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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

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Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

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Africana Studies Student Association takes home 3rd annual Culture Fest trophy

Students+playing+tug-o-war+during+the+third+annual+Culture+Fest.+The+event+took+place+on+Nov.+15+at+Fresno+States+Memorial+Gardens.
David Victor/The Collegian
Students playing tug-o-war during the third annual Culture Fest. The event took place on Nov. 15 at Fresno State’s Memorial Gardens.

The Study Abroad Office hosted its third annual Culture Fest as a part of International Education Week on Nov 15.

Multicultural clubs on campus gathered at the south Memorial Gardens outside the Speech Arts Building to play games, listen to music and enjoy snacks.

“We wanted to see how involved multicultural clubs were on campus. We wanted to feel that there was a need to recognize all the work that they do during the year because they contribute to our mission of internationalization,” said Marcela Magdaleno, a study abroad adviser.

Culture Fest served as an event to bring people from different cultural backgrounds together and promote diversity on campus.

“We had 13 clubs that RSVP’d and they’re all specific in a culture or a diverse mission,” Magdaleno said.

Among the clubs that participated in the event were Study-Abroad, the Africana Studies Student Association (ASSA), Le Cercle Francais (French language club), and the Hmong Student Association.

Participants represented their respective clubs in a series of activities to compete for the event’s Greatest of All Time (G.O.A.T.) trophy.

Activities during the Culture Fest event included tug-o-war, knocking over plastic cups with frisbees, a soccer penalty shootout and a garbage bag race.

The Africana Studies Student Association club won the trophy, which was passed on to its members by the Hmong Student Association, the winning club from last year’s event.

The event is seen by some students as an opportunity to find out about the lifestyles and traditions of other people coming from several ethnic and cultural groups while also connecting with their peers.

Johnae Glover, ASSA president, said Culture Fest is not only enjoyable to attend but helpful when it comes to learning about people from different backgrounds and their customs.

“I think it was a fun little event that can bring out other clubs and organizations,” Glover said. “The importance [of the event] I say was to learn about the different cultures on campus and learn about the different organizations and what they do, what they bring and what they’re all about, and learn some new information about different cultures.”

Alexandria Lor, a member of the Hmong Student Association, said Culture Fest is an event that promotes the image of Fresno State’s campus community.

“It just goes to show that there are a lot more organizations and cultural diversity on the Fresno State campus and it’s just really nice to see how we could all come together and have fun and just put aside our differences and just embrace our similarities and have fun together,” Lor said.

Diversity is one of Fresno State’s core values. To uphold these values, Magdaleno said it’s important that people from all backgrounds and cultures feel welcome on campus, which is a goal Culture Fest intends to help the university accomplish.

More specifically, Magdaleno emphasizes assisting international students who may have trouble navigating college as they adjust to life in the United States.

“I think diversity and internationalization is something that is reflected in our student population, so these types of programs are very helpful for students to feel like at home, especially our international students,” Magdaleno said.

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