Sunday, April 20, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

UNH dedicates Dodds Theater to alumnus William L. Bucknall Jr.

by Elissa Sanci | April 16, 2014

The University of New Haven dedicated Dodds Theater in honor of William L. Bucknall Jr., April 10 at 4 p.m. Bucknall and his wife, their family, friends, members of the Board of Governors, alumni, students and faculty alike gathered at the entrance of the newly appointed Bucknall Theater to honor Bucknall’s generous donation to the university.

(From left to right) Mr. Bucknall, President Kaplan and a Graduate Student at the Bucknall Theater Dedication Ceremony, April 11.  (Charger Bulletin Photo by Nicholas McDermott)

(From left to right) Mr. Bucknall, President Kaplan and a Graduate Student at the Bucknall Theater Dedication Ceremony, April 11.
(Charger Bulletin Photo by Nicholas McDermott)

William “Bill” Bucknall grew up with a love of literature, theater, music and the arts. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from UNH in 1965 and went on to work for the human resources department of United Technologies Corp. He continued on to serve as senior vice president of UTC for 16 years, until retiring in Jan. 2008.

Bucknall, a former columnist of The Charger Bulletin, believes that the theater department, “not only provides students with an understanding of theater and all of the academics associated with it, but it also gives students a confidence in themselves to project who they are on stage.”

He adds that this is a skill directly relatable to life after college. “So much in the business world is about being able to stand on your own two feet and to persuade people to move in a certain way.”

Bucknall’s contributions to the theater department have helped it grow exponentially in the last three years. Previously, there had only been three theater-related majors; now, UNH offers 26 majors and 15 minors, according to College of Arts and Sciences Dean Lourdes Alvarez.

Alvarez said it was nice to be able to formally recognize Bucknall for all that he’s done. “The theater program has long informally referred to Bill as our ‘theater angel,’” Alvarez said.

“With his support, over the past few years, we have been able to renovate and upgrade the theater and transform it into a truly spectacular venue,” Alvarez added. With the money Bucknall donated, UNH added new paint and carpeting, refinished the lobby floor, remodeled the prop room, purchased new equipment, installed a state of the art sound system and added cutting edge lighting equipment.

Amanda Sigan, a cast member of UNH’s most recent production, The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later, is thankful for Bucknall’s generous contributions to the theater program. “He’s donated so much new equipment and everything we do wouldn’t be possible without his generosity.”

Electrical Engineering and Theater Design double major, Erika Vargas, added in her celebratory speech that Bucknall has made it possible for her to peruse both of her interests simultaneously.

The new, updated sign was unveiled to a drum roll, and plaques were gifted by Vargas to Bucknall.

Members of the Theater Club stood passing out pamphlets and complimentary pocket-sized notebooks, while Fully Charged, UNH’s A Capella Group, sang renditions of Lorde’s “Royals” and Imagine Dragon’s “Demons” as guests arrived for the ceremonial unveiling of the theater.

 

Hola, bonjour, and privet

by The Charger Bulletin | April 16, 2014

The Modern Language Department’s week in the limelight.

Students being taught how to belly dance. (Steve Blazo  Photography)

Students being taught how to belly dance.
(Steve Blazo Photography)

The University of New Haven recently pledged to double the amount of students who study abroad by the end of this decade. President Steven H. Kaplan remarked, “As a leader in experiential education, UNH seeks to expand the opportunities available to our students and to enhance their appreciation for diverse cultures and viewpoints.”

UNH was the first college in Connecticut to join Generation Study Abroad, and as if almost in sync, a month after this, the university had their first Modern Language Festival.

The series of cultural activities from Monday, April 7 to Thursday, April 10 sought to bring attention to a growing Arabic, Italian, Spanish, French, Chinese and Russian departments at UNH.

