Global students bridge the cultural gap on campus

The Student Union Building served as the hub of heritage as students were invited into an awareness of Spanish culture.

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Global students bridge the cultural gap on campus

Photos & Collage by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES

Photos & Collage by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES

Photos & Collage by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES

Photos & Collage by Thecla Li / THE CHIMES

Eliana Park, Freelance Writer

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Once every month, global students wake up the rest of Biola’s student body to a morning of culture, community and collaboration.

Wednesday Wake-Up is an event hosted by the Global Student Programs and Development bridging events team, a group of students whose aim is to develop a community between international and local students as well as broaden others’ perspectives to become more globally minded, GSPD’s fundamental vision which is shared by administrative coordinator Noelle Delacruz.

The GSPD: Spain booth served Paella, a traditional Spanish rice dish, curated a slideshow of Spain, and invited students to participate on Sept. 19 on the SUB walkway. Beside the booth was bridging events team coordinator Ye Jeong Lee, a global student who was born in Korea and lived as a missionary kid in Kenya. Through these bridging events, Lee hopes to collaborate with global and local students to “let their voices be heard,” he said.

Community events coordinator Alden Rasilim, a global student who calls Indonesia his home, said that while there is solidarity among most global and local students, there still exists an intentionality issue on both entity’s ends. However, he believes central community events such as Wednesday Wake-Up is a way to be purposeful about people, not despite of their differences, but because of it.

Rasilim said that it is important that people should know about GSPD because they are “promoting a Christ-like way of thinking,” in addition to celebrating the enrichment of students’ cultural identities as a larger community.

Delacruz says that the extension of a more diverse voice across campus stems from the safe community built among global students. GSPD’s hope is that they would be coached and commissioned to serve in student leadership so that global voices would not just be limited to the department.

“We understand kingdom culture and being God’s family much better when we’re able to hear all the stories and to value that in each other,” Delacruz said.

With over 40 home countries represented by those involved with GSPD, events like Wednesday Wake-Up encourage the entirety of Biola’s student body and faculty to pursue diversity.