Before I came to Mercer, I heard of the university because of an event conducted by Mercer’s Indian Cultural Exchange (Mercer ICE) in 2006 known as Rangoli. Rangoli was a South Asian dance competition that included other universities from Georgia and the neighboring states. Many of my friends and a family member were a part of the dance team that performed at Rangoli. Mercer’s Chamatkaar dance team has participated and won in this competition in the previous years. It was an event that brought together students and faculty members from campus, along with people from Macon. Hosting an event like Rangoli or one with a different organization brings together the people from around the world into our world of Mercer.
Not only do these events bring people together, but they help greatly with the learning experience at Mercer. If students are exposed to other lifestyles, they will take part in programs such as Mercer Abroad and Mercer on Mission. Traveling to other countries to learn has been a highlight of many students’ experience at the university.
Out of the 161 organizations that offer a variety of learning opportunities, Mercer has a total of eight multicultural organizations. Most of the organizations are active and running. They include: African Student Association, Caribbean Students Association, Common Ground, Mercer Asian Society and Interest Association, Mercer University Korean Student Association, MViet and Organization of Black Students. These organizations are on campus for students to obtain a better understanding of their background and what their culture is about.
I have always been eager to learn about the different traditions of people all around the world. We have a great opportunity here at Mercer to host more events and increase the number of our multicultural student organizations. We have students on campus that have come here from countries such as India, Spain, Brazil, Sweden, Finland, Scotland and Saudi Arabia among others. Throughout the year, many of the countries have their own festivals that can be celebrated around the campus. However, most of these countries do not represent a club or organization at Mercer.
We can bring the students and faculty members together to create different organizations that can represent their respective countries. These organizations can conduct more events pertaining to other cultures because of how many international students attend this university. This will help make the campus more interesting to students that are away from their country and others to learn about a different culture.
Organizations like these are beneficial to Mercer students as well as the people in Macon. Families can come out to some events and make it an educational experience for both their children and themselves. This will help Mercer reach out and expand to the people of Macon by educating them about other cultures. By increasing the number of multicultural organizations, Mercer will expand as a campus and help the people of this town.
With the collaborative effort by the students and faculty adviser, Mercer can make this campus an international student’s home away from home.