On a regular day at the IC, clubs will host meetings, students will do homework and socializing (and occasional naps) will occur. Regardless of what occurs, there are always friendly faces awaiting at the IC! The IC is also the storage place for many clubs’ supplies that are used for events on campus. From time to time, things may get a bit unorganized which means students have to have a “Spring Cleaning” and go through their bins and sort out what they do not need versus what they do need.
The South Asian Culture Club celebrated Diwali in the Vandervort Room a couple of weekends ago. The dinner featured dance performances by Shweta Kumar ’16 and the dance team from Syracuse University. The dinner menu was all vegetarian, which was typically what a meal would be during the holiday of Diwali. Professor Anthony Cerulli gave a brief overview of Diwali as celebrated throughout parts of South Asia and audience members even learned a few facts about gods!
Later that evening, Hillel celebrated Barn Mitzvah at the barn–featuring a student DJ and snacks!
HWS is very big on service. It is part of what makes students and faculty unique– the want to be a part of the Geneva community and ameliorate town-gown relationships as well as service on a larger scale (national alternative spring breaks) that helps students become agents of change in their lives after HWS. The Latin American Organization, for example goes to the Boys and Girls Club on Goodman street and does a “Dia de los Muertos” activities with the kids every year, which teaches them about Mexican culture while at the same time doing something fun and spending time with college students. This year, the kids decorated glow in the dark eyeballs.
Hillel, the Jewish Student organization volunteered at the Geneva Public Library as well and did an activity around Hanukkah; the students created paper dreidels and played afterward.
Last week, in collaboration with the Office of Student Activities and Residential Education, we created a display of artwork from a variety of student artists representing their heritage or cultural background. The exhibit was in the Scandling Center for 3 days and on the final day there were performances by Professor Kelly Johnson, Dance Department and Patricia Blue. This was the pilot year of the event, and we received lots of wonderful work, and hopefully next year we will have more participants and a variety of talent to display! Below is a clip of Professor Kelly Johnson’s piece:
The IC is a place for meetings. Every week many of the cultural and social justice clubs will be in the center and talk about current events as it pertains to their groups. In addition to club meetings, since the center is also the home of the Higher Education Opportunities Program, Mr. James Burruto and Mrs. Edith Wormley meet on a daily basis with individual students about their academic as well as extracurricular paths. The IC is also open to community organizations who are looking for meeting spaces or to host receptions and events. Recently the Geneva Head Start program hosted their training in the conference room.
“As a community partner, the accessibility, warmth and accommodation provided by the Intercultural center is invaluable to us as a staff. Geneva Head Start are excited to continue to partner with Hobart and William Smith College.” –Johanna Gefill-Wofford, Family Services Coordinator
Last week was particularly eventful when it came to learning how to do things. The Asian Student Union held a Do It Yourself Sushi class and taught attendees how to make your own sushi roll. E Zhao, Vice President of the club. Attendees were also able to make and eat their own food at the session. There are many varieties of sushi; at this session students used imitation crab meat, vegetables like carrots and cucumbers, sticky rice and seaweed.
Another “how to” included Zoe Van Nostrand ’14 leading a Dream catcher workshop. Dream catchers are traditionally a Native American feature. It is believed that dream catchers are charms that are hung over beds and used to protect people from nightmares. Authentic dream catchers are made from willow, sinew and bird feathers.
As part of Zoe Van Nostrand’s (WS 2014) honors project, she has created a month long series of events related to Native American Heritage month. The first event included students traveling to Ganondagan State Historic Site on Saturday, October 26th to help harvest, husk, and braid traditional Iroquois White Corn during the first annual Husking Bee hosted by the Iroquois White Corn Project (http://iroquoiswhitecorn.org). In the photo, Aminata Dansoko ’15 shows off a braid of white corn, that she just completed. The corn is braided together, then hung for a few months to dry thoroughly before being ground into flour or meal by the Iroquois White Corn Project (http://iroquoiswhitecorn.org). This project works to bring traditional American Indian foods back into native and allied communities.
“Well for me I was shocked that the community came and helped husk corn. Also there were people telling us biological information about the corn we were husking. It was an awesome experience since most of us just eat without thinking where did our food come from and how were they processed. Thank you for organizing!” – Zheng Zhang ’14
On Tuesday, students, faculty and staff came together to watch the screening of the documentary “Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin.” Bayard Rustin was a visionary strategist and activist who has been called “the unknown hero” of the civil rights movement. Rustin promoted the philosophy of nonviolence and the practices of nonviolent resistance. Bayard Rustin was the chief organizer of the 1963 March on Washington for jobs and freedom. Introductory remarks were made by Professor of Political Science Justin Rose and Sankofa President Afrika Owes ’16. Following the screening of the film, there was discussion about what it meant to be an “outsider” during the civil rights era and what it meant through the lens of Bayard Rustin. Lucile Mallard, President of the NAACP also commented on the film and added anecdotes from her youth growing up in the 1950′s and 60′s.
“I really enjoyed participating in the event on Tuesday night. I guess if I keep living, I’ll keep learning. Mr. Rustin was truly amazing in his commitment to nonviolence and the civil rights movement. I told Dean Justin Rose, not to let the discussion about this end after Tuesday’s because I think all of the students really needed to have that time to talk about issues on HWS campus.” –Lucile Mallard, President of Geneva Chapter NAACP