GV offeres up Taste of Culture

Aaron Crider

Grand Valley State University’s campus was hopping Friday night as the annual First Events took place in and around the Kirkhof Center, and outside the Thornapple room, students lined up and waited for the doors to open for the annual Taste of Culture event.

“We have around 4,007 freshmen this year,” said Michelle Burke, director of Student Life. “About 3,800 live on campus and First Friday gives them the chance to do something and interact with other students on campus.”

The Thornapple room was jammed with excited and hungry students who needed little to no invitation to get in the buffet line and begin eating food from around the world. Potstickers, Greek spinach wraps, beef empanadas and mac ‘n cheese bites were among the different entrees served at the gathering.

Taste of Culture is a fairly new event—only going into its third year. It is backed by the Cultural Programming Council, which consists of a number of cultural student organizations on campus including groups like the Arab Culture Club, the Asian Student Union and the Black Student Union. The CPC voted last year to fund events such as Taste of Culture to raise awareness, understanding and appreciation of the different ethnicities on campus.

“We want to let students know of the different cultures on campus and give them an opportunity to interact with one another,” Burke said.

Music played between eating and talking, and there was no shortage of students eager to begin dancing. The event gave students an opportunity not only to get to know new cultures, but also to forge new friendships.

“We (had) people driving around in golf carts and asking people what they were up to,” Burke said.

“Most of them said nothing so we told them to come over to Kirkhof and enjoy food, music and dancing.”

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