Fun, food and entertainment will be offered at Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual International Night on November 16.
This event will take place in the Student Union Ballroom, located on the third floor of the Union. There is no charge for admission and event coordinator Aileen Mootoo says that all students and faculty are welcome to attend.
According to Mootoo, this event offers a chance for students to be exposed to other cultures through food and performances. She continues that the night consists of a variety show that allows international students to showcase their talents. In previous years, performances consisted of different types of dance as well as live instrumental music and singing by music majors.
An international buffet will also be provided and will feature dishes from different cultures including Spanish, Italian, and German. Faculty advisor to the Spanish Club, Mariela Sanchez says that students used to prepare and bring the dishes. However, Mootoo says thanks to grant given by Southeastern’s Student Government Association, Aramark food service will be providing the cuisine.
Both Sanchez and Mootoo agree that the overall goal of this event is to embrace international students, but also to expose American students to other cultures. “It’s so important for students to be informed about what’s going on in the world,” says Sanchez, “You can’t understand these issues without knowing the culture.” Mootoo says she hopes this event will help get rid of stereotypes. “Deep down, we are all the same,” she continues, “…we have to respect the traditions of others.”
Another goal of this event is to raise money for international students. Although admission is free, donations will be accepted to create scholarships for the Southeastern’s study abroad program. The money will also be used to help fund the students who are currently studying English as a second language.
Local junior high and high school students are invited to this event by Mootoo in an attempt to promote Southeastern. She says this year’s guest will be the Northshore High School German Club. Last year, students from Christ Episcopal attended and sang a beautiful Spanish song.
Mootoo teaches French at Southeastern and is the faculty advisor for the French Club. She has previously lived south of France and in Central Africa. This is her tenth year overseeing International Night and says a “melting pot” environment motivates her to “go beyond America and see what the world has to offer.”
Sanchez is a professor at Southeastern and the faculty advisor to the Spanish Club. She is from Venezuela and came to the United States in her brother’s footsteps after becoming interested in hearing about his experience. “When I see a student who is indifferent to another language or culture, I know it is from a lack of information at home.”
For more information, contact the Department of Languages and Communication Advising and Research Office, SLU 10719, Hammond, LA 70402, (985)549-5060, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Personal: Interview with Aileen Mootoo in 250 D Vickers Hall, 12:30 p.m., Hammond, 985-549-2007, email@example.com.
Interview with Mariela Sanchez in 249 D Vickers Hall, 2:10 p.m., Hammond, 985-549-227, Mariela.Sanchez@selu.edu.