The festival began on Monday with a day of dance. First featured was the Portuguese culture with the Maculele, or Warrior Stick Dance, originating from Brazil. This dance began in the times of slavery when African men and women would dance with their machetes to pass the time cutting sugarcane. Now it is done in a circle called Roda with the Brazilian drum, or atabaque. Bamboo sticks are used and hit above the head with the right hand striking in an X-shape to the rhythm.

Spain was represented next with a lesson in Flamenco. This form of art includes dance, guitar playing, drums, foot stomping, and handclaps, or “Palmas.” The hands are very expressive in this form of dance and the motions are inward and self-reserved.

Next, Professor Halima Belemlih set up a Belly Dance performance representing Arabic culture. This type of dance focuses on the articulation of the hips and was taught by UNH student Marwa Lahlou and her friend Jasmin. They demonstrated dances with traditional outfits and students had the option of following along.

On Tuesday, the festivities continued with Chinese students on the BSAC patio teaching the traditional game of Mahjong. Taiwanese Bubble tea and Chinese steamed bread was also served. At this time in the programming space, Spanish professor Irizarry had a presentation showing the connection between Latin American and African American music; Salsa and Hip-Hop. This included video, audio, and lyrics.

Following was henna tattoos in the Bartels programming space. The tattoos are drawn using dye from the henna plant, which is popular in Eastern cultures and can be painted on the skin and last for several weeks.

In the afternoon, students could play Gioco Dell’Oca, or the Goose Game. This resembled a life-size version of Candyland and was led by Italian professor Maddalena Lolaico and her students. Participants formed teams, and on their turn, rolled a pair of dice, which said how many spaces forward to move. Some squares sent one backwards and some caused missed turns. If one team landed on the same space as another, that team was sent back to the space where the other team had been. A team had to land on the sixty-third square to win.

Thursday commenced with naming tables in Bartels, in which professors Chiaoli Lin, Dima Krizhanovskiy, and Mohammed El Idrissi could write student’s names in Chinese, Russian or Arabic respectively. Around lunchtime, students studying French, and their professor Coralie Gallet, had “Bistro Français,” where they served typical French dishes, such as quiches, cheese, baguettes, and crepes in the Bartels dining room. During the lunch, French music and a slideshow.

Dance UNH 4.07.2014 Steve Blazo Photography www.blazophoto.com

Afterwards, students studying Russian and their professor Daria Kirjanov put on “Kafe Rus.” Ukrainian cherry and potato dumplings and Russian tea and pastries were served. An accordionist played Russian folk songs during the event, along with modern Russian music and a slideshow that was shown.

On Thursday afternoon, students learning Arabic performed songs in the language on the BSAC patio. At night, a classic Russian comedy movie titled, Kidnapping in the Causcus was shown.

Professor Alessia Dalsant reflects, “We are so excited about this week’s success that we are planning to make it an annual event! The festival’s objective is to introduce students not only to the wide selection of languages offered at UNH, but also to the diverse and rich cultures that one discovers by studying languages.”

Dalsant believes that speaking a foreign language opens doors not only to the job market, but also for personal growth. The festival would not have been possible without the generosity of Greg Overend; Director of Student Activities, Dean Lourdes Maria Alvarez; Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Dean Rebecca Johnson; Dean of Students, and Wanda D. Tyler; Director of Intercultural Relations. After a taste of these multi-faceted cultures, who wouldn’t want to study abroad?

 

Victimology Club posts for awareness

by The Charger Bulletin | April 16, 2014

By: Miriam Corella

Contributing Writer

The University of New Haven’s Victimology Club is using social media’s evil powers for good. Throughout April they are running a campaign in order to raise awareness for Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

One in four women and one in six men are victims of sexual assault, so a Victimology Club representative stated in their campaign that “a huge number of our campus population is affected by this almost invisible issue. It is time that we band together as RSOs and campus leaders to take a stand in the name of our campus community and shed light on a crime that affects so many of us.” Victimology invited the UNH campus to join them to take a stand against “this very prevalent issue.”

