The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


The Student News Site of Gannon University since 1947


Students take world tour at international night

The International Student Office (ISO) is bringing the world to the Gannon and Erie community 6 p.m. Saturday at the Hammermill Center with its annual International Night titled “Taste and See the Goodness of the World.”

With the help of GU Squared: Global Unity at Gannon University, a student-run organization on campus, the ISO promises a night of exotic food and entertainment from around the globe, said Judy van Rheenen, office director.

The crowd will get to try food from 28 countries including El Salvador, France, Sri Lanka and South Africa. Students will also be showing their cultural heritage by wearing their traditional clothes and performing popular dances from countries like Ireland and India, Van Rheenen said.

International Night has been an annual tradition at Gannon for over 20 years. International students at Gannon are committed to this night, which is entirely dedicated to them, Van Rheenen said.

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“The students bring their dishes, talents and spirits inhopes of sharing their individuality with the rest of the world,” Van Rheenen said. “They bring us a bit of their homes.” Van Rheenen also said that several Gannon faculty members who come from foreign countries are also performing on stage and cooking food. For instance, Assistant Professor Dorothy Kalanzi from the sociology department and Professor Mehmet Cultu from the engineering department are both preparing food from the Philippines and Turkey, respectively.

According to Ana Hameedi, president of GU Squared, International Night is a night of favorable uniqueness and exciting flavors.

“When students danced and sang last year, I was filled with appreciation for them and their homes,” Hameedi said. “Their dances and music took me to where they came from, and for a few minutes, I was abroad.”

According to Van Rheenen, about 400 people from around Erie came to last year’s International Night. This year’s night is expected to attract 400-500 people.

Gannon students especially enjoy this event on campus.

“International night is one of the biggest, most lively events on campus,” said John Simmons, a Canadian student at Gannon. “The event sheds the light on international students and gives them the chance to present their countries through a new lens.”

Participants, too, are eager to take part in making the night successful and refreshing.

“This night is the perfect night to meet people from around the world,” said Cai Menglong, a participating student from China. “I love watching people interact and share their experiences with one another.”

Van Rheenen said she loved watching students rise up to an event of which they’re the center of attention.

“International students experience life in the U.S. on daily basis,” Van Rheenen said. “This event provides the opportunity to Americans to experience foreign and unfamiliar cultures too, even if it was just for a night.”

Tickets are on sale at the ISO and the GU Squared table at the Waldron Campus Center. Adult tickets are sold for $10; students’ for $5 and children under five get in for free.


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