Photos by Terra Atwood
Pepperdine’s second GlobalFest took place Friday, Jan. 27 in the Waves Cafe, informing Pepperdine students on how to be global citizens and creating international awareness.
When students arrived at GlobalFest, they had the opportunity to learn more about different cultures from International Program and cultural club booths. The booths had activities and games for the students to engage in. After receiving six or more stamps on a “passport” from the booths, participants could try up to five foods from different cultures. A stage was also set up for Hawaii club and Filipino club to perform on.
“Our vision for the year 202 is to be a global university,” International Programs Director Greg Muger said. “To do that, you need to be exposed, not just going abroad, but you need to have things here.”
Senior David Hong, coordinator of GlobalFest, said he was passionate about finding a different way to unify the community through diversity.
“Ever since I was a freshman, I wanted to be a part of an event of something on campus that brings everyone together,” Hong said. “I think especially nowadays, there’s nothing more necessary for our community than an event that celebrates diversity on the campus.”
After last year’s GlobalFest event, Hong said he and his team wanted more involvement with different governing bodies on campus including Student Government Association, The Board, Intercultural Affairs, Office of International Student Services and International Programs.
SGA Senior Class Senator Tate Sieber is an International Studies major with an emphasis on Intercultural Communication and has been passionate about global learning about global learning and the idea of being a global citizen. She said SGA is focusing on celebrating diversity and cultivating a sense of belonging for all students on campus.
“I feel that GlobalFest fits directly with this mission because it is truly a celebration of the different cultures represented on our campus as well as a chance for all students to become aware of the different cultural clubs and organizations that we have on campus,” Sieber said.
Sieber said SGA votes to allocate funds to policies and student engagement activities that align with the mission of the University and the vision of SGA.
“It’s good to know you’re financially backed by people who believe in your cause,” Hong said.
Hong said one of the biggest challenges for the community and the group he was working with was getting people with different perspectives to work for the one mission: increasing diversity while increasing inclusiveness at the same time.
“I came to Pepperdine because I have a passion to help people realize and fulfill their potential and crossing boundaries whether it’s local or cultural boundaries or halfway across the world that helps you realize who you are and where you’re going to go,” Muger said. “I want to provide that opportunity for students here and I believe that’s why I’m here.”
As the administrator, Muger said he gave Hong and his team a budget and a high-level goal of intercultural engagement and making the world a better place. He said GlobalFest was a student-led event to celebrate diversity. Hong said he put together a team of program ambassadors, members from OISS, and members from SGA.
“My biggest takeaway is that there’s always good in people,” Hong said. “I’ve learned to trust in our community, in our clubs, in our working and governing bodies on campus.”
Hong said they were able to have decorations and an entire performance with a stage with a bigger budget this year, bringing it to the next level.
Muger said twice the amount of people attended GlobalFest this year.
Senior Rahje Branch, president of Black Student Association, said there were more organizations this year and GlobalFest showed a different side of Pepperdine that students were able to engage and learn more in.
“I think timing wise has improved,” Branch said. “It’s on a Friday, people can stop by on their way to class or before they go to class.”
Junior Jacob Johnston tabled the Heidelberg, Germany booth, teaching students where they would go and what they would do around town in Heidelberg.
“I think people have taken away different tips and knowledge of what happens in each program and awareness of all the different programs and cultures that Pepperdine is giving us opportunities to experience,” Johnston said.
Muger said this event is for people that don’t know why they should be involved in anything intercultural or cross-cultural, experiencing cultural diversity here on campus.
“There is such beauty that’s here that doesn’t get celebrated and highlighted enough,” Muger said.
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