While sexual assault is a subject that is tough to deal with, it is important to start addressing it directly rather than sweeping it to the side. The club got the idea from a similar campaign that men in Scotland are doing, which is gaining a lot of notoriety for its message, and can be found at: http://www.policymic.com/articles/85293/amazing-posters-of-scotland-s-men-standing-up-against-rape-are-exactly-what-america-needs

“After seeing this, the e-board decided that we should make this into something that our club does for Victims’ Rights Month. We are asking that for all of April, you and as many people as you can get to do it, post a certain photo as your profile picture on Facebook and on Instagram. Take a photo of yourself and edit the picture to say “I am the type of guy who” or “I am the type of girl who,” then you fill in the blank with something to do with consent, and then “Are you?” At the bottom of the photo write “#SexualAssaultAwarenessMonth,” the title of this event, to include the cause for the photos,” said Victimology Club in an email sent out to the UNH community. “If you are a part of Greek Life, play a UNH sport, are a part of the LGBTQ community, or are part of a cultural diversity organization that understands the intersectionality of sexual violence with your community or organization, try and make your picture unique to show that you are representing that population.”

Victimology Club also encourages social media users to like each other’s photos consistently throughout the month so that it keeps appearing on everyone’s newsfeed for the whole month and continues the support of the cause.

To make the largest impact, it is important to get your friends and members involved too; the most important part of making this campaign successful is the amount of people involved and more posts means more awareness.

“Let’s kick off April with a huge social media blast on this campus, show our support of all of the survivors on this campus, and bring awareness to perpetrators that we will not stand for this anymore!” said Victimology Club in an email about their campaign.

The next event being held in support of Sexual Assault Awareness Month is the Remembering Jessica Fundraiser Dinner. The dinner will be hosted by Victimology Club and Office of Advancement to honor the memory of Jessica N. Santos on Thursday, April 17. Santos was a student from Tarrytown, NY, who was killed in a drive-by shooting in Yonkers, NY, on Aug. 27, 2006, a day before she was to begin her sophomore year at UNH. The event will help raise funds to aid students pursuing degrees in criminal justice and forensic science and marks UNH’s annual observance of victims’ rights through the month of April. There will be two seatings for the dinner in the Alumni Lounge at 5 p.m. and 6:45 p.m.

 

President’s Corner

by Zani Imetovski | April 16, 2014

Chargers,

Zani Imetovski, USGA President

Zani Imetovski, USGA President

Let me take this moment to congratulate the President-elect Richard Rotella and the Treasurer-elect John Foti on winning the elections; they will begin their terms on July 1, 2014. I would also like to thank the student body for the record-breaking number of votes that were casted; your voice was heard.

As summer is fast approaching, take this time to enjoy the outside and our beautiful campus. Meet up with your friends in the quad or go for a nice walk around campus.

Last Saturday the 31st Annual Scholarship Ball took place, and I would personally like to thank all of the alumni who came back and donated to the various scholarship funds at the Ball. Those gifts go directly to the students most in need and help support them through college.

As always if you have any questions or concerns feel free to call 203-932-7300 and leave a message or email USGApresident@newhaven.edu

 

Warm Regards,
Zani Imetovski
USGA President

Treasurer’s Tip of the Week

by Isaak Kifle | April 16, 2014

Continuing the transition process

Isaak Kifle USGA Treasurer

Isaak Kifle USGA Treasurer

 

As you prepare to “pass the torch” and transition out of your leadership position, it is important to ensure that your successor is prepared to hit the ground running. The Office of Student Activities hosted a transition presentation by Campus Speak last Friday, and some of the suggestions from it include on-going job shadowing and creating a position guide to hand over. Different RSOs and leaders may have different processes, but all out-going leaders need to take some steps to ensure the continued success of their organizations.

USGA in focus

by The Charger Bulletin | April 16, 2014

By: Dan Davies, USGA Senator

This week’s USGA Meeting took place at 10 a.m. in the German Club, where the following occurred:

+ Any clubs wishing to sign up for the next club fair should contact Senior Vice President Andrew Collins. There will be a points incentive for clubs that attend this club fair.

