The week of Nov. 13 was Geography Awareness Week at Sinclair. Students, faculty and guest speakers came together on the upper level of the library loggia to learn, and celebrate the event.
This week long series of events was organized by the International Education Office and had a couple goals. The first was to show the international students of Sinclair that they are appreciated. The second was to provide a chance for students to learn about what lies in the world beyond Sinclair and for them to grow their awareness of these places.
In his opening speech on the first day, Scott Markland, Vice President of enrollment management and student affairs stated, “Your presence here enriches the lives of our broader academic community.”
Markland says that the surrounding community can learn a lot from the presence of the international students on campus.
He says that not only can this give students the chance to interact with people from different cultures, it can broaden students’ perspective and acceptance. By learning about other cultures, even though many students may not get to travel outside of state, they can slightly experience and learn what it is like to live there.
The week started out with International Student Recognition hosted by the International Education Office. After Markland’s short introduction speech, the mic was handed off to an international student at Sinclair, and he talked about where he was from and why he came here.
The event continued with all sorts of students coming up and saying what country they were from to show the many parts of the world Sinclair reaches.
Tuesday’s event dealt with a common, and sometimes controversial marriage practice in other countries. Participants met in building 2 room 334 to hear Jay Patel, a Sinclair student, talk about his experiences living in an arranged marriage.
While not commonly practiced in America, arranged marriages are commonplace within some cultures and religions such as Islam or Hindu. The practice is centuries old, and can fall into a few different categories.
The first of which is a suggested arranged marriage. In this type, the parents choose and then leave it up to the children. If the couple says they do not want to stay together, most of the time their wishes will be respected, and the search will start again.
Conversely, there is the traditional forced marriage, where the decision is made by the parents and is permanent.
Tuesday’s events continued with the showing of the movie “Two Blue Lines,” directed by Tom Hayes. This movie was shot over a 25 year period, and explores the conflict of Israel and Palestine, or rather the settlement of Israel on the Palestinians. It covers a very broad stroke of time from before all the way up to current day, ranging from topics such as political relevance to people.
Wednesday’s event was Study Abroad Stories, a largely open conversation oriented event focused around students. Gathering in the Library Loggia, students had the opportunity to meet and converse, and many stories were told about their experiences outside Sinclair walls.
Geography Awareness week offered students the opportunity to observe the outside world from the comforts of campus. Information about the world beyond Sinclair was provided through conversation, presentations and a movie.