Activities & Organizations

Cougars go international

Students gathered to grab a plate of food at the Mexico table during the 15th annual International Day Festival on Thursday. | Taylor Cox/The Daily Cougar

On Thursday, pharmacy students lined the grassy area by the University Center Satellite with multi-cultural splendor as they celebrated the 15th annual International Day Festival.

Students dressed up in cultural attire and served ethnic food to represent 11 countries from around the world, including France, Mexico, Italy, Japan and Vietnam.

“This is a celebration of our diversity and collaboration as a class,” said Trang Mai, event coordinator and pharmacology student. “We worked so hard since the end of August.”

The event, hosted by the graduate class of 2015, was run by pharmacy graduate students, who volunteered to represent their respective countries.

“111 of 112 (students) participated,” said additional event coordinator Brittney Bussell.“It gives us a chance to get to know everyone in our class and get to know where everyone comes from.”

The scene was filled with men wearing Indian kurtas, women donning áo dài Vietnamese dresses and South Korean Hanbok dresses. There was even one student sporting a beret to represent France.

“It supports our school and diversity,” said Thuy Vo, a first year graduate student. “We are a diverse group and have a lot of respect for different cultures.”

The festival raised money by selling food, with the class deciding on how all funds from the event will be spent.

According to Lamar Pritchard, the dean of the College of Pharmacy, the class of 2011’s  fundraising money was split 50-50, half going toward Japanese tsunami relief, the other half to the college itself.

“It warms your heart,” Pritchard said. “It’s a resurgence in our students in their charitable causes; investing time and limited funds.”

He said each class raises money throughout the students’ four years in the school. Each group of students makes a final decision on how to use it before graduating.

Aside from the traditional plates such as Mexican tamales, Thailand’s sweet and sour chicken, Italian pasta and Greek yogurt, the students entertained visitors by showcasing their talents.

“Each country was responsible for a performance,” said Diane Doan, another pharmacy school graduate student.

The event had students performing Vietnamese Vovinam martial arts, a runway show modeling their clothes and a special performance by the singing group Pharmony, who said their group is an awesome creative outlet from the sciences of the school.

“We have no ethnic majority in our college,” said Pritchard, as he spoke of the diversity in backgrounds, cultures and thoughts of the students.

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