International club looks to increase attendence

Dipto Mukherjee, ’19, at the  International Clubs fall picnic on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

Xiaoyu Zhu

Dipto Mukherjee, ’19, at the International Club’s fall picnic on Sunday, Sept. 13, 2015.

The Allegheny College International club meets every second week and hosts events every semester for international students and the rest of the student population to attend. The club kicked off the year with its annual fall picnic on Sunday, Sept. 13 in the lobby of the Max Kade International Wing.

“There was good food, fun activities and I got to know other people, not just international,” said Dipto Mukherjee, ’19.

Mukherjee is a first year, degree seeking student from India. He said the club is great for him in his first year here because it gives him the opportunity to socialize with people from different countries and cultures.

“I can look at the world from their perspective. I can learn their perspective,” said Mukherjee. “Plus there’s free food and fun events.”

Hannah Russell, ’16, is the vice president of the International Club and said this is what the club is all about.

“We try to promote the learning of different cultures, so week to week we try to host different events,” said Russell. “In the past we’ve had TA’s come and present on where they come from, their country. We’ll do craft activities, we want to do some game nights and also try to do some movies.”

As well as the biweekly meetings and the fall picnic, the club hosts a picnic in the spring, and this year they are hoping to take an overnight trip to the District of Columbia for the cherry blossom festival.

The main event the club hosts is the international dinner. The dinner is held every year in the Schultz Banquet Hall. Students submit their own recipes and then prepare and cook the dishes in small groups in the days leading up to the dinner.

According to Russell each year there are about 10-15 dishes from all over the world served at the dinner. There is also entertainment in the form of presentations and an annual fashion show.

Beth Bauer, ’17, treasurer for the club, said she is most excited for the dinner.

“I didn’t go last year but I’m really excited to go this year. I’ve seen pictures of it and we’ve talked about planning it at our last [executive] board meeting. I’m just really excited to be a part of it,” Bauer said.

At the club’s second meeting, held on Wednesday, Sept. 16, it sponsored a guacamole making event. It was open for anyone to attend, to come and learn how to make guacamole and to socialize. The meeting coincided with Mexico’s Independence Day. There was a short presentation at the beginning which gave background information about Mexico and the history and tradition of guacamole. Approximately a dozen people attended the event according to Russell. She said the club’s goal for the year is to increase interest and attendance.

Russell said the club is a great place for people who are interested in learning about other cultures.

“For me it adds to Allegheny campus community by being a place where you can go to learn about different things and be open minded,” Russell said. “It’s a place where people expect that you’re learning and asking questions so it’s a safe place to do that. I’m not an international student but it’s a great place for me to go and be around international students. I like learning about different cultures and being around people who are also interested in learning about other cultures and have an open mind to seeing the world and learning from others.”