Marketplace wows students
Tuesday’s rain might have forced the Council of Ethnic Organizations to move the International Marketplace event indoors, but it didn’t stop the event from offering access to UH’s diverse student organizational community.
More than a dozen ethnic organizations, student services offices and student educational and recreational programs were present at the University Center Arbor on Tuesday to promote and celebrate international education, awareness and culture.
“I think as the second-most diverse campus in the nation, we don’t really have events that display what awesome cultures we have,” CEO director and senior Seida Omar said.
“It’s important to have events like this so we can make students really proud of that fact.”
The most visible display of cultural uniqueness was different ethnic cuisine. The UH chapter of the NAACP served gumbo, the Indian Student Association created an entire vegetarian meal, the Kappa Delta Chi sorority sold Mexican baked goods and the Asian Medical Professional Society sold tapioca drinks.
AMPS president Cecilia Nguyen said she wanted to spread the Asian culture.
“For us to be able to walk around and experience all these cultures in one place is something very unique and rare,” Nguyen said.
Many clubs also raised funds to give back to their native countries. Pratham, an Indian charity organization, funds educational expenses for children in Mysore, India, and the Pakistani Student Association raised money for victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods.
Other organizations provided services to help international students adjust to life in the states and to assist American students hoping to study abroad. Representatives of U.S. Postal and Printing offered applications for renewing US passports.
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community was also represented. The sisters of Gamma Rho Lambda, who focus on health, sold vegan and diabetic-friendly cookies and the LGBT Resource Center booth played trivia games that focused on their community.
“It’s always a good thing to learn from people’s differences,” LGBT Resource Center director Lorraine Schroeder said.
The International Marketplace is just one of CEO’s events offered throughout the semester. The organization works year-round to promote cultural awareness at UH. Currently CEO is celebrating November as diversity month, which Omar said is its busiest month.
The organization will be hosting other multicultural events throughout the month, with small events that focus on specific cultures and large-scale events, like the Marketplace, that represent all of the cultures UH is home to.
“One of the things that CEO is trying to do this semester is broaden what student diversity means,” Omar said.
“Everything we do is geared towards students.”