Students gathered in GW’s Hillel Center to celebrate an evening of creativity, inspiration and diversity at the second annual Flavors of the World Thursday.
The coffee house, organized by Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and the Multicultural Intercollegiate Career Committee, featured contests, mingling, and an open-mic segment in which students offered different perspectives on diversity.
“A night like this allows students to open their minds and listen to people with unique and different perspectives on life,” junior Roger Kapoor said at the event.
The open-mic segment attracted an assortment of performers ranging from four-year-old Christopher Saulny, who performed The Baha Men’s “Who Let the Dogs Out,” to D.C. resident Xavier Rosario, who offered original poetry.
“I love poetry because there’s a lot behind the face and a lot behind the person that you can’t discover until they express themselves,” Rosario said.
Felipe Cascillo, a District resident who said he heard about the coffee house from a friend, recited an untitled original poem in Spanish.
The audience colored paper tablecloths throughout the night while they listened to performers. Halfway through the event, three students from the International Affairs Society judged the drawings and awarded gift certificates to places such as Coney Island and Au Bon Pain.
“It was great to see college students playing with crayons,” said sophomore Randi Rothbaum, a contest judge.
Audience members also won prizes in a raffle, including sophomore IAS member Bridget Grage, who won a $20 Gap gift certificate. Grage also judged the drawing contest.
Junior Emmanuella Duplessy, a host and organizer of the event, said the night was an overall success, but did suffer from a lack of funding after some sponsors withdrew their support.
“There was a lot of last-minute stress when we lost a lot of funding last week, but the Multicultural Student Services Center granted us money through the Diversity Program Clearinghouse,” Duplessy said.
Duplessy worked with graduate student Eddie Lara to organize the first Flavors of the World last year.
“We both came up with an idea for this event independently of each other last year, and then we met and talked about it and our ideas collided,” Lara said.
They also organized this year’s event together.
“I’m mostly worried about who is going to continue this tradition once we both graduate,” Duplessy said. “It’s such a great event that we can’t let it die out.”