The Recreation and Wellness Center (RAWC) and International Student Services will co-host a new campus event, “RAWC the World,” Thursday evening, Feb. 20. This is a campus-wide event for OBU students, faculty and staff members, designed to celebrate some of the world cultures represented on Bison Hill. The event begins at 7 p.m. and ends at 9:30 p.m.
Participants will receive a passport when they enter the RAWC and will earn stamps from the countries they visit. Activities will include games of skill like footvolley and stickball, cultural games, and artistic expressions such as calligraphy and face painting. Samples of food from various countries will also be available.
Eighteen countries, regions, and cultures will be represented, including India, Brazil, Germany, Argentina, South Africa, Native Americans, Kazakhstan, Haiti, Zambia, Mexico, Taiwan, China, South Korea, Spain, The United Kingdom, Oceania, Colombia and Ethiopia.
Prizes will include event t-shirts and a grand prize gift basket with snacks from around the world. Large group activities include an exhibition of Native dance, competitive Kho Kho (a game from India), Latin Dance instruction, and a chance to win an intramural champion t-shirt.
This event is designed to provide a fun experience for the OBU family that highlights the beautiful cultural diversity of the campus and gives students the opportunity to explore the world. It also offers a great opportunity for the campus to support students who are representing their home countries. Attendees will gain a greater appreciation of the world and a deeper understanding of some of the cultures represented in the OBU community.
Joy Carl, director of international student services, and Corey Bolgrin, RAWC director, planned the event together. The RAWC has hosted several new events this year, including the Late Night at the RAWC and the Bison Boogie Bash.
The inspiration for this event came from both Carl and Bolgrin’s backgrounds. Bolgrin developed a love for different cultures through his experience overseas in the military. Carl has many years of experience working with international students at the secondary and university level, teaching English overseas, and working with foster children and orphans in southeast Asia. She is passionate about working with OBU’s international student community and children of overseas missionaries.
Carl is looking forward to the event and also offered some ways the campus can become better connected with international students on an ongoing basis.“The best thing that members of our campus community can do on a regular basis to help international students feel welcome is to take the time to get to know them personally and build friendships with them, so that they feel at home,” she said. “Helping practically by offering rides to the store, restaurant, bank or airport can also be a great encouragement to international students as many of them do not have cars on campus. For faculty and staff members, becoming a host family gives your family the chance to be an ‘American family’ for an international student and is a great encouragement to your family and the student.”