I-Week brings seven wonders to campus

Around the world in 80 days? Nix that. The international student organizations and clubs of COISO will be taking you through a journey around the world in a record-breaking seven days, and you won’t even have to leave campus.

“This year is the 37th annual International Week [I-Week], and it’s a tradition at UM,” Pat Whitely, vice president of Student Affairs, said. “It brings together all the student organizations in the international arena and it’s a wonderful way to showcase the diversity at UM.”

With “Seven Wonders of the World” as a theme, I- Week boasts 30 cultural, ethnic, and religious organizations and clubs that will come together to exhibit their cultures through representative food, music, and activities.

“I think that I-Week in general is one of the most exciting weeks we have on campus – it really enables the students to show the diversity of all our student population in all the country’s that are represented in our student body,” said Richard Walker, assistant vice president of Student Affairs.

I-Week started off on Thursday with “Hometown USA,” which included a pie-eating contest and a performance by a high school Navajo choir who taught students how to dance their native dance. Popcorn, hot dogs, and snow cones were given out.

Opening ceremonies took place on Friday along with Asia Day, where student organizations paraded their flags through the UC patio.

“I’m very honored to be chosen to be Chair of International Week, because it allows me not only to educate other cultures, but to work hand in hand with other organizations that I wouldn’t be able to work with otherwise,” Kelsi Mercado, I-Week Chair, said.

Every I-Week day will be raising money for measles vaccinations in Africa, as well as competing for the titles of Best Performance, Best Dish, and Best Day.

During Asia Day, sumo wrestling, Chinese calligraphy, and a mock Hindu wedding gave students a glimpse inside the world of Asian culture.

“I thought it was a great show all around. I got to learn about the different cultures in Asia,” Anand Vakharia, freshman, said. “It’s just a great show to put on for the public to show diversity on campus.”

“We’re so fortunate to be in such a diverse campus,” Minal Ahson, president of COISO, said. “So for students being able to experience going around the world right here in Miami at the University of Miami, that’s amazing to me.”

For more information about I-Week and other COISO events, visit www.coiso.com.

Christine Dominguez can be contacted at c.dominguez3@umiami.edu.