Bridging gaps between the American culture and other cultures from all over the world is the goal of the Office of International Education when it plans activities. The most recent event was “Fun on the Field” on Monday.
Students with backgrounds from all over the world gathered on the practice soccer fields to eat some food and enjoy games from different parts of the world. Jose Domingo de la Fuente, graduate information technology student and graduate assistant in the OIE, helped organize event.
“The students (had) different things from their country including Korean, Chinese, Saudi, and many more,” Domingo said. “We (had) sack races, three legged-races, spoon races, tug-of-war, football, soccer, hula hoop, ping pong and more.”
Jose also put together a raffle for the students. He said he went out to local businesses and asked for small donations toward the event. He was able to get prizes like gift cards, free pizzas and free ice cream cones.
“A free $5 pizza isn’t a lot to donate, but the students really enjoy these kinds of things,” said Domingo. “It means a lot to them.”
Stene Verhuist, director of international recruitment and communication, played a big part in contacting students and different groups on campus so they would know about the event.
There were several groups that attended the event, representing both American and international cultures. The ESU Soccer club, as well as the Lady Hornets soccer team were represented. They both took penalty kicks in the night. This was a part of OIE’s goal to bring cultures together.
“I’m just here really for support,” Verhuist said. “The real masterminds are Jose de la Fuenta and Rozita Smith.”
Rozita Smith, director of international student and scholar services, said she could not take all the credit.
“I got here last year, and they were already doing this event years before I came here,” Smith said. “I was just the main person in charge of organizing it all.”
In addition to games, a free meal was provided. According to Smith, the food was from Sodexo, campus’s food service, and they made their choices with sensitivity to different cultures.
“Take, for instance, our all-beef hotdogs,” Smith said. “These have no pork in them because that is against the religious practices for some of our students.”
Smith said hopefully students had fun at the event and will want to come back next year.