The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

International students help Haiti

Posted at 10:00 p.m. 3/15/10

Even though the earthquake in Haiti occurred two months ago, fundraisers are still appearing around campus, including one held Friday night in Towers Commons.

“A lot of people don’t realize how much of an ongoing issue it is,” said freshman Sam Sirianni, president of Towers Hall Council. Sirianni helped plan and publicize the event.

The fundraiser included food, music, swing and salsa dancing lessons, traditional folk dancing and calligraphy. The Association of International Students, Towers Hall Council, Two to Tango, Salsa Clara, Malaysians Abroad Diversified and the German Club sponsored the event.

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Senior Daven Raj, president of the Association of International Students, was the brains behind most of the event, but he said collaboration was the key to making it a success.

“I was talking to my exec board, and we were thinking, ‘What can we do to help out with Haiti?'” Raj said. “And we figured we could bring the whole cultural experience to the campus.”

The authentic international food, available by purchasing tickets at 50 cents apiece, was one of the major attractions of the event. The food was prepared by American and international students alike.

The featured dishes came from several different countries, including Mongolian huushuur, a type of meat or veggie dumpling; French crepes, with a variety of toppings available to choose from; and Malaysian tangyuan, a dish of rice balls served in a sweet broth (something akin to bubble tea in the US). The rest of the dishes came from India, Mexico, Macedonia and Brazil.

Even though there have been several fundraisers for Haiti on campus over the past two months, junior Anna Havens said the appeal of this particular event was the emphasis on the sharing of cultures.

“I like the intercultural feel to it,” Havens said. “That’s really kind of cool.”

Junior Talia Rudahl felt the sponsoring organizations really made this fundraiser its own, rather than following in the footsteps of those that came before.

“This (fundraiser) seems to be a lot more give and take, where they’re actually giving (the donor) a lot more back,” Rudahl said. “It’s a lot more interactive ., and that’s really fun.”

Sirianni said that making this fundraiser more of an enjoyable Friday evening event was a major goal of the coordinating organizations.

While they were planning the event, he said, they looked at it and publicized it as “a fun thing going on on campus while also raising money and awareness about a serious current event.”

The event raised $461.40. All of the proceeds are being donated to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund.

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International students help Haiti