The second Cultural Crossover returned to the Moody Coliseum concourse during Tuesday night’s basketball games. Guests were able to experience a slice of another country as they ate and learned about different cultures.
The Office of Multicultural Enrichment organized the event at the south side of Moody track, facing campus. The Cultural Crossover began at 5:30 p.m. and four student organizations were present at the crossover, each representing a different culture.
The groups present at the Cultural Crossover also competed for the best table, with a $200 prize sponsored by OME.
“It’s just a way for us to give back something to the other organizations,” said Byron Martin, director of the OME. “And this will help them with putting on another program they want to do.”
Three judges attended the event, including Martin. The contest was evaluated based on creativity, the types of food and table fun.
The African Students Association prepared a spread of African meatballs. The members also had a variety of wood-carved masks and traditional dresses that ranged in color so guests could learn about their culture.
International Students’ Association went with a sweet-tooth approach. They served a milk tea called Thai tea and assorted candies from different countries. A game was played at the table for people to guess the candy’s originating country for the opportunity to win a free T-shirt.
Hispanos Unidos went all out with flags from different Hispanic countries. The table had a rice dish, beans, quesadillas, a variety of beverages and chips and salsa. The members played Hispanic music from a jukebox and sang and danced to entertain guests.
Virtuous Sisterhood had a mixed-rice with seafood platter at their table. The cuisine had assorted vegetables that were cooked with some mussels, clams with rice. The members welcomed guests to try the dish and introduced the different nationalities represented in the Virtuous Sisterhood club.
The Cultural Crossover provides an opportunity for students who are interested another country to experience it right on campus and maximize exposure, Martin said.
“We have students who would love to sit down and tell you about their culture,” Martin said. “I think we have seen a lot of this spark from the Rwandan cyclists that were here on campus. We have Rwandan students here who can tell you what it was like and share stories about the genocide.”
Guinia Wooden, ISA vice president and junior nursing major from Mission, said she enjoyed participating in the event.
“I like how every group that was present made a point to participate,” she said. “Each club showed their uniqueness and what they bring to ACU. It was a really good event to interact with other people who you don’t normally see on a daily basis.”
Faith Abili, sophomore biology major and ASA member from Nigeria, said the event was a great way for ACU to share culture and interact with each other.
“It’s the true meaning of diversity,” she said. “What makes it fun is that you get to share your culture. Being so far away from home, sometimes it gets overwhelming. But when you get here, you realize it’s okay to share your culture with others.”
Like Abili, many international students are able to feel at home on campus by having events that promote diversity.
“Everyone was really open and willing to try new things,” Abili said.
Dr. Carley Dodd, professor of communication and dean of the graduate school, said the food is a great ice breaker for outsiders to come and appreciate the cultures.
“I went back for seconds to try different things,” Dodd said. “I love international food and this was well done. I know they would have done more if they had a big kitchen, but this is really great for something short notice like this.”
The organizations were prepared for the event, and attendees were able to go back for seconds and thirds.