One of my favorite things about the work carried out by the Student Activities Council and the Multicultural Activities Council is that their events can allow students to educate one another.
Recently there has been some discussion about how this semester’s SAC/MAC events have been more serious than in recent years.
As an international student, I appreciate the value that SAC/MAC organizers give to issues such as race, culture and well-being.
Of course, weekend events should be fun, and at times everyone needs a bit of escapism.
However, one of the wonderful things about exploring serious issues on Friday or Saturday nights is that it is not like a classroom lecture – most of these events involve friends, inspirational speakers and free food.
Our classes serve to introduce us to grave problems, but it is student-led events that really allow us to do something about the issues we face and have meaningful dialogue with our peers in a safe environment.
Luis Flores, an international student from Mexico and a Economics and History major, says that for him, “SAC/MAC events have the opportunity to touch on issues that you or your classmates hold personal and dear. There is no reason why we cannot have both happy, fun activities and serious discussions. Both are crucial to emphasizing the benefits of a college education.”
Those who wonder why we should talk about things like race and other cultures outside of formal education sometimes forget about how much those issues are part of other people’s lives.
The SAC/MAC coordinators are wonderful at remembering this, and they should definitely be commended.
I know that this week’s VIBE: India event was far from trivial for a lot of people.
These events bring important issues into discussion outside of the lecture hall, and their educational aspect is very important.
For many international students, SAC/MAC events that deal with topical issues are relevant to their lives and are really meaningful to them.
For me, it is particularly significant to see non-international students care about things that do not always directly affect them and for the whole student body to learn about issues that go beyond their comfort zone.
I learn just as much from these events as the next person, and most of the time it’s in a really enjoyable way.
By asking for events that emphasize cultural education, we are not trying to make weekends bleak, because other cultures are far from that.
These events are about learning from one another in a fun and sincere setting.