Dordt College News

SWB club promotes diversity

May 9, 2009

One club at Dordt College is trying to tear down cultural barriers while promoting diversity on campus.

Students Without Borders (SWB)  represents international and American students alike to “make the greater community aware of diversity on [Dordt’s] campus and around the world,” said Rebecca De Vries, the international student services coordinator.

With fifty active members on campus, SWB meets several times a month to socialize and learn more about different cultures.

“Students Without Borders gave me an opportunity to represent my country [while] at the same time learning about other cultures,” said sophomore and SWB president Sonam Tsering from India.  “It’s amazing how many countries are represented on this small campus, and it’s interesting to listen to the student’s stories about their culture.”

The club’s presence is readily evident on Dordt’s campus. Last semester, SWB held an event called “Fashions Around the World,” attracting Dordt students and members of the Sioux Center community with exotic traditional dress from countries such as India and South Korea. The show also featured a café where they served international drinks to visitors.

“The fashion show was a great success,” said De Vries. 

This semester, SWB members focused their attention on the SWB Cultural Fair. The event was packed with students and faculty eager to peruse the booths to learn more about the seventeen countries represented on campus. From mimosas of India to the rice and beans of Paraguay, visitors could sample delectable cultural dishes while watching presentations such as cooking demonstrations and dance performances.

Freshman Mirjam von Meijenfeldt of Zoetermeer, Netherlands, said that SWB gave her a chance to experience other cultures and widen her friend group.

“I have made friends with people from all over the world,” said von Meijenfeldt. “This gives an extra dimension to your conversations and group of friends in general.”

SWB members hope all students will become more culturally aware through its on-campus events.

“[SWB] hopes to draw in students in order to act as a community that isn’t concerned with ‘I’m from here or there,’” said De Vries. “They want to come together as a group of believers in Christ’s kingdom.”


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