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International Week 2018

Events include a parade and a dance competition featuring multiple organiztions

By Angelique Arintok, Staff Writer

International Week is back at Mason. A 37-year-old tradition, the celebration is packed with rich diversity and culture that the university embodies. From Friday, April 6 until Saturday, April 15, the community should expect lively color and energetic crowds as various campus outlets take part in showcasing and learning about culture from around the globe.

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The Office of International Programs and Services and the Office of Student Involvement initiated in the creation of the website, iweek.gmu.edu. The website provides a succinct rundown of all International Week events and promotes both student-led and departmental programs that advocate the doing, taking, tasting and viewing of culture at Mason.

On Monday, April 9 from noon to 1 p.m., the Mason iWeek Parade will take place in Roger Wilkins Plaza, formerly known as North Plaza. The parade is dedicated to commemorate the diverse individuals and groups present at Mason. In years past, many take the opportunity to show off their Mason spirit by bringing along artifacts or flags from their respective cultures.

Pride in heritage, fraternity, sorority or student organization affiliations are welcome. Display of cultural affiliation is highly encouraged. The date for this event will be Tuesday, April 10. More information about the parade, route, schedule and set-up are on iweek.gmu.edu under the header called “Parade.”

The Confucius Institute, GMU Bengali Patriots Association and the Saudi Student Union are some of the organizations that planned events catered to both students and staff during the week. The Afghan Student Union will host their annual culture night on Wednesday, April 11 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. in the HUB Ballroom. Later in the week, the Indian Student Association will host their very own Desi Gala on Friday, April 13 from 8:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Dewberry Hall.

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Art exhibitions, tournaments and dance festivals are some of the main attractions during International Week. However, the “signature event” is on Thursday, April 12 at 7 p.m. in the Center for the Arts. The International Week 2018 Dance Competition will feature ten student organizations and respective performances. Organizations coalesced as teams include Afghan Student Union, Azúcar Salsa Club, GMU Bengali Patriots Association, Black Mambas, Caribbean Student Association, GMU Dabka, GMU Bhangra, Indian Student Association, Pakistani Student Association and last year’s first-place winner, Nepalese Student Association.

The dance competition is a hub for the local community to show out and support Mason’s talented multicultural groups. One free ticket is admitted per Mason student, faculty, or staff with valid ID. Additional tickets for guests are $5, and members of local community are admitted $10 each. Tickets are provided and can be purchased at the Center for the Arts box office or at the Office of Student Involvement.

Global Affairs, Mason Recreation and Student Media will also take part in events throughout the week. International Week 2018 is not only an occasion for celebrating diversity on campus, but also serves as a channel for both students and staff to engage in meaningful experiences that shine light on the lives and cultures of others in the Mason community.

For more information, visit iweek.gmu.edu. Mark your calendars for important dates and times for International Week 2018 events at Mason.

Photos Courtesy of Mason Cable Network