GVSU offers student cultural extravaganza

Courtesy / GVSU Media
2012 GVSU Intercultural Student Reception

Elizabeth Lienau

Courtesy / GVSU Media 2012 GVSU Intercultural Student Reception

Jackie Smith

The Grand Valley State University Office of Multicultural Affairs will be providing students a chance
to mingle with people of all ethnicities and learn about other cultures. The annual Intercultural
Student Reception will be held Sept. 12 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Grand River Room of the
Kirkhof Center.

“(The reception will have) an atmosphere that is welcoming, where (people) can see themselves
belonging to what’s happening,” said Bobby J. Springer, the associate director of the OMA.

The Intercultural Student Reception is an event that is designed with the intention to provide an
opportunity for GVSU faculty and students to get to know each other early in the semester. Free
food, music and raffle prizes will be provided. Most importantly, the reception serves as an
educational introduction to the many cultural clubs and departments on campus that students have
the opportunity to join.

The event has been held at GVSU for more than 20 years and has continued to develop and change
over time. Over the years, several new activities have been added to the agenda. Last year, the
reception added a dance competition to the activity line-up, and the OMA plans to include it this
year, as well.

Amina Mohamed, a junior at GVSU, attended the Intercultural Student Reception for the first time
last year and said she looks forward to what the reception has in store this year.

“My favorite part was the dancing,” Mohamed said. “Everyone was involved, watching the stage and
cheering on their friends.”

There will also be multiple tables set up for people to interact with and learn about the different
departments and organizations on campus.

“People can go around to different tables and communicate with different departments and
organizations, as well as meet new individuals,” Springer said. “Students and new staff can meet
people they haven’t met before. That’s one of the main reasons we do it.”

Mohamed agreed that meeting new individuals is one rewarding experience from the event.

“You get to know different cultural organizations at the event,” she said. “For every cultural
organization’s table you visit, you get a sticker in a fake passport. Once you fill your passport, you
can enter a raffle at the end of the night.”

Gaining additional information is a key element of the reception. Meeting different people from
different cultures can benefit students and faculty in the long run.

“Sometimes students might not go to events that touch all the departments and student
organizations,” Springer said. “This (reception) gives you a chance to, on a more intimate level,
come in contact with individuals who might be a resource to you later.”

For more information, visit gvsu.edu/oma.

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