Students, faculty and St. Joseph community members got the chance to travel the world on Wednesday without ever stepping foot outside of campus.
The International Fair, which included international food, dances, fashion and music, was held in the Fulkerson Center allowing those who were interested to walk around the room and meet with Missouri Western students from all over the world.
At the beginning of the fair, each participant was given a passport that they then got to bring with them around the room to each of the countries being represented. Marcus Triplett, who works in the international office at Missouri Western as the student programer, was the MC for the event.
“We have 23 cultural tables set up today, but as a whole in the program there are over 30 places represented,” Triplett said. “St. Joseph isn’t exactly the most diverse community. You go to college and you either break out of your original hometown or you cultivate your hometown to some degree, and I think that would include understanding different cultures.”
Triplett also spoke about the importance of allowing diversity to come into St. Joe so that people of St. Joe can understand diversity better.
“Events like these can really help students,” Triplett said. “When students do enter the workplace in places like Kansas City or surrounding areas, they’re not completely taken off guard and unaware of how to handle a situation.”
There were multiple people who helped set up and work the event, including junior Caleb Poku, who works on campus as a student classroom technician.
“The reason why we do it is because we want people to know different cultures from different countries and what they really do and what kind of food they eat,” Poku said. “I feel that it is really important for our American people to know about these different places and practices. Each table has different food and things to show you how beautiful their country is.”
Former Missouri Western student Jordan Conard, who graduated back in 2010, came back for the event to help partake in the activities going on.
“I think that events like these are very important because it brings people together,” Conard said. “It builds friendships and relationships.”
With many people coming to the fair, there were lines at each table and plenty of chairs filled. Events like these help show that we don’t always need to fly overseas to find different cultures and new things to learn.