As part of International Education Week in mid-November, Lehigh’s Global Union hosted an array of events in celebration of the university’s diverse student population.
Maryam Khan ‘19, vice president for alumni outreach of Global Union, says the celebration Nov. 9-16 was an “opportunity to explore the world without ever leaving the Lehigh campus.” Khan said the events were also a good way for students to get to know each other.
“The International Education Week is a week long-celebration of the diversity that is present on our campus,” said Khan. “It provides opportunities for people to broaden their horizons and think outside the box by exposing them to different cultures, perspectives, ideologies, beliefs that are present not only in the world, but on our Lehigh global environment as well.”
Khan says that in her four years at Lehigh, she has seen the amount of diversity on campus rise exponentially each year. Students come from 85 countries, and many domestic students study abroad and experience different cultures during the year.
A highlight on the celebration was an International Parade of Flags, which included students from international countries, domestic students and those who studied abroad.
The parade began at Coxe Hall and finished at STEPS. Last year, International Education Week was held on the same week as the Lehigh-Lafayette rivalry game so Global Union received permission to hold the flag parade on the football field with the marching band prior to the game.
In addition to the flag parade, the Global Union, a coalition of 45-plus clubs that promote global awareness and cultural understanding, brought together the multicultural organizations to host events. Fusion, a dance festival, was hosted by the Asian Culture Society and Black Student Union. About 15 dance groups performed to a large audience in Baker Hall to highlight various cultures through different styles of dance.
Diwali was another main event of International Education Week 2018. This Indian religious festival of lights was celebrated with dances, skits and musical performances. Eco Reps teamed up with Global Union to host a “sustainable sushi lunch” in which students made their own sushi using sustainably farmed fish with the hopes of “inspiring conversation around sustainable food in fishing.”
The week also included a “friendsgiving” meal that invited the Lehigh community to gather and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal in the Asa Packer Dining Room.
The Global Union will host the International Bazaar in May 2019. Khan describes the event as “International Education Week in two to three hours” with dance performances, food and interactive booths. Similarly to International Education Week, the purpose of International Bizarre is to celebrate and recognize different cultures.
Alumni are invited and encouraged to come by signing up on Lehigh Connects.
Khan encourages alumni to attend because it is an event that connects them with “not only Lehigh but an organization that played an integral role in their Lehigh career.”
For over 20 years, the Global Union has been a home for Lehigh students. Whether it's virtually through joining the Lehigh connects platform or personally visiting Global Union at Coxe hall, alumni can make a profound impact to the current Global Union generation. The Global Union wants to hear from alumni! Please email email@example.com to get in touch.
For over 20 years, the Global Union has been a home for Lehigh students. Whether it's virtually through joining the Lehigh Connects platform or personally visiting Global Union at Coxe hall, alumni can make a profound impact on the current global union generation. Global Union wants to hear from alumni! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Story by Erin Hom
Photos by Christa Neu