SGA co-sponsors International Night

Taylor Harrison

International Night 2012 is coming to Downing University Center on April 19, and the Student Government Association will be one of the event’s sponsors.

The free event will take place in DUC 224 from 7-9 p.m. and will feature food, a culture expo and a concert headlined by Brazillian swing group, Trio Ginga.

While SGA is partially sponsoring the event, their co-sponsors are DUC and the office of International Programs.

At SGA’s senate meeting on March 27, a bill was passed that will provide $500 for the event.

Trinity Gonzalez, DUC’s evening program coordinator, said she’s not sure what the total cost of the event will be yet. The event coordinators are waiting on estimates on sound technicians that will be working with the band, she said.

Keyana Boka, SGA’s campus improvements committee head and one of the authors of the bill, said that the event showcases international students’ native clothing and foods.

“I think it’s important for SGA to be diverse and support diversity on campus since that’s a part of what we are — international reach — and there’s so much diversity in organizations and people here,” Boka said. “It’s important to support that any way we can.”

Mallory Treece, public relations committee head and co-author of the bill, said the PR committee co-sponsored the bill because they feel this event is something everyone needs to know about, not just a small portion of the student body. Treece also said she wants to expose students to different cultures.

“WKU has a huge focus on reaching out internationally to different countries … and that’s SGA’s focus on our campus,” Treece said.

Gonzalez said the event has been going on for at least eight to 10 years, before her time at the university, but it is normally held on the fourth floor of DUC. Due to the construction, they had to re-vamp the program this year, she said.

Treece said she heard there is a lot of student involvement in this event.

For the cultural expo, different student groups come and set up tables with different items having to do with their country or culture, such as henna art or something they made to sell. While the event is free, the students may charge for some of the items they’re selling.

In the past, Gonzalez said cultural expo participants have provided food. Particularly, 2009 was a good turnout for students bringing food, including American students bringing barbecue.

“So that was really good,” Gonzalez said. “That was really fun.”

The food that the event itself provides is basically internationally-themed hors d’oeuvres.

“I mean, one of the slogans for WKU is a leading university with international reach, and so we also like to add a little multicultural, international flavor into our Downing University Center programming,” Gonzalez said. “And it’s just been a good partnership between us and the different international offices on campus … so it’s just something that we like to do — we like to showcase our international population on campus.”