questions. This event pushed me forward to actually learn not only about their program, but also the resources of other clubs here — the complimentary cupcake definitely helped,” exclaimed second-year psychology major Sophia Nakaganeku.

UCR’s efforts in cultivating a more culturally aware campus was none other than a success as the International Student Resource Center gathered clubs from various cultures to further inform students of the multifaceted, global campus that we all contribute to as Highlanders. The globe cupcakes definitely weren’t a bad addition too — except to my calorie count!

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