Students help organize showcase for first time

Allison Declercq-Matthäs, Contributor Ω

Mary-Grace Maung (blue) and Tiffany Rivette (red) performing the Soran Bushi at the International Days showcase. - Photo by Allison Declercq-Matthas

Mary-Grace Maung (blue) and Tiffany Rivette (red) performing the Soran Bushi at the International Days showcase. – Photo by Allison Declercq-Matthas

Smiling merrily and calling over passing people above the roar of Student Street were three women amongst a crowd, handing out candy and promoting the newly formed Intercultural Council. Their participation in International Days has gone far beyond promoting the council. Tiffany Rivette, Mary-Grace Maung and Tatyana Dikareva and Celo Pádua, were the first students in the history of International Days to contribute to the organization and operation of the showcase.

“I think the only thing we didn’t have a hand in was the food booths,” Rivette said.

Intercultural Council faculty advisor Craig Engleson recruited the students to assist four faculty members assigned to segments of the showcase — the fashion show, the performances, volunteers and scheduling.

Invited to their first meeting in October, the girls were shocked to find only four students and two faculty members in attendance.

They initially obliged when they were asked to focus on one segment each, but in the end worked together.

“We were under the impression we were going to take on a bigger role,” Rivette said.

They approached the International Student Advisors about a more active position and recruited performers and volunteers.

Tatyana Dikareva (middle) performed a Russian dance at the International Showcase on Friday, Feb. 8. - Photo by Allison Declercq-Matthas

Tatyana Dikareva (middle) performed a Russian dance at the International Showcase on Friday, Feb. 8. – Photo by Allison Declercq-Matthas

Not only was communication an issue, but a flood of late entries into the showcase created problems.

“By the time we closed the application deadlines everybody else wanted to join,” Dikareva said. ”It was really hard to say, ‘Sorry, we have no room for you.’”

As the finale loomed the girls said the hard work was worth it.

“It’s something that we can use and apply to other things,” Maung said.

Rivette acknowledged that the organization and execution was a challenge but said, “The thing with an event this size is, we get to watch it all pay off.”