By Gabrielle Parisi
This article was originally published in Issue 13, Fiftieth Year of The Minstrel (April 14, 2016). Click here to view the entire issue.
Residence halls were transformed into eight different countries for Solidarity’s event “Around the World” on Thursday, April 7.
The countries featured were Jamaica, Ireland, Greece, Spain, Australia, Ghana, the Philippines and France. Four of the countries chosen were study-abroad destinations that DeSales offers in order to incorporate the opportunities DeSales students have to travel; the other four were randomly selected to include more diversity. Each hall included history of its respective country and native cultural aspects such as dancing, music and country delicacies.
Resident advisers of the different buildings worked together to create the ambiance in their building for the country that they were assigned.
DeChantal RA Larissa Costa said, “We [the RAs] all got to be really creative and come up with different ideas to make it fun for us and the residents on campus.” Her hall was decorated with stone pillars, Grecian flags and the Olympic symbol.
All of the residence halls did a great job putting their own touch on their representation of the country and making the experience for students of every class. Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors all traveled around campus, visiting as many countries as they could.
Freshmen Abby Brossman, Claire Brossman and Laura Sickels all agreed that the hermit crab raffle for Aviat Hall’s Australian setting was one of the highlights of their evening. And upperclassman Julianna Scalzinger said that Ireland’s shepherd’s pie was absolutely delicious.
Students were encouraged to get a passport from any of the sites and receive stamps for all eight countries in order to be entered in a contest to win prizes ranging from a $50 Amazon gift card to a bobblehead of university president Rev. Bernard O’Connor, OSFS.
Programs like “Around the World” are meant to help educate the students, faculty and staff on cultural appropriation, but Solidarity Coordinator Romar Lyle said this particular event was much more than just an educational experience. The event got students out of their rooms, walking around and exercising, and gave them new opportunities to socialize and meet other students.
He also mentioned that many different groups on campus worked cohesively to bring the event into full swing.
“It just goes to show how great DeSales facilities, auxiliaries, catering and ResLife can work together when they are determined and motivated,” said Lyle.
Lyle is already beginning to think of ideas for next year’s “Around the World.”
“Next year, we will use the other four study-abroad countries and pick four more random countries to integrate lots of diversity,” he said.
Overall, the event brought out over 240 students, not including students who did not use any passports or all the RAs that were involved and bouncing around from hall to hall, making the event a huge success, bigger than Lyle ever predicted.