UIS Shows Cultural Diversity at
By Janee Mitchell
On Sunday, Oct. 24, UIS held its
27th annual International Festival. The theme of the
festival was Erasing Borders. The event was sponsored by the
Office of International Affairs. The evening included song and
dance representing the different groups and cultures at UIS.
The International Festival was
held from 4-8 p.m. The entertainment took place from 4-6 p.m.
and dinner was served from 6-8p.m. The entertainment began with
the soulful and harmonic beats of the Djembe drums, played by
the UIS Drum Circle.
The festival was culturally
diverse, both in its audience and performers. OLAS gave their
renditions of the salsa, merengue, Bachata and Cumbia dances.
The Descendants from Africa expressed the changing times in
Africa through music, their portrayal of the sanctity of
marriage and the emergence of the western culture in Africa.
Theresa San Luis, OLAS member, played her viola and the piano to
the tune of her originally composed song.
The Muslim Student Organization
gave a spiritual interlude in the midst of the entertainment.
They said that there are no borders in Islam and introduced
their diverse members to the UIS community.
The highlights of the
International Festival came with the performances by the
children of the local Montessori School, Philipino American
Organization and the Indian Student Organization. These
organizations won gift certificates for the best entertainment.
The race was tight for the title
of best entertainer and the festivalgoers already had their
winners in mind. Patty Fletcher, mother of an OLAS member, has
gone to the International Festival in the past and said she
enjoys the music and dancing. She wanted her daughters group,
OLAS, to win, but her second choice was the Philipino group.
Fletcher said she wanted the
Philipino group to win because they were different. There were
those with similar thoughts who should win. The race seemed like
a battle between the Philipino American Organization fans, OLAS
and Indian Student Organization.
The children from the Montessori
school warmed the hearts of those in attendance. They sang a
trilingual song (English, Spanish and Japanese) and introduced
themselves in three different languages. The children were
culturally diverse and, aside from their skin tones, there was
no indication of race. They were just children experiencing life
together with “no borders”, as the festival’s theme suggests.
The Philipino American
Organization won the audience’s vote with their rendition of the
Tinikling dance. The dance was almost flawless and well
organized. All the groups did a great job of showing the
diversity of their cultures. The performances were orchestrated
beautifully. The Indian Student Organization, however, stole the
The Indian Student Organization
had about 5 or 6 performances, all flawless and exciting. The
group could barely make it through a performance without the
ecstatic cheers of the audience.
The performances by the group
included cultural dances, a comical skit showing the experience
some Indians face in coming to a new school, and a dance solo
that made the audience go wild. The Indian Student Organization
concluded with a luxurious fashion show; it’s not hard to see
why they were chosen for Best Fashion.
Descendants from Africa also were
chosen for Best Fashion. Their performances included apparel
from at least three different periods in Africa’s history,
including the apparel after westernization. The costumes were
coordinated to match the performances and express their culture.
At the conclusion of the
entertainment session, festivalgoers were invited to a dinner
located in the Food Emporium. There they were introduced to the
traditional meals of the different countries represented in the
The menu included polish dill
pickle soup, arroz biro biro, quibes from Brazil, chicken
Biriyani, African Vegetarian Stew and a host of other popular
dishes from each country. The meals were very diverse; it was
interesting to see the different preparations of meals for
People from the different
countries and cultures ate meals from other places and
experienced diversity in many ways. The PAC Food Emporium was
full of tables with posters, knickknacks, maps and other items
from the different cultures.
Prizes were given to the groups
with the best booth. The prizes were won by China and Poland.
The booths were very informative and welcoming to passersby. The
groups who won the best booth, entertainment, and fashion were
given gift certificates to La Mex, Gateway to India, Taipan, and
UIS student and
faculty member bring LPH to campus
By Stephanie Orr
Eta, the official Communication studies honor society known as
LPH, is developing at the University of Illinois at Springfield,
thanks to Mike Searcy, assistant professor of Communication, and
Morgan Meade, a senior Communication major.
Searcy is in his first semester of teaching at
UIS and was surprised to see that there was not a chapter of LPH
already on campus. When he mentioned his surprise to another
faculty member he was told that there was a student, Meade, who
was interested in bringing a chapter of LPH to campus.
Meade transferred to UIS from Illinois State
University, where she was the charter vice president of
Communication Opportunities for Majors and Minors, an
under-classmen group that worked closely with ISU’s chapter of
Meade said bringing LPH to campus
is important because Communication students at UIS “need
something to build credentials.” According to Meade, the
organization will give students the opportunity to explore the
field of communication and help them decide what to do after
graduation. She also said that LPH will foster closer
relationships between students and faculty.
Searcy said that LPH “gives us an opportunity to
explore the expanse of where the communication discipline and
the communication industry interact.” Searcy also said that the
organization will help students who have been exposed to only
one part of the communication field learn about other parts.
Searcy plans to serve as advisor
to the chapter of LPH, and says that he intends to advise, not
lead the group. “This is a group that will primarily be
student-governed,” said Searcy.
Meade agreed the group will be student-run. She
said the students with the most interest will benefit the most
from being in LPH. “You get as much as you participate,” said
Shannon Carter, a sophomore Communication major,
supported bringing LPH to campus. “UIS needs more national
organizations simply to aid people in making connections after
college,” Carter said. She also said the organization might
deepen relationships and give UIS more of a community feel.
The first official meeting of LPH at UIS was
Oct. 4. The group elected the charter officers, which had to be
done before UIS could officially charter with the national
office. Meade was elected president.
The group also decided to meet at
9 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of every month, and
discussed possible activities for the group.
Activities discussed by the group
included touring local media outlets to gain a broader
perspective of the communication field.
To be eligible for membership in
LPH students must be Communication majors with 60 total credit
hours, 12 of those in Communication. Students must also maintain
a 3.0 overall GPA and a 3.25 GPA in the Communication
The next meeting of LPH is
scheduled for Nov. 3 at 9 a.m. in the University Hall Building,