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By Ana A. Lima
Arizona Daily Wildcat
March 3, 1997

International Students Association sponsorsMulti-cultural Week

"Bienvenido!" "Willkommen!" "Benvenuto!"

In more than 20 different languages, including Spanish, German and Italian, University of Arizona international students will welcome everyone to food, dance, prizes and films this week to celebrate the university's cultural diversity on the UA Mall.

Multi-cultural Week, organized by the International Student Association, is the first culture week promoted on campus in four years, said Bevin McArthur, ISA president.

Jennifer Aviles, Diversity Action Council coordinator, said students can see and experiment with what different people do during the week.

"It's exposing them to diversity," Aviles said.

McArthur said the association is making the event as inclusive as possible by involving students from various ethnic groups and cultural resource centers.

The week-long event is funded in part by a $500 grant from the Diversity Action Council. Clubs and organizations participating also contributed to the funding.

The series of events throughout the week will feature dance and theater performances, food booths and information tables about campus organizations. Artifacts, merchandise and memorabilia will also be sold.

"We imagine it to be as big as Spring Fling in the future," McArthur said.

McArthur said the week was designed after "Tucson Meet Yourself," a week-long international celebration every September in downtown Tucson.

The Mall events for week begin on Wednesday with a "Study Abroad Fair." The Center for Global Student Programs will provide brochures and application material for study abroad programs to 20 different countries, said Andrea Malinowski, office specialist for student business affairs.

The center will also give away prizes Wednesday from noon to 12:30 p.m. Students can win a one night stay for two people at the Marriott University Park Hotel, free meal vouchers and gift certificates for various Memorial Student Union restaurants, and tickets for the UA Museum of Art, Malinowski said.

On Thursday, the "Festival of Nations" will feature 40 different countries on the Mall, McArthur said. International clubs will sell food and share their culture with UA students.

Among several other goodies, students will find "salame di cioccolata," a chocolate dessert made with rum and graham crackers, said Alana Guadagno, president of the Italian club and a biology senior.

Friday festivities, with the theme "Tucson Soul Explosion and African Market Day," are organized by the African American Cultural Resource Center.

Robin Lemon-Soape, the center's coordinator, said the festivities will feature large tents with outside vendors selling porcelain dolls, tapes of traditional African American music, paintings, traditional clothing and food.

"It will be a fun day," Lemon-Soape said.

Aviles said it would be interesting to see who will join in the week's activities. She said UA students are interested in diversity, but they are too busy with school and work to attend cultural events on campus.

In organizing Multi-cultural Week, ISA ran into a few problems, McArthur said. She said a lot of the clubs participating would rather invest money and time into Spring Fling, which will take place the first weekend of April.

"People don't have a concept of it yet," McArthur said.

There was also a scheduling conflict, McArthur added, since a preacher from a local Tucson Christian church will also be on the UA Mall all week.

"We have to fight with a guy with a microphone," she said. "It shows what the priorities on campus are."

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