UWC scholars host Diversity Summit 2019 Community Dinner

Clare Merante, Contributing Writer

The University’s Davis United World College Scholars (UWC) organized the Diversity Summit 2019 Community Dinner on March 26. It was hosted by Anushikha Sharma ’19, Brishti Mandal ’20, Arsh Noor Amin ’21, Spandan Marasini ’21, Andrés Valenzuela Navarrete ’21, Ifunanya Maduka ’22, and International Student Services Director Jennifer Figueroa. The dinner, which started at 5 p.m. and lasted an hour and a half, focused on discussions of diversity. The attendees included many members of the student body, as well as University faculty and staff.


“It was great to hear the diverse perspectives of other Bucknell students and learn about their different experiences,” Gari Eberly ’21 said.


Upon arrival, the guests were asked to serve themselves. For dinner, there were potstickers, rice, vegetables, stuffed chicken, and soup. They also offered chocolate cake, tea, coffee, water, and iced tea.


At each table, there were sheets of paper and markers for attendees to write down answers to questions posed during the dinner. On the walls, there were flags from a few different countries. “We come together to learn, teach and, listen to each other. These dinners give us the chance to get to know one another through open conversation, to explore other understandings of the world, and to broaden our perspectives,” Sharma said.


The dinner was accompanied by a presentation, videos, and discussion that were all centered around nationality and the assumptions associated with it. For example, there was a video entitled “What kind of Asian are you?” where a white man assumed that a woman could not be American because of how she looked. There was also a clip from a TED talk in which a woman explained that there was an inherent privilege in asking someone “Why are you here?”


During the dinner, attendees discussed and wrote down answers to a few questions posed by the hosts. Some examples of questions are “How does one’s claim to the American identity define how much they know or need to know about the rest of the world?” and “How does our national identity connect with our identity as a global citizen?” After the attendees had talked about the questions posed, it was encouraged that the discussion be shared with the larger group, so the hosts offered microphones to whoever wished to speak.


From the group discussion, there were many touching, interesting, and funny stories shared. Siwon Sung ’21, an environmental engineering major, shared one of his experiences. “People always ask me where I’m from. When I say I’m from Korea, people normally want to show their own knowledge about the issue, so they’ll follow up with, ‘Are you from North or South Korea?’ Most of the time I just say North to see what happens,” Sung said.


The dinner was well-received by the audience, as the majority of attendees participated in the various discussions. “The nature of the dinner fostered communication and insightful discussion among several diverse members of Bucknell. I really enjoyed how the combination of mini-presentations from each presenter as well as group discussion with relative strangers allowed for such an atmosphere,” Sung said.


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