One student organization is trying to spread a message to the university community through a week of events: when love and cultural diversity join forces, anything is possible
From next Monday through Saturday, the Council of International Students and Organizations (COISO) will take over the UC Patio with its biggest annual event, International Week.
COISO is the mother organization to 20 smaller international student groups on campus. This year the event will extend over five nights instead of its usual four to include Asia Night, Caribbean/Pacific Islander night, Africa/Middle Eastern night, Latin night and a new event, Unity night, to bring all of the cultures together. The theme, “For the Love of COISO,” is based on VH1 reality love television series.
This year the event will extend over five nights instead of its usual four to include Asia Night, Caribbean/Pacific Islander night, Africa/Middle Eastern night, Latin night and a new event, Unity night, to bring all of the cultures together.
“We want the last night to culminate the theme of people from all different backgrounds coming together for the common love of COISO,” said Valerie Valero, the organization’s secretary and I-Week Chair.
The week will kick off with a Chinese dragon parade from the Hecht-Stanford bridge to the UC on Monday night. A skit will then take place centering around a person searching for love in Asia.
The Caribbean/Pacific Islander night show will feature dances and a skit where someone will go island hopping in order to find a suitor.
Junior Lisa Davis, treasurer of the Organization for Jamaican Unity (OJU) and COISO cabinet member, is in the show and is also helping with operations of the week’s other events.
“I love the idea that a bunch of students can put together such an extravaganza in spite of all the obstacles involved,” Davis said. “Last year there were dancers, fire breathers, stilt walkers- it was epic. I am looking forward to doing it again.”
Different cultures are matched up each year to encourage different groups to work together.
“The goal is to spread awareness about the cultural diversity on UM’s campus,” Valero said.
The African/Middle Eastern Night show will incorporate both cultures by telling a story of love between people of two different backgrounds. There will be belly dancing and professional performers from the Miami area in addition to student performers.
Latin Night will include Flamenco and Tango dancing as well as a salute from the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO).
DJ Sage will provide music for many of the events and plenty of free international food will be given out each night.
“If nothing else attracts students, this could be a whole week away from Charties,” Valero said.
A banquet will be held Saturday in the School of Communication Courtyard at 6 p.m. Tickets will be sold in the Breezeway throughout the week for $15. This annual end-of-the-year dinner will celebrate the work of the advisers, administrators and members and will signify the transition to COISO’s new executive board, which was selected Tuesday evening.
Nina Ruggiero may be contacted at email@example.com.
If you go
Monday April 5: Asia Night, 7 p.m. UC Patio
Tuesday April 6: Caribbean/Pacific Islander Night, 7 p.m. UC Patio
Wednesday April 7: African/Middle Eastern Night, 7 p.m. UC Patio
Thursday April 8: Latin Night, 7 p.m. UC Patio
Friday April 9: Unity Night, 7 p.m. UC Patio
Saturday April 10: Banquet, 6 p.m. School of Communication Courtyard