+ The first annual “Passing the Torch” event took place last Friday at 3pm. This event was necessary for all clubs wishing to be re-recognized this upcoming fall.

+ USGA would like to remind everyone that Last Man Standing will be taking place from April 21st to the 25th.

+ USGA confirmed the appointment of Annalisa Berardinelli as the Editor-in-Chief,

and Gabriella Pericone as Assistant Editor of the Chariot Yearbook for 2014-2015.

+USGA also confirmed Derek Watson as President of SCOPE, as well as Amy Reidy and

Patricia McKernan as the Vice Presidents of SCOPE for the 2014- 2015 academic year.

+ The University of New Haven will be closed this Friday in observance of Good Friday,

so there will be no USGA Meeting. However, please note that classes will still be

taking place as scheduled.

 Any USGA related questions? Feel free to contact myself or any other USGA Senator!

Have you seen…

by Samantha Mathewson | April 9, 2014

Recent thefts on campus leave Campus Police searching for the culprit.

Surveillance Photo provided by Campus Police

Surveillance Photo provided by Campus Police

While progress has been made, the investigation of the electronic thefts from Buckman, Dodds and Harugari Halls remains active as Chief of Police Mark DeLieto and Assistant Chief of Police Donald Parker search for the suspect’s identity.

An email explaining the thefts was sent out by Parker on Friday, March 21, to the University of New Haven community with an attached surveillance image of the possible suspect (pictured above). They asked that anyone who could identify the person in the image, or if anyone has seen the person on campus, to please contact Campus Police at 203-932-7014.

The investigation is currently ongoing and no exact identification has been made from the surveillance photo; however DeLieto said “We will ID him.”

DeLieto has no doubt that the person who committed the thefts will be found, and said the investigation is by no means a lost cause. “We just need a positive ID by name to be made, and right now all we have is that it ‘looks like’… [Someone].”

Since the thefts, other police departments including Orange PD and West Haven PD have gotten involved with the investigation in attempts to make a positive identification. DeLieto and Parker said that the suspect is neither a student nor a member of the UNH Campus. They believe the suspect may be a person on parole, and his parole office has been contacted. As of now the suspect is considered a “person of interest.”

The surveillance photo was taken in Harugari hall, where a single desktop computer belonging to the university was stolen. DeLeito believes this particular theft was planned because the items were carried away in box by the suspect. “It was an intentional act,” he said.

The thefts from the other campus buildings were a combination of electronic items including cell phones and laptops. The thefts in Buckman occurred a week prior to the theft from Harugari, but there is no evidence that connects the two occurrences.

“Thefts are not generally high on this campus, and most that do happen are “crimes of opportunity,” said DeLieto and Parker. “Either students are naïve or forgetful, but out of the thefts that do occur, a lot are seen in the library because students get up to go get lunch and leave their belongings behind and unattended.”

The librarians are very strict when it comes to unattended belongings and leave notices on people’s computers and belongings that are left unattended; however DeLieto and Parker explained this situation makes a criminal out of someone not normally one, because when items are sitting around unattended for a long time it is likely that someone will just come by and pick them up. “Leaving items unattended is the biggest nation-wide campus crime,” Parker said. The officers strongly recommend students be careful with their personal items. “It is amazing how many items we get turned into lost and found here in Campus Police. Students forget about them, and we try, but it is hard to find the owners – you’d be surprised,” said DeLieto and Parker.

Parker explained the university has an educational program called Stay Safe 360 to prevent these kinds of crimes. According to the UNH website, the program features a series of useful videos that provide practical information and advice for situations students face every day. To access these videos students can visit insideUNH and find 360 Stay Safe under the ‘Employee’ tab.

The thefts that have been reported appear to be random and no patterns of common, or increased, occurrences have been seen. However, Harugari experienced a book theft a couple years ago like this one, where high-end textbooks were stolen by a non-campus member to be sold. The thief was found and ordered to make restitution to the campus for the crime he had committed, and it is because of this that DeLieto is confident in finding the suspect involved in the current electronic thefts, and believes it is indeed not a lost cause.

