Stepping into the MacVittie College Union was like stepping into international territory on the night of Friday April 14. In partnership with Geneseo Late Knight, Wyoming Hall—otherwise known as Global Housing—held their International Night.
There, students teamed up to create their own fake nations—complete with slogans and national animals—and competed against rival nations in a series of party games monitored by the GLK staff.
“International Night is about different people coming together to build new friendships, and to gain acquaintance with other cultures,” GLK staff member, anthropology major junior Darnisha Buckley said.
The idea for the event came from GLK graduate assistant Molly Cole’s work with Allegany and Wyoming’s area coordinator.
“Wyoming is known as Global House, and we wanted to incorporate the residence hall for an event,” Cole said. “We had a lot of ideas, and we thought the most fun would be a challenge night with an international theme to give our best taste of other cultures.”
Students arriving at the event were encouraged to separate themselves from the groups that they had come with so that they were making groups with people that they didn’t know. When students entered the ballroom, they wrote their nation’s name, slogan and other various facts on a poster board with their group’s input.
Some took their nation-building task more seriously than others—but having fun was the most important goal for the night.
“We’re making a Shrek-related country,” biology major sophomore Josephine Kwan said.
“Our motto is ‘This is our swamp,’” English major senior David Sabol said. “Because we’re territorial.”
After they created their nations, groups were lead to various parts of the Union, from the mailroom to the lounges. Each area had a task for the teams to complete. Their progress was recorded by GLK staff members, who collected points and tallied the scores to determine the nation with the most points who would win at the end of the night.
Activities ranged from “Minute to Win It” styled games—where participants had to tie a tissue box stuffed with ping pong balls around their waist and shake out as many pong balls as they could within a minute—to oversized board games.
Each station was styled after a specific country. For example, the Italian activity was a life-sized Jenga set. Traditional Italian music played in the background to set the atmosphere, as students carefully pulled out and stacked the massive wooden slabs.
The activities promoted teamwork within the groups—and were just plain fun.
“Our activity is for teambuilding,” psychology major sophomore and Allegany resident assistant Cara Dejesus said. “I’m looking forward to seeing people struggle.”
Even when teams struggled, they didn’t look as if they were. Teams eagerly completed each task and ran from one to the other, looking to rack up as many points as possible. The night concluded with international karaoke in Wyoming until 1:30 a.m.
No matter what nation you came from, International Night was a successful merger of cultures—real, and imaginary.