The Student Association kicked off its International Week with an International Students Block Party on Sunday in the Student Union Courtyard.
SA is hosting its second-annual International Week Sunday through Saturday, as the block party welcomed students with free food and activities such as a bag toss and mega-sized chess game. The event also featured flags representing different countries decorating the trees around the courtyard.
SA will run various activities this week including a club fair and “Pie International Council” on Monday, where students can enjoy the opportunity to pie their executive boards. SA’s movie night on Tuesday at the SU field and Taste of Culture on Thursday will allow students to enjoy food from various restaurants and check out a few films. Rounding out the week will be a Fashion Showcase on Friday and the first of the Fall Fest Concert Series shows, titled “International Fest” on Saturday. The Afro-Caribbean show features artists Burna Boy, Kranium and Koffee.
“International Week is about bringing everybody together, both international students [and] domestic students,” Omran Albarazanchi, SA international council coordinator, said. “And it’s really to bring out UB pride. We don’t see enough of that here and we really hold these events to try to change that.”
For Albarazanchi, this week is about bringing students together, but it’s especially for the international students who UB’s health office said, “suffer the most from depression and loneliness.”
Albarazanchi recalls hearing about an international student who struggled to acclimate to UB. They said, “The only two things I say throughout the whole day is good morning to the bus driver and when I go back, I say good evening,’ so he really doesn’t speak to anyone else on campus. He doesn’t do anything [on campus] and these stories matter. So we’re trying to change that.”
Crystal Couch, a junior international studies, history and Spanish major, came to the party with the Filipino American SA. She said events like these are important because they promote different types of cultures.
“I feel like we often kind of go to our own groups of people, things that we’re familiar with, but to see all of us here celebrating each other,” Couch said. “It’s something that this school stands for so I’m hoping more people will be able to bask in the amazingness of this. To see how diverse we are.”
Alexandra Moyen is the assistant news editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @AlexandraMoyen.
Alexandra Moyen is the senior features editor of The Spectrum.