In an effort to share cultures and foster campus community, AIESEC and Deering Days collaborated to organize Global Village event on Saturday at Deering Meadow.
The event was held in an effort to give students the opportunity to experience of a variety of different cultures, said Helen Lee, president of Northwestern’s chapter of AIESEC.
“One of the main goals of our organization is to spread understanding through cultural exchange, and this is kind of the perfect way to do it on a micro scale, like at our University,” Lee said.
More than 20 students groups were represented at the event, including the Fiedler Hillel Center, Rainbow Alliance and Muslim-cultural Student Association. The groups set up booths on the meadow and served food, with many displaying posters and flyers detailing more information about their organizations. During the event, several music and dance groups also performed to showcase their work.
This year, AIESEC partnered with Deering Days for the first time in an effort to expand the event and make it more accessible to the larger community. The new collaboration allowed for it to be moved outside to Deering Meadow, in contrast to past years when it was held in Parkes Hall.
“We really want more people to get involved so more people can interact with each other,” Lee said.
Deering Days took on the responsibility of organizing the logistics surrounding the event, including communicating with the University and obtaining the necessary facilities to hold the program on Deering Meadow.
“AIESEC did everything with getting the student groups and working with us to make sure we got everything students groups needed, and we did all the rentals, everything that would be needed physically for the meadow,” said Medill sophomore Haley Hinkle, president of Deering Days.
Hinkle added that she was also one of the leaders of the fundraising efforts for the event which included writing proposals to several departments and requesting funds from Associated Student Government. In the past, Hinkle said multiple departments have contributed funds for the event.
To advertise for Global Village, Hinkle said the group did a lot of outreach both through the participating organizations’ networks and social media.
“We really tried to tap into some groups and get them excited so that they would get all of their friends and fans excited as well,” she said.
Weinberg freshman Jessica Yang, a member of the Chinese Students Association, worked at the organization’s booth and said the group has participated in the event for several years. She said she was enjoying the event, noting that the group’s table ran out of food within a half hour.
“We just want the community to know more about us and events we do,” Yang said. “We do this every year, its sort of a tradition, so we’re just keeping up the tradition.”
The Hawaii Club also had a booth, and members said they have participated for several years. The group said they were trying to represent Hawaiian culture in addition to raising awareness about the club.
“Just getting news out about Hawaii Club, because not a whole lot of people know about us but we just like to have a good time, we like to eat food, do some Hula dancing and just enjoy the culture of Hawaii,” Weinberg sophomore Miriam Bohlmann Kunz, said.
Hinkle said she was excited about the event and what it promotes. She added that gathering so many different groups together created a space where students have the opportunity to learn about the organizations they may not know about to further foster community.
“(Students) could come here to a common space that we’re all familiar with with their friends and try a lot of different things and learn about a lot of things they might not have otherwise,” Hinkle said.
Lee said although this event gives students a taste of another culture, which serves as a good start, the organization is also using the day as a way to promote its opportunities for students to go abroad.
“My main goal for the Northwestern students is that they come, maybe learn something about a different culture, try their cuisine, and maybe they even take the step and actually decide to go immerse themselves in a culture which I think is honestly the best way to do it,” Lee said.
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