CISO aims to represent international students

Madihah Abri

A new student organization hopes to be a representative voice for the many of international students at WKU.

In response to lack of representation for international students in the Student Government Association, WKU has officially recognized a new organization known as the Council of International Students.

Chandigarh, India, graduate student Aditya Sharma is the new chairman of finance for the Council of International Students and is the president of the Indian Student Association.

“It’s not necessary for talent to be in one organization,” Sharma said. “There are many international students who are not getting a platform to come over and show their talents. SGA doesn’t really have any other members other than African Student Association, at least that I am aware of.”

Sharma said he is aware that SGA is an organization intended to help students on campus, including international students. However, according to Sharma, SGA does not fully represent all the international organizations on campus.

CISO is an organization that represents nine different international organizations. According to Pendleton, Indiana, senior Henry Nottinson, who is the president of the African Student Union and chairman of CISO, the council hopes to include more international organizations as it grows.

“We formed in order to unite everyone together and get to know the other organizations around us,” Nottinson said.

Nottinson and Sharma are not the only members who are looking forward to seeing WKU unite.

Dhaka, Bangladesh, graduate student Ikbal Parveg is the president of the Bangladesh Students’ Association and another member of the council.

Parveg is excited to see how the council can bring WKU together.

“It is my personal opinion that Western students are not very involved,” Parveg said. “You never see a lot of people hanging out because everyone is reserved.”

“We [CISO] want to break down the barriers,” Parveg said. “Our main goal of this council is to basically unite the students to share everyone’s culture.”

CISO was formally accepted and recognized two weeks ago. The council is still establishing itself but is already in the process of creating two events.

CISO will be hosting an international olympics and international festival in the month of April.

“We [CISO] plan to be very active and have the university as a whole participate,” Sharma said. “We are trying to build bridges between international students as well as local students.”

According to Sharma, the olympics and festival will help jumpstart the group’s initiative to unite and bring recognition to many of the organizations the council has to offer.