Friday, November 4, 2005
Cultural Awareness Week set for Nov. 7-11
By Laura Angus, OU Student Writer
Oakland University will be celebrating and embracing the diverse culture on campus during Cultural Awareness Week, which starts Monday, Nov. 7.
“The goal of Cultural Awareness Week is noted in this year’s theme: ‘Embracing Me, Sharing You,’” said Cressie Smith, coordinator of student organizations and Greek Life. “To embrace culture and share it with others means something different to everyone.”
The week will kick off Nov. 7 with food, music, dancing performances and opening comments from Dean of Students Glenn McIntosh from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge. Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to sign a banner asking, “What does culture mean to you?” The banner will be at the majority of events during the week.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, poet, actor and musician Saul Williams will perform a spoken word show at noon in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms. Williams has performed at more than 100 universities as well as on HBO's “Def Poetry Jam” and “Chris Rock Show.”
Information about studying abroad will be provided by the Center for International Programs on Wednesday, Nov. 9, from noon to 1 p.m. at a table in the Oakland Center.
Students of foreign languages will put their knowledge to the test on Thursday, Nov. 10, during the International Speech, Translation and Dictation contests from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms.
The speeches will be about “Aspects of culture I am studying that interest me.” Text for the translation and dictation readings will be chosen by the faculty of the Department of Modern Languages and Literature.
“One goal of these events is to highlight the relevance of the students' study of foreign language and culture as they apply what they have learned in their classes in a completely different context,” said Dikka Berven, special instructor of French. “Another goal is for students to have fun meeting other students who are studying foreign languages and have a chance to make some money at the same time.”
Students of French, Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Arabic and German will be competing for the prize money that will be awarded to the winners of the various contests.
On Thursday, Nov. 10, from 7 to 10 p.m. the International Café and Fashion Show will bring various flavors and styles to the Pioneer Food Court in the OC.
The International Faculty Reception wraps up Cultural Awareness Week on Friday, Nov. 11, from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Oakland Center Fireside Lounge. International faculty members will get the opportunity to meet each other, said Berven, who is involved in the planning of the event.
“During Cultural Awareness Week, it is good for the university community to take some time to reflect upon the cultural richness of our life provided by the presence of people who have come here from every continent and many countries around the world,” Berven said.
Cultural Awareness Week is sponsored by the Office of Disability Support Services, Department of Modern Languages and Literatures, Center for International Programs, International Students and Scholars Office and Center for Student Activities.