International Club spans the world at UALR
The International Club was developed three years ago by International Student Coordinator & International Admissions Officer Allyson Hughes to bring international who none international students at the UALR together and share common interests and are looking for new ones.
Vivien Fechner, the club’s president, who is a student from Berlin, Germany, majoring in photography said, “It gives international students a chance to find national friends, as well as other international friends.”
International club is focused on sharing and accepting cultures.
Officer meetings are Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The officers met every two weeks in the spring semester of 2013 to lay out a structure for what they wanted to do and are able to do this semester. Fechner said the meetings setup a structure to, “get students to come to our events and have fun and want to tell their friends about it and grow as a club, kind of like the stepping stones for this semester. So, the semester was already planned out last semester.” Elections were also held during the spring 2013 semester.
The International Club functions as an umbrella organization for other international or cultural clubs and organizations on campus. They try to work with the Indian student organization, Iraqi student organization, LULAC, and others to connect students.
International Club is not lacking in members. The number of students in the club has increased from about 100 during the spring to 300 this fall, but more students are encouraged to join.
Student meetings, or events, are every two weeks around Little Rock. “We have one little event every two weeks off campus to grow the club. Those events consist of rotating from Buffalo Wild Wings, Movie Night at the Rave [Theater], Bowling Night, and Bar Louie’s, their $1 Burger Night,” Fechner said.
The international club’s most recent event was a showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Market Street Cinema on October 31. Students dressed up as characters from the movie or in other costumes for Halloween.
They try to have events off campus, to help students relax and take a break from classes. About 25 to 60 people attend the events depending on the time in the semester. “It really depends if it’s a homework loaded week or month or not,” said Fechner.
They also introduce international students to the social life, both on and off campus. International Club has three to four big events on campus which they either host alone or put on in partnership with other organizations.
They help with events, such as Trojan Days and Welcome Back Week, put on by Campus Life at the beginning of each semester. The International Club hosted a Welcome Back Potluck. This event introduced students to international dishes, and made it possible for international students to share dishes from their home country.
The club will also be helping with International Celebration Week, consisting of five events, November 18th-21st.“The International Celebration Week, we are a big part of that, and the Thanksgiving Dinner,” Fechner said. “Our biggest day is International Celebration Day which is held in Leadbetter A B and C and students will represent their countries.”
Fechner talked about international club gathering for the Thanksgiving Dinner for national students who live in the dorms, and international students, who do not go home. This allows students to share the tradition only a week before Thanksgiving.
The club helps International students understand and become part of a new culture, while allowing none international students to gain an understanding of world wide cultures. They welcome all students and encourage them to get involved.
Students wanting to be involved in the International Club can contact Vivien Fechner at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or to request more information. Emails are sent out on Fridays with information about events and meetings.