World council says goodbye with dinner celebration

Marshall University’s World Council members celebrated their achievements during a farewell dinner Thursday at Backyard Pizza and Raw Bar.

The organization, which is led by Maurice Cooley, associate vice president of the Office of Intercultural Affairs, encourages students from all over the world to come together and create a more inclusive campus.

“This is an organization where leaders from different organizations come together with students from all walks of life to create a more inclusive environment,” Ellen Castro, graduate assistant with the Office of Intercultural Affairs, said. “It helps bring students from different walks of like together.”

With the end of the fall semester approaching, Kasun Wijayagurusinghe, a graduate assistant with the Office of Intercultural Affairs, said he wanted to celebrate the goals that were accomplished during the semester.

“We really wanted to show our appreciation to everybody and all the work they’ve put into World Council this semester,” Wijayagurusinghe said. “This is really just a way to say good job before everyone goes home for break.”

Castro said World Council was busy all throughout the fall semester with various events that aimed to bring students together.

“Tea and Talk was the largest event over the fall semester,” Castro said. “The event was great because it gave us a chance to see the amazing things people can do when we all come together to talk about different natives or goals on campus.”

The event, which brought students and community members together Oct. 25 in the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall, sought to create conversations between attendees. Geanina Tambalive, a junior computer science major, said during the event eight attendees were sat at a varying table and given 20 minutes to share information about themselves or their culture. After the 20 minutes were up, attendees would then switch to different tables to ensure they met as many people as possible.

Tambalive said she was the member of World Council who came up with the concept behind the event after noticing a cultural divide on campus.

“When international students come here, they tend to stay with people from their country and don’t interact with people from other countries or Americans,” Tambalive said. “We really wanted to create an event that made people communicate with people who were different from them.”

Serving as the largest event for the fall semester, Wijayagurusinghe said he would like to see more Tea and Talk style events but as the spring semester approaches, World Council is already planning new events.

For now, Skylah Haught, a senior health science and nursing major, said she is exited for the future and hopes to see more students join the organization to hopefully gain better exposure to the world around.

“Learning about other people by meeting them and making new friends helps bring new perspectives into your life,” Haught said. “Once you step out of the fear of the unknown, you have an opportunity to learn from it and grow. That’s what I love about World Council. Everyone is open and curious about each other and members like hearing about your culture as much as they like sharing theirs.”

World Council will resume their monthly meetings in January.

Joelle Gates can be contacted at [email protected].