International Student Office hosts open-mic night at university cafe

Gannon University’s international student population is becoming more prevalent on campus.

The One Green World Café, located on the first floor of the International Student Office in the Zurn Science Center, will have a jam session at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

The jam session is an informal open-mic style gathering where students, faculty and staff will have the opportunity to listen to the musical talents of various Gannon students and employees.

Students are even welcome to join in on the jams by cheering and singing, if they so choose.

Jason Steinberg, associate director for the International Student Office, said he is excited about the event because it isn’t formally structured. “I think it’s going to be a beautiful thing,” he said. “It’s going to be haphazard and random, which will make it enjoyable for all the attendants.”

After the opening acoustic set, Steinberg said that anyone who wants to perform is welcome to get on stage and showcase their talents.

“We’ve got several guitarists lined up, and we have students who can sing, rap and even play the violin,” he said. “We’re going to encourage them to just mix it up and jam out on stage in a spontaneous way.”

In addition to various Gannon students performing, Dr. Christopher Magno, assistant professor in the criminal justice program, will play the drums, along with Metz & Associates, Ltd. employee Mike Isbell, who will play the guitar, and even Student Living Assistant Director Sher-Ron Jones who will do a comedic routine.

While the students and faculty are performing, the One Green World Café will feature new drinks for those in attendance. Peach and strawberry ice tea will be included, as well as jasmine tea with mint.

Kelsie Bunce, a freshman business administration major and manager of the coffee shop, said she is looking forward to the opportunity to expand its business.

“This jam is going to be a great way for people to enjoy the coffee shop and try out our new drinks while they’re here enjoying the music,” she said.

“We’ve been wanting to expand past coffee for awhile, so this will be ample opportunity for us to launch the new drinks we have available at the café.”

While the event is going on, Bunce and the other managers of the station will work as cocktail waitresses and take orders for the event’s attendants.

“We’re going to have someone at the actual coffee stand, but it’ll be easier for the attendants if we walk around and serve them, especially if it’s crowded,” she said.

“We want to make this experience enjoyable and convenient for everyone.”

In addition to the new flavored teas, the One Green World Café will also have coffee, tea, hot chocolate and dessert items available.

Bunce said that one of the goals of the jam is to help maintain an international presence on campus, which is where its partnership with the coffee shop coincides.

“The coffee shop is a place where international students can feel at home, but get the American experience at the same time,” she said.

Bunce also said that working at the coffee shop and getting to know the international students has been a great opportunity.

“Spending time with students of different nationalities and backgrounds has really opened my eyes,” she said.

“Growing up in America can make you think that life is simply one way, but when you spend time with other cultures, it really makes you more worldly.”

The café, in operation since October of 2010, is run by 25 international and 15 American students under the direction of the International Student Office.

When it originally opened in 2010, the coffee shop only served coffee and hot chocolate. They have since added dessert items and tea to the menu.

All the food served at the coffee shop is prepared and brought in by volunteers, and the coffee shop itself is staffed by volunteers and interns receiving academic credit.

Bunce said she is most excited for the open mic event because it will really bring together both Gannon’s international and American community.

“In the International Student Office, the international community has the chance to come together, socialize and get to know one another,” she said.

“Whatever events we can do to bring all of Gannon’s cultures together into one community is definitely worth it.”

JANAE BUTLER

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