Students of all races, cultural backgrounds and religions united for dinner and dancing at the Thanksgiving Gala Friday night at the J.W. Marriott, a hotel in Northwest D.C.
The event, sponsored by the Program Board, the International Student Organization, the International Student Society and the Student Activities Center, was the culmination of Religion Week.
It’s a great way to get off campus and still be with students, senior Melissa Peterson said.
The theme of the night was The Spirit of Faith, and the guests were given power beads, which symbolize things such as trust and love.
The event drew about 150 guests, who grooved on the dance floor to the sounds of Steve, a disc jockey who plays at local clubs such as Polly Esthers.
It’s a completely secular party, said Ni-cheng Liang, co-chair of Cultural Affairs for PB. We wanted to unite the International Students with the American students.
With international students, they are not intermingled with us very often, said Liang’s co-chair Andrea Bautista. This is a good excuse to get together. They don’t go away for Thanksgiving. This is a way to intermingle with U.S. kids and learn a little bit.
I think it gives you a different perception of our University, senior Edith Valenzuela said.
Guests said they enjoyed the event, but some said they wished that it was not so American-centric.
It’s hard to complain about, said senior Nick Krupa. It’s nice to have a cultural platform. They are playing all American music.
Dunk Yabe and Koruko Tsunasachima, graduate students who attended the event, said they believed the event was a good idea but said there still has to be more done to bring together international and American students.
Senior Jennifer Anderson praised the event for getting students together.
You’re not in your little bubble, Anderson said.