International Club hosts annual picnic

Group emphasizes importance of multicultural interactions

Maureen Hossler, Science/International Editor

The Allegheny College International Club hosted its annual International Spring Picnic this past Sunday, April 2 on the North Village I lawn. Offering an array of delicious food and an opportunity to enjoy near-perfect weather conditions, the picnic had a fairly large turn out.

President of the International Club Erblin Shehu, ’19, organized the event and stressed the importance of activities on campus that promote multicultural interactions.

“I wanted to make sure the spring picnic was an event continued on campus as it is important to engage with others of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds from our own,” said Shehu. “We should take any opportunity to do so that we can, even if just a get together.”

Shehu is originally from Peshkopi, Albania and was first referred to Allegheny College by a Peace Corps Volunteer and Allegheny Alumni who was volunteering in Albania.

It is important to engage with others of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds from our own.

— Erblin Shehu

“The picnic was similar to the International Bazaar event that our club hosts every fall semester,” Shehu said. “Except instead of club members cooking for the bazaar, we ordered food from the local restaurants here in Meadville.”

Shehu and International Club Vice President Shashank Shrestha, ’19, purchased a variety of foods for picnic participants from Grace Asian Restaurant, Compadres Mexican Restaurant and Vocelli’s Pizza.

“The event was free of charge and offered other activities, like henna,” said Shrestha, who is originally from Kathmandu, Nepal. “We even had water balloons and water guns, it was really a good time.”

Students enjoy conversation and food at the International Spring Picnic, hosted by the International Club on April 2, 2017.

Shehu said that while the Allegheny International Club has a mailing list of over 300 students, 26 students are active participants in the club meetings and events that the club puts forth. While more participants in the club’s activities would require additional funding by the Allegheny Student Government, Shehu and Shrestha hope to expand participation in the upcoming semester.

The International Club will be attending the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. next weekend to celebrate the spring season and to commemorate the diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan.

Shehu noted that the club anticipates co-hosting an event at the end of the spring semester with the Southeast Asian Student Association as well, though final details for the event still need to be finalized.

International students embrace the warm weather and blow bubbles at the International picnic.

Lenee McCandless, assistant director of the International Education Office and adviser of Allegheny’s Culture 2 Culture Peer Mentoring Program, said that the International Club is student-run. Several members of the International Club, including Shehu and Shrestha, are also members of the C2C Peer Mentoring Program.

“The activities are all organized by the student members of the club,” said McCandless.