“This may seem like it happened a while ago, but the process takes time,” said DeLieto. After an ID can finally be made, an arrest warrant will be made; however, the officers explained it is a lengthy process. If and when the suspect is arrested for the thefts, it is ultimately up to the courts to decide what happens next, and unlike the book thefts, a restitution option is not always the case.

 

 

Psych Word

by Elissa Sanci | April 9, 2014

An inside look at the voices behind the mic at WNHU’s Friday afternoon show.

Rob Girard (left) and Kristina Gilbertie (right) Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Rob Girard (left) and Kristina Gilbertie (right) Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Rob Girard and Kristina Gilbertie, the hosts of the WNHU’s Friday afternoon show Psych Word, seem as though they’ve known each other forever. Girard and Gilbertie are drug and alcohol counselors who create a fun, fresh atmosphere for their radio show, inviting their listeners in and creating a conversational tone. Since the start of their show in February 2014, they have been featured in the newest edition of “New Haven Living” magazine.

Psych Word, which airs live each Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. on WNHU 88.7, covers a range of topics including mental health, current events, and overall wellness with a little humor and sarcasm mixed in.

Girard is currently a masters student at the University of Connecticut, and the creator of the show and its name. He said he gave the show its name because he felt it encompassed the content—psychology and mental health—and also because he liked the play on words.

“I like that it sounds like psych ward, because a lot times when you’re listening to us, you’re like ‘What? They are nuts!’” he adds, “I kind of go off the deep end sometimes.”

Each show has a theme, and Girard and Gilbertie often have guests that correspond to their themes. Guests have ranged from veterans and pin-up girls—women who make calendars to raise money for veterans—to health and fitness experts.

“We try to stick to a topic each show, but sometimes we get sidetracked,” Girard said. “Sometimes our callers will take us in a different direction.”

Girard explained one of the most popular segments of their show is Rant of the Day, which is where callers are able to call in from 3:10 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. with their “Rant of the Day.”

Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Co-Hosts of Psych Word at WNHU/ Photo by Erica Naugle

Gilbertie, who is also lead singer of the bands Sister Funk and Run Jenny, said that getting listeners involved is one of her favorite parts of being on the radio. “I love being interactive and getting people involved, and we love getting callers to give us their point of view.”

WNHU is the University of New Haven’s non-commercial, official FCC-licensed FM radio station, which broadcasts live from the station, located in the basement of Maxcy Hall.

“I knew that WNHU had been the number one college radio station for years, and I knew that I wanted to try to get a show on the station,” Girard said. “When we got the offer for a live show Friday during drive time, it was like the perfect recipe.”

Girard and Gilbertie stay connected with their listeners through many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and they even have their own website, psychword.com, where listeners can go to share thoughts, opinions and comments of the show.

 

“Fangirls Don’t Exist” and how women are treated in the music industry

by Ashley Winward | April 9, 2014

As March came to a close, so did Women’s History Month with a panel discussion on women and their role in the music industry. The Women’s History Month events committee, run under Wanda Tyler, put on an intimate discussion with two panelists, moderated by student Cassidy Burt.

The panelists included University of New Haven professor Meryl Sole, and front woman of the band Candy Hearts, Mariel Loveland. The two women gave insight on their experiences in the industry where male dominated situations can feel overwhelming.

Sole has her doctorate in Music and Music Education from Columbia University as well as two Masters Degrees; one in Music Education from Columbia University and one in French Horn Performance from Boston University. Prior to teaching at UNH, she taught brass, music theory, music history and appreciation at Adelphi University in New York. Along with teaching, she also does research on music and its effect on toddlers, and still freelances as a French horn player with local symphonies and performance groups such as the National Opera Center and the Cosmopolitan Symphony.

