A World United

Nov 082007
Authors: Chris Seegers

The United States is a country with a historical background filled with racial and sexual discrimination, and as inequities in wages, health care and education still exist, some say it’s time for unity.

So, in a time of heated racial and social debates, CSU is once again taking a firm stand on the advocacy of diversity training and cultural awareness.

Backed by the support of numerous groups, including the Office of International Programs, Associated Students of CSU and the Council for International Student Affairs, the university sponsors numerous events over the course of the year to foster intercultural goodwill and diversity education.

As part of the effort, one of the most-anticipated events of the year is the World Unity Fair, a part of the month-long celebration of cultural diversity called the International Festival.

The World Unity Fair is on Saturday from 3-8:30 p.m. in the Lory Student Center main ballroom and will include a bazaar, food and cultural booths and end with the World Talent Show.

“The World Unity Fair has existed for 54 years and is a culmination of student organizations gathering to share food, displays and a stage performance,” said Jennifer Christ, program coordinator for the Office of International Programs. “All participants are student organizations.”

Christ went on to say the World Unity Fair is about making people aware of cultural differences and showing these differences are positive rather than negative. It’s also a good way for students to enjoy cheap delicious ethnic food, she said.

Although the World Unity Fair has an educational foundation, one of the more interesting aspects is the plethora of cuisine featured.

“I think food is the main attraction,” said Molly McClurg, a member of the Council of International Students. “The stage show is also amazing.”

But the World Unity Fair is not just fun and games. The event is geared toward preparing students for the different cultures they will encounter once joining the work force, said Collin Fain, a business management student and member of the Council of International Students.

“Globalization is becoming more important in our society,” Fain said. “Diversity training is a must for college campuses.”

The World Unity Fair is also aimed at bringing different cultural groups and organizations at CSU together to host the show and create a sense of camaraderie.

“It’s great to see the different cultural groups working together, despite the political differences that may be going on back home,” said Lucia Papureanu, a political science student who is also part of the Council of International Students.

Events such as these are set up to increase appreciation for diversity on the CSU campus and eliminate any stereotypes, Papureanu said.

The World Unity Fair is a long-term commitment to diversity on the CSU campus, McClurg said, and it has changed the university for the better. Many people are involved in making the fair happen, including many volunteers who are both students and staff at CSU.

“We really want to recognize the volunteer workers,” Christ said. “It’s an awesome collaboration of multiple groups and volunteers.”

Staff writer Chris Seegers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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