Cultural Night at Quinnipiac

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By Ariana Spinogatti 

As a part of International Education Week at Quinnipiac, large groups of student and faculty members gathered into the Carl Hansen Student Center for the Culture Night dinner. Known as the most popular event of the week, lines formed wrapping around the piazza as students filled their plates with foods prepared by our international students.

The event is put together by Quinnipiac’s Department of Cultural and Global Engagement and the International Students Association. Culture Night gives students a chance to showcase the diversity on campus and educate others on the various cultures apart of the Quinnipiac community.

There were ten tables set up with different traditional foods from various countries. Formed in a U shape, students sat behind their assigned table and created their own displays. Some of the table displays were from China, Poland, Nicaragua, Poland, Muslim Student Association and Saudi Arabia.

The Culture Night performance schedule included videos of Cape Verde, poems from the United Kingdom and performances titled Cabo Snoop preformed by Audrey Chigarira and Sun Raha preformed by Margy Shah.

Abbie E O’Neill, the Specialist for Student Engagement, said this event is great for promoting the variety of cultures we have on campus.

“I work in the department for cultural and global engagement so my role for this particular event is to organize it, reach out to students who are both international and domestic to give them a platform to display their culture and showcase the variety of different cultures that we have from around the world that is present on our campus,” O'Neill said. 

When we asked O’Neill how the event was planned, she expressed the importance of having an open mic portion at the end of night so all attendees can have the opportunity to express themselves.

“The first hour are food and table displays,” she said. “The second hour is performance where student will give presentations about their countries, tell stories, read poems, they sing, dance, and then afterwards there is an open mic so people who did not originally sign up can preform as well so it's not closed off.” 

O’Neill said this event is a safe environment to talk openly without judgment.

"This event last year was widely successful," O'Neill said. "We had a great turnout and we had a lot of students engaging and asking questions to their peers. This serves as an opportunity for those to talk who might be afraid to ask and learn a bit more about each other.”

O’Neill was asked what Quinnipiac should do moving forward to have students more aware of others cultures and more accepting of their peers.

“I think we need to have more events and have students be willing to educate themselves on their own,” she said. “It should not be the responsibility of the minority to educate the majority. It should be that the majority is activity trying to educate themselves and also working with students in our department to make sure their cultures are highlighted in the way they want them to be and not picked apart."

Ariana Spinogatti