Banquet takes Warhawks around the world


Evan Halpop

University Health and Counseling Services medical assistant Leah Jurgens dances to the tune of a mandolin. Her dress was embroidered with coins, which would make a ringing sound.

Benjamin Pierce, Assistant News Editor

More than 300 members of the Warhawk family traveled around the world on Friday.

Thanks to the International Student Association, they didn’t even have to leave campus to do it.

The ISA hosted its annual International Dinner event on March 9 in the University Center Hamilton Room, catering to the ideas of multiple countries all in one place.

The dinner featured food from ten different countries including Brazil, Japan and Cameroon.

“Our main goal is to bring people and students of different cultures together to interact and try different foods and experience things with one another,” ISA President Voluntas Nkwain said, who oversees more than 30 students in the student organization.

The food for the event was catered, but all of the meals and their contents were of recipes from across the globe, Nkwain said.

“We actually give them the recipes that we get from the students in our organization,” Nkwain said.

In addition to the food, attendees were also treated to a variety of talent performances from the international students. This year’s event saw more than 20 students perform a variety of events including singing, dancing, instrumental performances and poetry.

After enjoying the event last year, sophomore biology major Aaron Singer knew he had to attend again this year.

“I really like traveling and seeing the different cultures and stuff like that,” Singer said. “I realized last year it’s pretty enriching and the food is good, so I figured why not.”

As Warhawks enjoyed the evening, the event reached far beyond city limits.

“I think it’s pretty awesome,” Susanne Jurgens of Elkhorn said.

Jurgens came to support her daughter Leah, who danced in the talent portion of the evening.

“We don’t get out much, but we always come to these,” Jurgens said. “I’m not surprised to see so many people here because the food is always amazing and the price is good.”

With the dinner in hindsight, Nkwain and the ISA are looking ahead to their trip to St. Louis, Missouri coming up in April. The trip will allow members of the group to make more memories of their time in the United States together before some of them return to their home countries after graduation.

Nkwain hopes the trip will bring the students back to the community when they’ve completed their degrees.

“We want to give them a reason to want to come back to Whitewater and we hope this trip will do that,” Nkwain said. “Whitewater has given so many of us a fantastic experience here and I am so thankful for that.”