By Lizzy Owoyemi
Cameron University International Club organized a welcome meeting for freshmen on Jan. 27 at the Shepler Ballroom. This meeting was organized to make new international students feel relaxed after two weeks of resumption.
According to Marcella Gustafson, student adviser in charge of recruiting international students to CU, the meeting is a way of welcoming and getting to know new and transfer international students.
The welcome meeting is held every semester, excluding summer.
“The welcome meeting is held every semester to welcome new and transfer international students to CU,” Gustafson said. “It is a way of making these students feel a sense of belonging and interact with some of the old international students.”
The International Club is not limited to just international students, but it is also opened to anyone who is interested in learning more about diversity. To be an active member, students have to pay a due of $5 every semester.
According to Gustafson, the motto of the club explains what it is all about: that the club appreciates and believes in diversity. Culture is one major thing these international students have in common.
“There are a total of 318 international students from 49 different countries,” Gustafson said. “The motto of the club is, ‘Encourage and Achieve Great Appreciation of Different Cultures.”
Through various presentations from other countries, some members of the International Club have been exposed to other country’s culture.
Ibrahim Karamoko, president of the International Club, who is from Gagnoa in Cote d’Ivoire, said that he was exposed to other cultures through the International Club.
“Thanks to the International Club and various presentations from other countries, I have come to appreciate others culture and they have learned mine,” he said. “I can say that been exposed to what others believe in is an educative and learning process.”
According to Karamoko, the club organizes various activities every semester. Students go for community service, get involved during Diversity Day and participate in fashion shows and international festivals.
“My involvement in some of these activities has given me a sense of responsibility,” he said. “It has also made me open to people, unlike my first semester.”
Geno Vazquez, a Information Technology major and transfer student said that as the president of the International Club in his former school, he was used to meeting new people, but he joined CU’s club because he was interested in meeting more international students like him.
“The international students in my former school were a small group compared to the ones at CU,” Vazquez said. “I joined this club so I could meet new international students.”
One of the advantages of clubs like the International Club is networking. During the meeting, students got to know about each other through different games that were played. The International Club has been able to encourage diversity among students. Students are encouraged to contact the international office on the second floor of North Shepler or call 580.581.2838.