PSU Vanguard Shield Icon

Raising diversity awareness

This week is nationally designated as International Education Week. The international affairs office has organized a week of events to raise awareness at Portland State.

An information fair is set to take place Thursday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the multicultural center, which is located in Smith Center, Room 228.

The fair will provide music, dance, costumes, flags and a door prize. Various student organizations will host information tables at the fair. Among them will be the Institute for Asian Studies, the study abroad program the Middle East Study Center, Black Studies, International Student Services, and more.

Debra Clemans, executive assistant in the office of international affairs, said that they only had one week to prepare for last year’s International Education Week. However, with more time and planning, they have been able to create a much bigger event this year. They are uniting with other departments and student organizations to provide more information and fun activities.

“We wanted to do something that would really draw people to international education and help our students understand what’s available,” Clemens said. “PSU has so many available resources to educate people, but people who aren’t international studies majors or involved in the international organizations don’t think about these issues until something like Sept. 11 happens.”

@cut:Mark Brogan, a freshman majoring in sociology and psychology, was not aware of International Education Week. However, after learning about it, he thinks it may have positive consequences. He said, “It can only help the effects of Sept. 11 … the racial profiling and people being mis-targeted.”

Ying Lin, a first year graduate student in urban and regional planning, is too busy to attend the information fair, but believes it to be valuable. She said, “Foreigners tend to stay in their own communities, so it will be good to get to know each other more, good for both groups of people.”

Dr. Robert Springborg, director of American Research Center in Egypt, will present a lecture today from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Lincoln Hall, Room 249. He will discuss globalization and its impact on the Middle East.

The Association of African Students and Education Without Borders will be hosting the “Books not Bombs” fund-raiser this Friday in the Smith Center Ballroom on the third floor.

They plan on raising enough money to ship books to schools in East Africa. Clemans said, “It’s a really great thing they’re doing … they have pulled together 30,000 book volumes.”

Secretary of Education Rod Paige stated in a press release, “Knowledge about the culture and language of our neighbors throughout the world is becoming increasingly important in the daily lives of all Americans. The events surrounding the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11 underscore that point.”

International Education Week was officially recognized for the first time last year, after President Clinton’s memorandum on international education policy.

It is organized through a partnership between the U. S. Department of State and the Department of Education. According to the Department of State Web site, “This initiative is part of our effort to encourage policies and programs that prepare Americans for a global environment and attract future leaders from abroad to study in the United States.”