SGA and CAB celebrate United Nations Day with first ever Carnival Day
Story by Kelsey Grapperhaus, Staff writer
The Murray State Student Government Association sponsored the first ever UN Carnival Day on Saturday from 3-6 p.m. in the Curris Center Dance Lounge.
The UN Carnival Day was open to the public but was held specifically for international students and students who don’t necessarily have the option to go home on the weekends.
President of the Campus Activities Board, Nathan Payne, said students were able to play carnival games in the dance lounge, as well as enjoy refreshments provided by Murray State catering.
“The carnival games could be compared to several ‘minute to win it’ type games where they were competitive in nature,” said Payne, senior from Owensboro, Kentucky. “The whole event was all in good fun!”
International students, Van Anh Nguyen and Lucia Nkem, hold the diversity chair positions within the SGA and CAB programs.
Both students planned carnival games and festivities, in an effort to provide more diversity programming on Murray State’s campus.
Nguyen, junior from Da Nang, Vietnam, said they tried to come up with a variety of games that would be appropriate for both international and American students, and encourage others to feel excited to compete against each other.
Nguyen said despite being well-prepared for large groups of people, turnout was relatively low, reaching only 40-50 people.
“This might be because we did not advertise enough ahead of time, and the weather on Saturday was not really nice,” Nguyen said. “But we learned a lot from our first time hosting an event, how to appeal more students to join, and how to be flexible in organizing the event.”
This event was the first event Nguyen and Nkem planned together, but not the first international event they had attended here at Murray State.
They said they have attended social events hosted by the International Student Organization (ISO), such as scavenger hunts and other icebreakers.
Nguyen said the difference between the UN Carnival Day and other events she’s been to has been that Saturday’s event was open to both international and American students, while the target of ISO events has been to help international students meet new friends, gain involvement and also give them the chance to help practice the English language.
Nguyen has already thought about the planning of a second UN Carnival Day for next year, hoping to change the date of the event to early fall or spring semester.
Changes to be made for the next UN Carnival game will be minor details: advertising sooner and on a broader range, more simple yet organized games and a new strategy to make the event more exciting and competitive.