Loveland came out of school with a major in creative writing and a minor in song writing before interning in the music industry and working on a DIY label. She went on to form the band Candy Hearts, working with New Found Glory’s Chad Gilbert on his imprint label Violently Happy Records to produce their EP The Best Ways to Disappear. She shared the love of French horn as well, though noting she was “forever last chair” as well as a placeholder with her mellophone in the marching band.

In a classical setting, Sole found it commonplace to be the only female on her instrument, or even in the entire brass section. At times, she would walk into auditions and wouldn’t be given more than three seconds nefore being thanked for her time. “Being a female brass is really tough,” she added.

In the punk rock scene, Loveland found one of her biggest struggles was being taken seriously. Her first band kicked her out because having a female lead “wasn’t good for their image” and to this day has issues at times getting on stage at her own shows. “The Rock scene expects (girls) to be with the band, not in the band,” she explained. “You’re under a microscope that others are not, judged for things that a man might not. A lot of the problems I have are because I have a female body.”

Some examples brought up in this respect were the idea of promiscuity; that a women who sleeps around is viewed as trashy, while a man might get a high five from his buddies. Sole noted a double standard that she faces as a woman with a family, “A man is not immediately seen as a father, but a woman is immediately seen as a mother and when she spends long periods of time away doing work it’s seen negatively.”

While there was a lot of discussion about negative experiences, it was an open forum full of solutions to improve. When asked for advice to give the women in the room, confidence and self-esteem were impressed upon heavily. “It’s all about how you carry yourself, whatever the kind of person you are, own it, ” Loveland stressed.

Sole supported the idea by telling girls, “Have the drive to work your butt off for what you want.” However, both felt that positive role models in the industry were necessary for increased female success. “Students need to see positive images of strong female teachers for women to aspire to,” Sole said.

Loveland also interjected that there needs to be “bad” role models too. “There need to be some girls that aren’t that great at succeeding. There are male role models who are quirky and charming, but when a girl sees success, they see Beyoncé success. We need some more quirky, charming girls that aren’t perfect!”

As for the men? “Be supportive of your female friends,” Loveland advises, “treat them as an equal, but also understand that women are different.” Sole also mentioned not judging a book by its cover. “Never underestimate the women you’re surrounded by, you might not know just how much they’re capable of.”

 

Thirteen Countries, One Celebration—The 2014 International Festival

by Patricia Oprea | April 9, 2014

Over seven hundred international students are currently studying at the University of New Haven; that’s nearly 1/6 of the total student population, undergraduate and graduate students included.

Students at the International  Festival performing as Indian dance medley/ Photo by Patricia Oprea

Students at the International Festival performing as Indian dance medley/ Photo by Patricia Oprea

This past year, events such as Chinese Moon Festival, Diwali Festival and the Chinese New Year Celebration have succeeded in bringing culture to students who seek it out. However, the annual International Festival is a celebration of cultures on a larger scale; it is something students prepare for months in advance. In the beginning of spring semester, an email is sent out to students asking if anyone wishes to represent a country for the festival. Students gather to decide what their display will look like, what food to get and whether they wish to perform. This event isn’t solely catered to university students; in fact, many outside friends, family members and interested people from the community came to the festival.

The 34th annual International Festival was held on Sat., April 5, at North Campus. As one walked into the Charger Gymnasium, there were booths on the left and right sides with tables in the middle, and a stage straight ahead on the far end. Closest to the entrance was China’s table. Students talked to the long line of people awaiting food, and pointed out pictures with China’s landmarks.

Right next to China was Taiwan’s table, adorned with posters, books, pictures, maps, slideshows and cultural artifacts including woodwork and puppets. The ever-popular bubble tea was being given out and was finished rather quickly.

After Taiwan was Haiti’s table with pictures laid out on one side and food on the other. This presentation was prepared by some of the Caribbean Student Association’s members who said “Haiti isn’t represented on campus so we wanted to represent them this year.”

