International Students’ Day raises awareness for foreign students at ARC

There are numerous of internationally born students here at American River College. About twenty-five of them are in the International Student Association Club (ISAC), who celebrated International Students’ Day on Nov. 17.

A confrontation of Prague students on Nov. 17, 1939 against Nazi occupation encouraged the establishment of an anti-Nazi students union. Two years later, in 1941, the International Students Council in London declared Nov. 17 as International Students’ Day. That became the starting point of the founding of the International Union of Students. Today, International Students’ Day is treated as an international observance of student activism in a manner different than its original meaning; a number of universities around the world observe it as a nonpolitical celebration of the multiculturalism of their international students.

“Typically, we have posters that the students from the club have made,” said Jamil Malik, student personnel assistant of the ISAC at American River College. “Students highlight different information about their countries.”

The club used to have a big event on Nov. 17 called Multicultural Night. Hundreds of people gathered at ARC’s cafeteria to enjoy cuisine of different nations, spectacular fashion shows and talented performances. But since the school’s cafeteria has been under construction, the Club has not had a place to hold their Multicultural Nights for the last three years. It’s a temporary situation, however, and the ISAC is looking forward to resuming Multicultural Nights.

“We always have to see how the students can participate,” said Malik.

According to ISAC Vice President Leonel Edwards, the International Students’ Day helps build global solidarity and helps to connect people. “It’s one of those kinds of days we can share about people from different countries, how many of them are, help others to understand what these people are going through in (the) foreign world and that helps us to be closer and understood,” said Edwards.

This year, the International Student Association Club held an International Students’ Day celebration with an activity on Nov. 14 at the Rose Marks Quad, which included a fundraiser barbeque for in order to help the Club, as well as donations, posters made by international students, flags of different countries and traditional activities.

“We would like people to be more aware about international students’ life,” said Edwards. “I wish we (would) become more noticeable and involved in campus.”

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