IMSSO to offer cultural experiences

The Office of International and Multicultural Student Services (IMSSO) will host a variety of events on campus this semester for students.

Friday from 6-8 p.m., it will host the Valentine’s Day Masquerade Ball in the Young Ballroom. The event will feature an announcer, a chocolate fountain, a photo booth and more.

Lindsey Ingmire, international student advisor and assistant director for programming, said that unlike other IMSSO events, this one has a “very American theme.”

On Feb. 19 from 6-9 p.m., it will host its Chinese New Year celebration.

Ingmire said the usual celebration, which several cultures partake in, is like Christmas and New Year’s Eve combined.
The event will feature food, performances and more. Students in attendance can expect to see a lot of red, as it is the color symbolizing good luck in Chinese culture.

Light The Nigh” will take place on Feb. 25 from 6-9 p.m. at the Hindsman Bell Tower. The event is an international festival with representatives from several countries exposing students to their various food, decorations and cultural activities.
Ingmire said, “It’s like the Epcot Center right here in Russellville.”

Each country’s representatives will be judged based on their activities and other aspects, with first place winning $300, second place winning $200 and third place winning $100.

Students in attendance will have the opportunity for one-on-one time with each country’s representatives. Ingmire encouraged students to ask questions.

“They’re very proud and excited to share their culture with us, just as we are to share our culture with them.”

On March 6 from 4-5 p.m. on the courtyard of Doc Bryan, the Indian Holi Festival will be celebrated, with the tradition of throwing various colored powders.

This will be Ingmire’s first Holi Festival celebration since taking a position with the IMSSO, which she said has “been a really fun learning curve. I’ve learned a lot about different cultures I’ve never studied before.”

The IMSSO also offers 50-minute tours of various countries throughout the semester. Each tour features details on the country’s food, clothing, holiday celebrations and more. Details on each tour can be found on the IMSSO’s web page — www.atu.edu/imsso.

Ingmire encourages all students to come to these events, especially American students.
“Sometimes American students, I think, feel like they’re not really supposed to be there, but they are,” Ingmire said. “We welcome everyone to come.”