International affair: SUNY-ESF extends day of diversity to week event

Ben Cleeton | Contributing Photographer

The Syracuse University Brazilian Ensemble performs at International night inside Marshall Hall on Sunday. The Brazilian Ensemble was one of many diverse, cultural performances that evening.

For the first time, SUNY-ESF will host an entire week of events to showcase different ethnicities and cultures on its campus.

State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry has hosted an International Night every year, but this is the first time it has expanded the program into an entire week, said Rigo Melgar, a graduate student and a member of the International Committee in Graduate Student Association at ESF.

The goal of International Week, which began Sunday, is “to show that we are internationalizing our campus and that we have a lot of international things going on here,” said Emily Quackenbush, coordinator of International Education at ESF.

She added that ESF has a “nice, even mix” of cultures. There is a good representation of Chinese students and Ukrainian students on campus, she said, but there are at least one or two people from a wide variety of different countries.

Sunday marked the beginning of International Week with food and outside performers including a belly dancer, a tap dancer, a salsa dancer and more, said Laura Crandall, director of Student Involvement and Leadership. GSA hosted the event on Sunday night, and will be cohosting the week of events with the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Student Involvement and Leadership Office.

On Friday, ESF’s Multicultural Affairs Office also held “Food Around the World,” a preview event to introduce International Week. This event included four tables with free sushi, crackers and hummus and other finger foods from Middle Eastern and Asian countries, as well as a presentation on the foods provided.

Students will lead the programs for Monday and Thursday, which will consist of two international students from Korea and Lebanon speaking about cultural exploration.

On Tuesday, the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership will show “Sun Come Up” — a movie about climate change in various countries — and on Wednesday, the Office of Multicultural Affairs will host a presentation about Iran and Persia, Crandall said.

Two students who studied abroad in Australia and Costa Rica will talk about how to apply to the study abroad program on Thursday.

There will also be a “Poetry to the People” slam performance and an international student showcase including international food, performances and henna on Thursday.

Though the events will be hosted by different organizations, they all share the common goal of highlighting ESF’s international community, Crandall said.

Melgar added that there aren’t many European or Middle Eastern students on campus. There is large group of Latinos at ESF and many Asian and African graduate students, he added.

Said Quackenbush: “It’s going to be a nice celebration of the international diversity on campus.”



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