By Savannah Lewis
The Center of International Services and Programs (CISP) and the Student Government Association (SGA) hosted International Education Day on Nov. 26. This event was held to celebrate International Education Week, which was from Nov. 18-22. Due to scheduling reasons, CISP and SGA had to hold the program after the known time to celebrate International Education Week.
The event offered students the opportunity to interact with one another and see different cultures that are present on Cleveland State University’s campus. Different tables were set up that showcased unique traditions for students to partake in. Some of the activities that were available included Chinese name writing and henna. Ren Kauffman, office assistant for the LGBTQ student services was also there to provide information about the center.
“Queerness is not a localized issue,” Kauffman explained. “It’s an international issue that needs awareness in as many communities as possible.”
Along with the different tables that showcased cultures, the program offered free food to attendees. SGA and CISP received donations from Insomnia Cookies as well as Emperors Palace for guests to enjoy as well as some options from Cleveland State’s catering services. The event also hosted a jazz band that played classic songs from different nationalities.
Both parties involved in the creation of the event wanted to use it as an opportunity to connect with the campus community and inform them about other cultures they may not be aware of. Yara Alanazi, student assistant at CISP, was one of the main creators of the program. Alanazi helped decorate the Student Center as well as plan the activities including a photobooth for students to utilize. Alanazi explained the reason she found it important to have a program like that.
“It’s important for people to be aware of other cultures, that way they can be more welcoming to people who are different than them,” Alanazi stated.
Juan Peña, the director of student affairs in SGA, also helped to plan the program. Both he and Alanazi believe that this program could help students be more engaged with communities that they are not a part of and be more understanding of people around them.
“These events give students a chance to interact and meet with each other while having fun.” Peña said. “There are not a lot of opportunities for students to do this while looking at different cultures, so I wanted to use this event as a chance for people to do that.”