Kristen Skillman/The Hoya Students meditated at a Buddhist Meditiation Sanghra as part of iWeek Monday evening.
Kristen Skillman/The Hoya
Students meditated at a Buddhist Meditiation Sanghra as part of iWeek Monday evening.

This week, students will take a break from studying to learn Greek dancing, play cricket and cook African food as part of iWeek, a celebration of international students’ cultures sponsored by the Office of International Programs, despite several funding hurdles this year.

Student groups, including the African Society of Georgetown, Students for Justice in Palestine, the Georgetown Cricket Club and Ballet Folklorico Mexicano de Georgetown, will hold events representing their interests and cultures.

OIP grants $150 to each student group that sponsors an event, and student groups must find alternative resources for supplementary funding.

“This year we had some difficulty getting funding for the organizations so that was definitely a struggle,” International Students Sector Program Assistant Katie Mangialardi (COL ’16) said.

Mangialardi also said that cultural groups participating iniWeek have encountered trouble generating adequate publicity for their events this week, as the main outlet is a single Facebook page.

“Getting the word out is always a big thing for us,” she said.

However, campus-wide emails have encouraged some students to attend iWeek events, which run from Monday to Friday. Events kicked off with a half-hour meditation Monday night sponsored by the Buddhist Meditation Sangha, which Veronica Tovia (MSB ’16) attended.

“I’m very interested in Buddhism lately and tried it recently with a yoga instructor in Mexico,” Tovia said. “I saw it in an email for iWeek and I decided to come.”

Mangialardi said that she is most excited for the language exchange partner coffee hour Tuesday, which will promote the Language Exchange Program, a service that matches individuals who wish to practice foreign languages.  She also highlighted an art show in the Intercultural Center Galleria, run by the Georgetown University Student Association senate Subcommittee on the Arts. This art show is one of the subcommittee’s first actions since its formation in November.

GUSA senator and Subcommittee on the Arts Chair Lizzy Oh (SFS ’15) said that iWeek provides an opportunity to foster appreciation for student artwork at Georgetown.

“When GUSA established the arts subcommittee in the first place, we really wanted to bring artwork to campus — because it seems to be trapped in Walsh — and make it visible through an arts display,” Oh said.

Oh also aligned the goals of the Subcommittee on the Arts with the purpose of iWeek.

“We felt like the international students should be more involved with GUSA, and this is GUSA’s way of trying to recognize how international Georgetown is. Art is existent in every person and the subcommittee wanted to help foster creative expression on campus.”

She said hopes that the art show will help emphasize the important presence that foreign students have on campus.

“Our school is known for being internationally focused, but we don’t really see that outside [of] the classroom,” Oh said. “iWeek can really bridge the gaps between those who are international and those who are not international.”

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