International Day

An edible skull is displayed at an altar for Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, during the International Day celebration in Gaiser Student Center at Clark College on Nov. 16, 2017. The Mexican holiday remembers friends and family members who have passed away.
(Andy Bao/The Independent)

In Gaiser Hall on Nov. 16, Clark showcased its diversity by celebrating its international student body, currently comprised of 83 students from 30 countries according to Director of International Programs Jane Walster

The event highlighted international opportunities, including studies abroad in Argentina and Costa Rica, the Japanese Language program and student clubs like the Black Student Union and the International Club, who encouraged students to attend their Friday meetings in PUB 102. 

“We try to avoid talking about politics—Sometimes,” first-quarter student Gage Beck joked.

Second-year business major and International Club officer Hannah Shilling said the club is a judgment-free environment.

The Black Student Union, nicknamed “Harambee,” showcased African art. The group includes members from Ghana, Ethiopia, Senegal, Kenya and more. “Harambee” is Swahili for “pulling together in unity,” according to the club’s Co-Advisor Rashida Willard.

Co-adviser to Harambee Dolly England said forming a community with other black people at Clark is important for both students and faculty.

“Half the black people [at Clark] didn’t know each other,” England said. “We realize if we need to see each other, our students need to see each other.”

Representing students from Mexico, flowers and skulls decorated two altars in a late observance of Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Clark Diversity Outreach Specialist Rosalba Pitkin(cq) said Día de los Muertos commemorates family, friends and special people who have died.

“The skulls are made of sugar and are sweet, which is a satirical way for Mexican people to honor the dead,” Pitkin said.

Mexican, Puerto Rican and U.S. flags were displayed in solidarity with those affected by recent disasters. Event-goers ate international foods ranging from Indian samosas, Mexican tamales and Japanese grilled chicken.

The West African band Okaidja Afroso entertained attendees with spirited drumming and dances.

Peer mentor Afnan Mohamed moves pieces in a game of Mancala during the International Day celebration in Gaiser Student Center at Clark College on Nov. 16, 2017.
(Andy Bao/The Independent)

According to International Student Recruitment and Outreach Manager Jody Shulnak, over 730 people attended the event, which drew in 200 people last year. “We have a team of dedicated staff and faculty who made the event run smoothly,” she said.

For more information on International opportunities contact international@clark.edu.

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