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UPC event highlights cultural student groups

CIOs take to the AFC to display cultural pride

<p>CIOs showcased their cultural pride in their vibrant performances.</p>

CIOs showcased their cultural pride in their vibrant performances.

CIO Connections — a branch of University Program Council — held its annual Culturefest Saturday at the Aquatic and Fitness Center, featuring a multitude of cultural dances, food and activities.

Second-year College student and CIO Connections Committee member Megan Carr said planning the event was a rewarding way to celebrate diverse cultures.

“I love to see different groups supporting one another in the event,” Carr said. “It is also great to see how much pride everyone has in their culture[s].”

University President Teresa Sullivan presented opening remarks about the importance of promoting cultural diversity within the University community. Before an audience of roughly 500 attendees, she emphasized the value of cultural awareness, especially given the increasingly diverse workforce students will be entering upon graduation.

When guests entered, they were handed a mock passport which they stamped after partaking in relevant activities at a variety of booths, each of which represented a different regional culture. Three stamps qualified them to enter in a raffle for gift cards to various food vendors on the Corner, including Para Coffee, Christians Pizza and Take-it-Away.

Students showcased their respective CIOs through interactive cultural activities. The University Sigma Chapter Alpha Kappa Delta Phi led an origami flower-making activity. Second-year College student Molly Chheath, Alpha Kappa Delta Phi secretary and fundraising chair, said Culturefest is a prime way to promote the sorority’s interest in Asian culture.

“The iris flower is both our national and sorority [symbol], so it allows us to showcase not only the sorority but bring national awareness,” Chheath said.

Students put on a variety of performances, often incorporating props such as fans and traditional clothing. Several groups — including Organization of Young Filipino Americans — combined traditional music with modern American hits.

Second-year College student Kelly Rudman, culture chair of the Chinese Student Association, said Culturefest is a useful tool for cultural CIOs.

“This is a good time to test out different cultural activities and see the responses people have to them,” Rudman said. “[It helps us plan] for future events like Global Expo.”

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