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Editorial

Culture Fest to be hosted, bring perspective to UWRF

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November 5, 2009

In light of recent events here at UW-River Falls, it is important that students make a conscience effort to take place in multi-cultural educational opportunities outside the classroom.

On Wednesday, UWRF will host Culture Fest, an annual Fall event that celebrates different facets of various ethnic groups. Sponsored by the Asian-American Student Association (ASA), the festival, held in the University Center Ballroom, will feature songs, dances, performances, a fashion show and much more from a variety of international cultures, the bulk of which Asian.

The Student Voice Editorial Board wants to encourage all UWRF students and faculty to attend the Culture Fest.

Each year, the Fest is relatively well attended, although it isn’t as popular as spring’s International Bazaar because Culture Fest doesn’t have ethnic food, according to one ASA member. But the lack of food is no reason to miss out.

Last week’s race-related graffiti proved that, although this University and the country have taken progressive steps forward, there is still bigotry born of ignorance in our society. At least part of that ignorance stems directly from cultural misunderstandings.

The Culture Fest represents a fun and welcoming opportunity for students to raise their cultural awareness and learn a little about ethnic groups outside their own. Events such as this help break down cultural barriers and eliminate that misunderstanding, thus making our student body more rounded and informed.

The world is shrinking as technology increasingly interconnects the globe. Because of that, it is becoming not a perk but a requirement that new recruits entering the job market bring with them an informed global perspective.

UWRF offers multi-cultural courses, even has a degree requirement to take one, but half of all learning that occurs in college happens outside the classroom. The Culture Fest is a perfect opportunity to learn and grow in an energetic atmosphere, one in which you may interact with and ask questions of fellow students that are performing.

This event is an extremely important one for a campus that claims to be diverse and inclusive. Those signs at the edge of town are meaningless if UWRF does nothing to promote and further multi-cultural education. A lot of students work very hard to put on the Culture Fest, and they do so in order to help make this campus a better place. But personal growth is impossible without participation.

So take even 30 minutes on Wednesday to walk around the Fest. Strike up a conversation or ask a few questions. Do something, and in so doing help UWRF fight against incidents such as the racist graffiti. It is only through education that we may learn tolerance.