The International Club (I-Club) is known best for the events held during the annual International Education Week (IEW), and while this year might look different than years past, the events are just as interactive.
Beginning on Nov. 16, I-Club will be hosting a series of virtual events in celebration of IEW. An outline for the week from the I-Club officers declared that this year’s slogan is “Alone Together”, hoping to emphasize that even though the UP community cannot be together in person, we are still here for each other.
In recent years, the sushi workshop has been one of the most popular events. Organizers noticed that it brings students together over food while also teaching them a new skill and providing a new perspective on the dish.
While this event, and others, look different this year, I-Club is striving to keep up the excitement throughout the week.
I-Club officers Shiipin Lau, Ashley Kim, Leslie Tija, and Tiffany Ng collaborated with other cultural and diversity clubs, such as Diversity and Inclusion Programs, Vietnamese Student Association, Mixed Student Union, Black Student Union, Chamoru’ Club, Japanese Student Association, Filipino American Students Association and the Chinese Language and Cultural Club, to create a week rich with diversity.
“Personally, I'm really excited to bring together a student community that doesn't really feel like a community right now,” Kim said. “I think we all need a break to get out of the mindset that we're home all the time seeing the same people that we see, and I think the events that we planned is really going to help them with that.”
These clubs have planned a full week of five events, as well as two special collaborations between faculty, students and alumni. The club officers want to emphasize that all events are open to all students and that they will welcome students with open arms.
“We always emphasize that International Club is not only for international students,” Ng said. “As long as you are in this world, you are international. Just come and join us!”
Cultural Art Gallery
This is the first collaboration with the UP community. The gallery was made to show the diversity of artwork, music and films produced by students, staff and alumni in the UP community.
One of the aspects that online classes took away from the UP experience is the artwork on display on the first floor of the Buckley Center. Lau brainstormed ideas to bring that display to an online platform and is excited to have it tied to IEW. I-Club would also like to pay homage to the cultures that make up UP’s campus, whether it be through in-person or virtual circumstances.
This event is an opportunity for sophomore Sahas Sok and freshman Mey Srou, who both herald from Cambodia, to introduce their culture to the rest of the UP community. This year's presentation is all about Cambodian culture and will be held on Nov. 16, at 5 p.m. PST.
“I'm looking forward to listening to the cultural spotlight,” Lau said. “I really don't know about Cambodian culture, so I'm just looking forward to seeing what they have.”
On Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. PST, students will be able to take a break and watch the film “Living on One Dollar”, in which four young friends set out on a quest to live in rural Guatemala with only one dollar in their pockets. After the showing, students are encouraged to stay for a live Q&A with one of the directors of the film. Kim encourages students to come, especially if they need a break from learning.
“How cool would it be to get different shots from around the world?” Kim said.
Global Trivia Night
This trivia night will open discussions about different cultures through Kahoot on Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. PST. Cultural clubs that partnered up with I-Club to create the questions for the Kahoot include the Chinese Language and Cultural Club, Japanese Student Association, Chamoru’ Club and Mixed Student Union. Participants will have the chance to win a prize, all while learning different cultural facts.
This event has been a tradition within I-Club, and this year, they are collaborating with a new club at UP, Japanese Student Association. This will be a competition between 20 participants over Zoom and will be judged by the I-Club officers. Once the judges select the top three participants, they will receive a prize. Participants will have an option to be reimbursed for the ingredients purchased for this workshop. The event will be held on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. PST.
In past years, this event has been one that most Pilots look forward to, and I-Club officers are eager to see how this year will turn out given the circumstances of having to judge virtually.
“We hope we can execute it really well and deliver the same amount of excitement and joy in learning,” Kim said. “I’m just looking forward to the sushi, and judging it without being able to taste it, from people around the world, is going to be an interesting experience.”
Virtual Language Class Visit
I-Club wants the UP community to see the beauty that is held between intercultural exchanges, and believes that learning the language of a culture is the best way to deeply understand a culture.
The language classes available for visitation are German 101, taught by Professor Alexandra Hill, and Spanish 101, taught by Professor Andrea Castenette, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 1:25 p.m. PST, via Zoom link on Engage. The classes will only be available to visit during IEW so that the classes won’t be deterred from their studies.
Black Student Union Podcast
The second special collaboration brings BSU and the UP community together by covering topics surrounding cultural differences on BSU’s podcast Black on the Bluff. People were able to submit questions or topics they think should be addressed on the podcast and will influence what is covered in this episode. Its release date is still undetermined but for further updates look to either the BSU or the I-Club instagram page.
Along with the many events to choose from throughout the week, some clubs at UP will be hosting their own special event in line with IEW like the Vientamese Student Association, Mixed Student Union, and Filipino American Student Association. Each will be highlighting their culture in hopes to spark discussion and promote diversity and inclusion.
Brie Haro is a reporter for The Beacon and can be reached at email@example.com