Near Haiti was the table of the islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Graduate student Melissa Gitens said how there is a nonprofit organization for this culture which her father created. The Trinbago American Association of Southern Connecticut holds events in the area to promote awareness of the land. Member of the Association, Sharon, described the Carnival celebrations in the country as “a party for two days in the street, and bands can have up to 5,000 people.”

Gitens then pointed to an oil drum cut in half (otherwise known as the “steel pan”), the only instrument created in the twenty-first century. Sharon also said how much of the traditional snacks and dried fruits are preserved. “[We have] no packaged food, we eat fruit as our snacks.”

After Trinidad and Tobago was Iraq’s table. Female students were donned in traditional Kurdish outfits and it was explained that Kurds are the second highest population of people in Iraq, next to the Arabs, and before the Turks of Turkmenistan. Their food was ordered from a restaurant downtown named Aladdin Crown Pizza.

Finally, there was Italy’s table, filled with Global Ambassadors and students that have studied abroad, along with photographs of their experience. They served lasagna and gelato. Freshman Jack Rothstein said, “My first college experience was in Italy. I feel like I’m doing better here because I studied abroad.”

Further into the gymnasium were booths of seven more countries. First came India with dozens of students donned in traditional clothing. Their table featured multiple instruments, including a harmonium, the base for all Indian music. This table got their food from Tandu restaurant, also in downtown New Haven.

Next was Ethiopia’s table, with freshman undergrad, Naomi, dressed in a traditional Habesha dress. She explained how Amharic is the national language and proceeded to write people’s names in this script. Most of the artwork is cloth based; however, writing on leather is popular as well. Their food was ordered from Ethiopian restaurant Lalibela in downtown New Haven.

After Ethiopia was Germany’s table with pretzels, muesli and bauernbrot breads, apple and cherry strudel. Marisa Oschmann, new to the university from Germany this semester, ran the table. When asked what she thought of the U.S., Oschmann said, “Our cultures are pretty similar now. It was my dream to come here.”

Next to Germany’s table was Iran’s with artwork and instruments. Two instruments were the Taar, part of the string family and resembling a guitar, and Tonbak, a single drum. Paintings, cloth work, poetry and metal artworks were laid out on the table as well.

Afterwards was the U.S.’s table, with food including macaroni and cheese and pulled pork.

Then came Egypt’s table with photographs, artwork with hieroglyphs and plenty of traditional food.

Last but not least on the left side, were Saudi Arabia’s tables, one section with food and another for henna tattoos. Their presentation included dozens of photographs, maps and brochures, as well as many pastries.

Around 6 p.m, winners of food and displays were announced. Italy won Best Dessert for their gelato, India won Best Appetizer for their samosas, and Haiti won Best Entrée for their meat and vegetable combo, rice and beans, and plantains. Most Informative Display went to Saudi Arabia, Most Interactive Display was won by China, and Best Cultural Presentation went to both Taiwan and India.

Then the performance hosted by Jason An and Shican Li began. First up was a duo representing Argentina who danced the salsa. Shican Li next sang a song in Chinese called “Looking at the moon, drinking wine, and thinking about you.”

Next, Indian students danced to a medley of Indian music for a wildly cheering crowd. The females’ ornate costumes created a colourful and appealing sight that won them Best Visual Appeal. Next performed Fouad, representing Iran, on his two instruments—the taar and the tonbak. Fouad’s unique style on both instruments won him Most Original. To close the show, senior David Janovsky represented Ireland through his Irish step-dancing and won Best in Show.

Although there were 13 distinct countries to see, everyone gathered for the same purpose—to eat, learn, and celebrate the diversity of the university. As UNH announced its plans to double their amount of students going abroad (the first university in Connecticut to do so), a stronger presence of cultural awareness arose on campus.

Josh Low, President of the International Students Association, helped plan the festival in conjunction with the International Services Office, and Karima Jackson.

“This year we had more performances than last year and some different countries showcased such as Haiti and Italy,” he said. “Though it was not as packed as last year, the event was well received by the attendees and it was another wonderful International Festival.”

 

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