Several cultural clubs and advocacy groups convened in the University Center’s event room on March 21 from noon to 4 p.m. for the first-ever “SHU Worldwide” event.
The event was co-hosted by the University’s Latino organization Adelante, the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Filipino League at Seton Hall (FLASH).
Described by the organizations as “a chance to explore different cultural organizations through food, performances and fundraising causes around the world,” the 4-hour affair featured a cluster of tables at which visitors could take part in authentic activities and learn about the cultures on display.
“SAB originally had an event like this planned, but FLASH took the reins on it,” Vicelle Juanites, a senior finance major and FLASH treasurer, said. “They wanted it to be a tabling event, but we wanted it to be more interactive.”
Other cultural organizations were contacted by FLASH on short notice.
“It was planned very quickly, so it’s kind of impressive that it actually happened,” Olivia Franki, a senior majoring in history and president of the Italian Club, said. “The space was only approved last week, so we didn’t have a lot of time to market it.”
Activities available to those who attended included dancing to Latin music, playing an informal game of soccer and trying one’s hand at a traditional Italian card game.
Another focus of the event was food. At the table ran by Adelante, visitors could sample plates of pandebono, beef and chicken empanadas, and a selection of Hispanic chips and snacks.
“What we’ve all noticed is that food drives interest,” Gabriella Peñas, a senior biology major and Adelante president, said. “It’s centered around the idea of a Hispanic bodega that sells all these kinds of goodies.”
Scholars for Syria, an organization that advocates for Syrian victims of war and natural disaster, conducted fundraising through selling apparel and Middle Eastern sweets, including baklava, basboussa, maamoul (ma-HA-mool), and Namoura Esfanjiyeh.
“As people are eating the sweets, I love to tell them about the culture,” Lana Hannineh, a senior biology major who serves as the club’s president, said. “I think that food brings people closer together.”
Emmett Bikales can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emma Thumann contributed to reporting.