Marshall celebrates World Fusion Day

Marshall University’s third annual World Fusion Day on the Memorial Student Center plaza gave students and faculty a taste of exciting and different cultures, values and ways of life Wednesday afternoon.

The celebration, sponsored by World Council, showcased the cultures of various student organizations with free snacks, activities and displays available to the campus community.

Ellen Castro, graduate assistant in the Office of Intercultural Affairs, said the event gives students the opportunity to come together and celebrate their differences.

“I think it’s really important, especially for Marshall’s campus, because there are so many students from different places all around the world,” Castro said. “It’s nice to have everyone join together and be experienced and exposed to other cultures.”

Students were able to visit each table as they made their way around the plaza, stopping for a quick snack or engaging in a conversation about each culture.

Shinn Takase, outreach coordinator for the Japan Outreach Initiative, had a table at the event to promote his culture and enhance understanding.

Takase said World Fusion Day also helps students have more of an appreciation for ways of life which differ from their own.

“Even though we have the general idea that the campus should have more diversity, it’s quite difficult to gather together in the same place at the same time,” Takase said. “I think people can appreciate all of it, food and activities, and I’m very proud of offering those services as a part of Japan Outreach.”

Maurice Cooley, associate vice president of Intercultural Affairs, said universities should be a place where students can grow and become more knowledgeable not just within a certain field of study, but outside of their comfort zone as well.

“The purpose of coming to universities is for students to grow and learn about the boundaries of the world, which includes other people and other societies, other cultures,” Cooley said.

Cooley said World Fusion Day is an opportunity for everyone within the campus community to expand their knowledge.

“It’s an opportunity for a cross-mix of all of our students and faculty to take little short visits and have conversations to learn more about lives and cultures, the values and the principles of other people,” Cooley said. “You develop a relationship with new people, so you become expanded and the world becomes easier for us to navigate because you are more knowledgeable.”

The World Fusion Day celebration was part of Marshall’s Unity Month, which promotes an open and socially conscious community.

Hanna Pennington can be contacted at [email protected].