The air was thick with the aroma of various ethnic dishes in the Shepherd Union atrium on Tuesday at the WSUSA convocations food expo, “Food Matters in Culture.”
The more than 600 students who attended the expo were able to taste foods from 11 different countries that included Spain, Mexico, Germany, France, American Indian, Asian Pacific, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Hispanic and African.
This not only helped fill students bellies, it also provided an opportunity for them to familiarize themselves with the various cultural clubs offered at WSU.
Areli Thomas, STEPS manager at the Multicultural Student center, said that the purpose of the event was to exposed all students to different cultures and also to promote arts.
“We, at the Multicultural Student Center, provide different services,” Thomas said.
The Multicultural center also has different area councils like the Hispanic area council and Black Scholars United.
“We want the students to be aware of what is available, so they can get involved and hopefully be active with the community and learn some leadership skills,” Thomas said.
The office of Student Involvement and Leadership does multiple convocations throughout the semester. Every month, they present one that includes either arts or a lecture series.
“A food expo is not exactly a lecture series,” said Tara Peris, assistant director of Student Involvement & Leadership.”We wanted to highlight culture, food and culture to connect with the engaged learning series of Food Matters.”
The showcase presented tables with the food of a country and, next to it, the cultural club of that country.
“It’s like a boat load of cultures,”said Kyle Froerer, a WSU communications major.
Peris said there were many students who passed by that were unaware of the many clubs that exist on campus. “The fun part is to see how diverse we are,” she said.
The expo helped the university’s cultural clubs to get the necessary exposure for students to enroll in those clubs.
The expo reveled how diverse the university is and that there is a significant amount of international students.
“I think is important for people to know that we are a very diverse university,” said Thomas.
With all the food being free, students were able to try foods they maybe wouldn’t have otherwise.
“It’s awesome,” Jacob Caleillo, a WSU student, said. “I’m the kind of person who loves to try different food.”