The International Students Programming Board hosted its annual food, fashion & dance festival in the Memorial Room in the Straight last night. As one of many events that comprise ISPB’s springtime programming series, themed “International Festival 2004: Livin’ in the Global Village,” last night’s festival attracted about 200 attendees.
The event showcased free food, dancing and musical entertainment provided by international organizations that are funded in part by ISPB.
“The event is all about showcasing different cultures on campus,” said Kim Mok ’04, vice president of public relations for the ISPB.
A variety of entrees were provided by international organizations that ranged from the Canadian Students Association to the Chinese Students Association to the Las Hermanas of Latinas Promoviendo Comuidad.
According to organizers, free food was one of the most attractive aspects of the event.
“Over two-hundred people came in and got food,” said Amy Smith ’04, vice president of internal affairs for the ISPB. “There was a long line outside the Memorial Room at 6:15 p.m. before the event even started.”
Mok also said the festival’s popularity is often a function of food. “It’s one of our biggest events that draw people out,” she said.
In addition to food, six campus organizations showcased the traditional clothing of their cultures in a small fashion show, and a number of international entertainment groups performed. Among the performers was the Uhuru Kuumba Dance Ensemble, an African dance troupe, and the Cornell Bhangra Club, an Indian folk-dancing ensemble.
Organizers were very pleased with the event and its turn out. ISB President Keyzom Ngodup ’05 felt that the festival was especially successful because it effectively promoted the board’s mission.
“I think events like these create a meaningful diversity on campus,” she said.
Others joined with Ngodup’s post-festival enthusiasm.
“I would say it was a resounding success,” said Mary Schlarb MPS ’99, assistant director for programming at the International Students and Scholars Office.
Schlarb, who is also the ISPB advisor, added that strong leadership was integral to the quality of the festival.
“They are great leaders,” she said. “They are really committed to promoting diversity on campus.”
In addition to hosting events such as “Livin’ in a Global Village,” ISPB functions as a funding board, providing financial support to on-campus international organizations that satisfy certain criteria. According to its mission statement, the board fulfills its commitment to “promoting dialogue and awareness about world events, cultures and issues” through “original events and the funding of student organizations, as well as assisting in the planning and execution of their events.”
The board’s next event is a “Mini-World Cup” taking place May 9 in the Ramin Room in Bartels Hall.
Archived article by Ellen Miller
Sun Senior Writer