Katherine Pecora, Staff Writer
The fifth annual Multicultural Carnival was an exciting celebration of cultural diversity at Saint Martin’s University. The carnival showcased cultural displays, a wide array of activities, and performances by SMU students. The carnival aimed to create an experience of the sights and sounds of the different countries and cultures represented at SMU. The event took place in the Norman Worthington Conference Center on Nov. 13 from 6:00-8:00 p.m., and was sponsored by Office of International Programs and Development (OIPD) and ASSMU. OIPD works with partner institutions to help SMU students and their foreign counterparts spend time at another institution, immersing themselves in another culture. The office also sponsors summer tours, either non-credit or for class credit. In these instances, students often stay with host families, getting a true taste of another culture. OIPD also sponsors trips led by esteemed SMU faculty and staff member. Students have the option to register for a class before they go abroad to gain knowledge and context for their trip. SMU also has sister universities where students from our sister schools can come to study here and our students are able to go and study at that institution.
The Multicultural Carnival the largest event during International Education Week. It was a chance for international students and our campus’ cultural clubs to share their culture with the rest of the SMU community. The carnival also had performances from students from different clubs. Some of the performances featured music from different cultures that entertained onlookers and fellow performers. ASSMU Vice President, Larissa Kolasinski, attended and thoroughly enjoyed the event. “The music in other languages was entertaining and great to listen to. I really enjoyed the Saudi Arabian Student Alliance, [which] had some great hot food! They usually have great food every year,” said Kolasinski. The event featured a photobooth and a cake to celebrate different cultures coming together.
One of the most important parts of the Multicultural Carnival is that it gives students the chance to learn about things and places that they might not otherwise learn about. It is crucial for SMU students to learn about the different experiences and lifestyles that they might normally see in their everyday lives. Learning about others help globalize our outlooks on other cultures and people.
Kolasinski found that “It was important for students to learn about other cultures and be globally aware in our modern society. It is a chance to all come together as a community for a fun, casual event.” OIPD on the fourth floor of Old Main is the office that handles all study abroad inquiries. They often put together events to bring students together that are studying abroad at SMU and students that permanently attend SMU.
Overall, the Multicultural Carnival is a well-known, popular event that is a hit every year. Not only is it a fun event for students and faculty alike, but it brings people of all cultures together, which is an incredibly important factor for all.