At the plaza behind Coffman Union, multiple student organizations gathered Friday, Sept. 27 to learn about different cultures, eat a variety of food and meet new people.
The Taste of Summer Fusion, a night-market-like event put on through a collaboration between Greek life organizations and multicultural organizations, created a platform for students to learn about various cultures through student performances, cultural food sampling and interactive activities. The event was spearheaded by Pi Delta Psi Fraternity, the first Asian American Fraternity organization at the University of Minnesota.
“We want this event to be a place where first-year and transfer students as well as other undergraduates can meet new people and socialize,” said Tyler Vongphachanh, the recruitment chair of Pi Delta Psi. “We want to provide a comfortable environment where they can find their community and another home away from home on campus.”
Sophomore Arleth Pulido, a member of the Sigma Lambda Gamma sorority, attended the event and said that she enjoyed it and hopes to see this event bring the University campus together.
“It is really interesting to see other people come in and kind of scope out the event and see what each organization is, and so hopefully bring the campus together and get a lot of information about the organizations,” Pulido said.
Other Greek life groups and University multicultural groups like the Vietnamese Student Association of Minnesota, the Indian Student Association and the Cambodian Student Association of Minnesota participated in the event.
Each student group had tabling activities designed to promote their own culture, such as language-matching games and guessing games. Many tables also had activities where students had to communicate with each other in order to win food.
Sophomore Jason Xu, a bioproducts and biosystems engineering major, said he was first attracted by the food but found the student groups interesting as well.
“I am here for the food, everyone knows that is true. But things they have is also pretty interesting too,” Xu said. “The event is pretty good, the food is good [and] the event is pretty fun.”
Kaiwei Wu, an officer in Pi Delta Psi, said that multicultural Greek organizations also had multiple performances during the event and he had high praises for “strolling.” Wu said strolling, a type of synchronized dance, is prominent in many multicultural Greek organizations and that many people don’t know about it.
Vongphachanh said there is a lot of diversity on the University campus and that it was “such a beautiful sight to see.”
“We have numerous cultural student organizations as well as culturally diverse organizations,” Vongphachanh said. “Each one has their own unique perspective, culture and background, and I highly encourage everyone to explore what other students at the University have to offer.”