Bingo game encourages cultural exploration
Students learned about different cultures, practiced speaking various languages and tasted international snacks as part of a bingo game Wednesday afternoon in the Student Center South’s Center for Diversity and Inclusion room.
The bingo matches, part of a Language Exchange event, required attendees to engage with other players who fit the criteria listed on the squares.
November was the first time CDI had a bingo night and it was successful. Jamie Gonzales, graduate assistant at the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and event coordinator, said she thought the event was a perfect addition to the Cultural Connect Week.
“We had over 200 students, faculty and staff show up,” Gonzales said. “It was then that we recognized the need and desire of the UH community to have a language-based event on campus.”
CDI, the Department of Hispanic Studies, International Student and Scholar Services, Learning Abroad and the Department of Modern and Classical Languages sponsored Cultural Connect Week.
Language Exchange was the third language-based event on campus, Gonzales said. The first one was during International Education Week, and the more recent event took place during International Mother Language Week in February.
Psychology and sociology senior Areli Tamayo said she was curious about the event and decided to participate.
“I knew there was diversity on campus, but the inclusion was the best part for me,” Tamayo said. “I liked being able to interact with a variety of people from all over the world.”
Literature senior Elizabeth Beaver said she heard about the event from her Japanese professor and made time in her schedule to learn about the diversity on campus.
“I like to talk to people who are from all over the world,” Beaver said. “I’ve noticed that there are a lot of exchange students from Israel, China and one from Russia. That was very exciting for me because I really like international relations, and it was very interesting to me.”
Beaver said that she thinks that it’s important to acknowledge the diversity of Houston and to make it one of its strengths on campus to fully demonstrate the diversity that it has to offer.
The event attracted students from different backgrounds, but mechanical engineering graduate student Makong Ludovic said he enjoyed the event because he got the opportunity to speak to other international students like himself.
Ludovic thought the event was similar to programs he attended at his university in France created with the specific intention to bring students together from all cultures and nationalities. He wouldn’t hesitate to try it again.
“I’ve been here for two years, and this is the first event that I’ve been to where I’ve had the occasion to meet other international (students),” Ludovic said. “It’s always great to learn (about) other nationalities.”
CORRECTION: Learning Abroad was not originally included in the list of sponsors.