Students seek to resurrect International Day

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Linh Nguyen, ASA officer, was part of the lion-dance performance at Lunar New Year TGIT. Photo by Francesca Norman.

For some people at the University of Dallas, International Day is quietly approaching; but for students directly involved in the resurrection of the celebration of cultures, International Day has been on their minds for months and the event can not come quickly enough.

Junior biology major and president of the Asian-American Student Association (ASA) Bernadette Dizon is one of the many students actively involved in the comeback of the event.

“It was [ASA’s] baby,” Dizon said. She had been “looking at yearbooks from past years … and pictures from Braniff” and was determined to revive the event with the help of her club members and peers. ASA had previously hosted TGITs and held Boba fundraisers, so their eagerness to celebrate culture would continue through International Day.

Other students were already on the same page.

“[D]uring one of our meetings, [Clare Slattery] mentioned an interest in reviving International Day at UD and asked whether I’d be interested,” wrote Farai Muvirimi, International Students senator, in a text message. “I said yes — because as an international student myself, British-Zimbabwean, I understand how you can feel either underrepresented on the campus or even invisible, and this [event] would be a great way for us to celebrate the different cultures that make up our student body.”

“I came up with some ideas during fall semester, but we really began putting them into action during spring. We established an International Day planning committee and as a team have been working with CAB to get this event off the ground.”

The concept of the celebration itself is not new, as UD has held past celebrations, the last one occurring in 2016. While the two-year absence of International Day has not been explained, Assistant Professor of Spanish Dr. Jose Espericueta expressed that “there’s always been, at least among the administration for as long as I’ve been [at UD], an openness and desire to have some celebration of other cultures and diversity.”

Luckily, the administration has supported this student-initiated event, and even uses a logo designed by sophomores and ASA members Yumika Fushimi, Alisa Nascimento and Linh Nguyen.

“It’s not just ASA,” Dizon said. “It’s the Spanish club, French club, International club, SG and RHA.” Without a doubt, this year’s International Day found life through various student organizations.

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