Culture Club Connects Students

Culture Club Connects Students

By: A.J. Toler and Shield Staff Writers

Through Culture Club, NRCA students can learn about different customs and lifestyles around the globe through food, crafts, and off-campus cultural events. With a record-high number of attendees at its first meeting this year, Culture Club has inspired students to make new friends and learn about the cultures of the world.  

“We hope to bring awareness [about] international students and their heritage, culture, and family as well as teach high school students different ways of life than their own,” said Noah Weyne, co-director of Culture Club.   

Following a theme of intercontinental travel, each of the first seven monthly meetings focuses on exploring a continent, and the final meeting of the year recaps the journey. Club leaders give a presentation of two countries belonging to each continent. Then, students make a craft and sample food that is popular in either country.  

“For our [September] meeting, we traveled to South America. And we picked Colombia and Brazil because we have two students whose families are actually from Colombia and Brazil. We did a PowerPoint presentation. We played a game on Brazilian history. We brought in two desserts, one from Colombia, which was a rice pudding, and then a Brazilian chocolate ganache. And then we did a little craft with weaving different colors because weaving is prominent in South American culture,” Weyne said.  

In addition to monthly meetings, the club hopes to broaden students’ cultural awareness by attending several events in the area where they can experience different cultural traditions and events.  

We are going to the Chinese New Year festival and volunteering at that at NRCA, the Chinese Lantern Festival, and we hope to attend one more cultural event,” Weyne said. 

Culture Club co-director Liza Nikitsenka is originally from Belarus and has been living in the US for five years. “I think what drew me in is that the goal of Culture Club is for international students to feel included and like they have a space where they can speak up and find like-minded students,” Nikitsenka said. “For a couple of years, I was just a participant, and I thought it was a really cool idea that students are interested in other cultures and exploring traditions. And then, my senior year, I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to share my story and my experiences.” 

Students at NRCA are encouraged to participate in Culture Club this year to socialize with international students and learn about their traditions. Culture Club meets once a month in the Student Life Center. “Everyone is welcome,” Weyne said.