Monday, March 27, 2023

PSUC events promote diversity

A big part of student life at Plattsburgh State revolves around student-run clubs and associations that represent the diversity on campus.
Last week, African Unity hosted its third annual banquet, Ubunye, in the Angell College Center Ballroom. The following day, Night of Nations, a collaboration of different cultural associations, was held in the Glitz Auditorium in Hawkins Hall.

The doors to the ACC Ballroom opened at 6:30 p.m. Friday, granting all students, faculty and community members entry to the event. All dressed elaborately in outfits representing their culture. The event started almost an hour later, emceed by spring 2018 PSUC graduate and fashion designer Osayame Uzamere dressed in one of his own designs.

President of African Unity and PSUC senior Victoria Adebisi Adebanjo said: “This year was different from previous years because we had three other SUNY schools in attendance. So there was definitely more pressure to put on a good show.”

The event consisted of performances by African Unity dance teams and a special appearance by guest performer Montunrayo Charles, ‘Ayojoy”, who was accompanied by her twin brothers Isaac and Isaiah the “Christ Twinz.”

The routines performed by the African Unity dancers, choreographed by African Unity’s choreographer and PSUC student Cybil Quarcoo, were practiced regularly throughout the semester.

“The people who attended the show were able to learn about African culture in a fun but really educational way,” Adebanjo said.

‘Ubunye’ was split into four acts, informing audience about the kingdoms of Africa which included Kush and Great Zimbabwe.

Being Zimbabwean, any word of the motherland sparks my interest and the African Unity were able to represent the culture of Great Zimbabwe very accurately, showing the megalithic structures in all their glory.

The cultural awareness that is given by an event like the ‘Ubunye’ banquet is invaluable; yet, at the event, the majority of people in attendance already came from a cultural background. Many countries were represented,including Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa by PSUC professor Portia Turco, as well as several Caribbean countries.

Seeing the presence of so many culture so far from their home warmed my heart, everybody in the crowd with their own part to play, whether it be screaming prompted by the emcee or impromptu dance routine at the behest of the very same emcee, the culture in the room screamed “involvement”!

‘Night of Nations’ began at 7 p.m. in Hawkins and the lineup of performers included the Japanese Cultural Association at Plattsburgh, the Indian Cultural Association and the Chinese Association.

PSUC senior and Marketing Coordinator for Night of Nations Smit Punjara commented on how much hard work and planning was put into the event to make it as seamless and smooth as possible for the audience.

“It was a great event and the hard work all paid off in the end,” Punjara said.

Intense rehearsals for the show started 3 weeks ago; however, preparation for the show began long before. The event’s faculty advisor, Amelia Lushia, put together a leadership team in February of this year which then began to plan for this year’s Night of Nations in March.

The hard work of PSUC students with the goal of sharing of themselves with their community brings us an event almost every week.

Adebanjo and Punjara both gave their encouragement to any and all students to begin taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy other cultures through SA events.

In 2018 where the world has become a global village in which the distance between Plattsburgh and Tokyo is one Facetime call on your iPhone, it is wasteful to not experience other cultures.

I think that Plattsburgh goes beyond themselves to make opportunity for domestic students and international students to exchange ideas and experiences.

A trip to another country is as easy as attending any cultures student association to see what you’ve been missing out on.

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