The Student Movement


Cultural Clubs Wow During Preview Showcase

Andrew Francis

Photo by Terika Williams

One aspect of Andrews University that our administration and community values and loves to flaunt is the diversity amongst students on campus. With reputable news site U.S. News and World Report giving Andrews the number 1 within the United States in campus ethnic diversity, as well as placing within the top 10 in the most international students in the United States, highlighting this diversity and culmination of so many cultures has been a top priority of Andrews University Student Association (AUSA) as well as other student clubs on campus. With diversity being pushed to the forefront of campus topics, “AUniverse: A Cultural Showcase” was planned and hosted in the Johnson Gym by a collective of Andrews’ cultural clubs.

The Cultural Showcase entered its second year of existence with some hoping for the program to continue to be an annual event. Occurring conveniently during a high school preview weekend, AUniverse began with much anticipation on Saturday, March 11. Clubs such as the Korean American Student Association (KASA), Southern Asia Student Association (SASA), Andrews Caribbean Club (ACA), and the Andrews University Latino Association (AULA) each put on unique displays of the cultures they represent through singing, dance, skits, or other musical and artistic performances. With so much variety in culture across the globe being represented through Andrews University’s student body the night was jam packed with a variety of entertainment that left current students, prospective preview students, and all other viewers alike wanting even more.

Solana Campbell (junior, business management), the president of SASA, says that the goal of their showcase “was to really aim to represent South Asia as more than a monolith. We emphasized fashion from various states and countries around the part of the world we represent in order to show that South Asia is more than just lehengas! Then, we ended the performance with an energetic dance mashup of recognizable South Asian songs. I just hope that people were able to soak in the beauty and energy of South Asian people and cultures.”

In between the showcases, members of each club joined a panel to answer questions such as, “What does culture mean to you?” They shared that culture is a way of communication, and that our racial and ethnic backgrounds should be shared with others. An example of this was seen in the dances that AULA displayed.

As a participant of the AULA dance showcase, Lily Burke (senior, anthropology, English, and Spanish) recounted, “It was such an honor to dance with the AULA club and members of the audience for our part of the showcase. Dance is a massively important component of so many cultures, and it was so beautiful to see Andrews unite to celebrate these cultures on their own terms. The AULA part of the program included a Colombian folk dance performed by AULA ladies in gorgeous traditional outfits, then guys in fútbol jerseys showed off some tricks. Last, a group of dancers came together to end the our part of the program with a dynamic dance that combined several Latin dance styles.”

The vibrant style and unique customs of each group impacted many attendants.

Kayla-Hope Bruno (senior, psychology) observed the event and said, “The AU Cultural Showcase was amazing, I enjoyed every performance especially the KASA and SASA club’s performances. Each club brought their own charismatic energy. I also liked the idea of the panel which brought to public some issues that many students have spoken about in private about the current state of diversity that is present here on campus.”

I was able to speak with Farrah Murray (freshman, biology), who said, “Besides the performance I was in, I enjoyed the Korean [KASA] and Filipino [AFIA] club’s performances because they were filled with color and numerous creative aspects.”

Enlai Wang (senior, biology) said, “I really enjoyed AULA’s and AFIA’s performances because they were so energetic and engaging.”

All in all, I believe most students are looking forward to the third AUnited weekend next year. The opportunity to view numerous ways of life adds to the education that Andrews students receive. As future world changers we must remember the lesson we’ve learned on campus: we are all more similar than we think.

The Student Movement is the official student newspaper of Andrews University. Opinions expressed in the Student Movement are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors, Andrews University or the Seventh-day Adventist church.