CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Back from a temporary hiatus, the Island University’s International Student Organization (ISO) recently re-formed and hosted the seventh Parade of Nations on April 25. The parade celebrated the many nationalities here on campus as one of the University’s many multi-cultural events. The Parade of Nations amplified the diverse voices of the student body through song and dance, promoting awareness and education of the different ways of life intertwining and coexisting on the Island.
“We’re very excited to have the ISO active again,” said Dr. Amy Aldridge Sanford, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Our international students are some of the very best students from their countries; they have superior leadership, cultural and organizational skills. The Parade of Nations is a good example of those talents at work. The ISO planned every aspect of the event and did a terrific job.”
Students and faculty members had the joy of experiencing a range of cultural performances and cuisine at the parade. It was held in the East Lawn, anchored by Bukky Babalola and Cem Filiz. International students represented their countries performing unique cultural dances from around the globe. Some countries represented were Colombia, Ghana, Iran, Ireland and Vietnam. The University is currently home to more than 800 international students including Olumide “TeeJay” Adeoye, public administration graduate student and President of ISO.
“As the saying goes, education is not limited to the four walls of the classroom. It also involves your environment,” said Adeoye. “We should strive to want to know more about others. Our world is very big. The only way we can learn more about others is to move closer to people outside our comfort zones.”
Awareness benefits everyone—not only the American students on campus. Recognizing and understanding the uniqueness of student demographics, professors will also be able to adjust their mode of teaching or addressing students. This benefits both the international students and the professors.
“I encourage people to diversify their experience,” said Olumide. “Cultural education is very important for every single individual to have.”
Both ISO and the parade originally began in 2009. The ISO aims to bring students of all nationalities together, educate one another and show everyone the beauty of diverse cultures on campus. By welcoming the coastal community to a new experience, ISO continues their goal.
To see previous performances, visit oie.tamucc.edu/parade.html.