Students hold cultural reception

Miranda Bond and Miranda Bond

Around 40 multicultural students and faculty members gathered in Jerome Library yesterday for a reception hosted by the Multicultural Affairs Committee. The reception gave students from abroad studying at the University a chance to interact with each other and become familiar with the library and its staff. “The purpose of this reception is to welcome students of color and international students,” said Mary Wrighten, Multicultural Services Librarian . “We want to welcome them and to say to them that we are inclusive. Hopefully it will be less intimidating when they come to the library if they’ve had a chance to at least come to the reception and meet some of the staff. It’s our way of saying welcome and that we are here to help.”During the reception students socialized with others from different backgrounds while they dined on food provided by the library staff.”I had some friends here already; this is my first time meeting people from different cultures, and I’m really happy to meet people from different cultures,” said freshman Charlotte Kdudamo. Kdudamo recently moved to Bowling Green from Ghana.Many students like Kdudamo attended the event in order to meet people who were going though the experience of being in a foreign country. She is not alone because this year the University has an 8 percent increase of international students as compared to last year.After the students had a chance to socialize, the students were given an official welcome from Wrighten and Dr. Alberto Gonzalez, Vice Provost for Academic Services.Dr. Gonzalez stressed that students should feel they always have someone to lend a helping hand either through University faculty and staff or their peers.”One of the things to understand is regardless of your major, regardless of what graduate program that you might be in, all of the students may be struggling, all of the students may have some self doubts, all of the students might be thinking about other places to be,” Dr. Alberto Gonzalez said. “Remember we are all in this same boat together; the more we share, the more we interact the better off we will be.”Groups like the Multicultural Affairs Committee are one of the resources international students have to help them adapt to the changes they are experiencing. The Multicultural Affairs Committee is a committee of the library. The group was formed to maintain a proactive and inclusive environment in the library.”I think that the best aspect of the committee is that we work very hard to make the library inclusive to everyone,” Wrighten said.