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K-State Today

March 22, 2013

Carpe Diem: Inaugural international event aims to bring the world together on campus

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

A new event at Kansas State University will help promote diversity and enhance internationalization on campus and in the community.

The event -- called Carpe Diem Extravaganza: Where the world comes together -- begins at 5:30 p.m. Friday, March 29, in the Grand Ballroom of the K-State Student Union. It is open to everyone.

"The main idea is to promote diversity and encourage internationalization, which is part of the K-State 2025 plan," said Yasir Ansari, international student support coordinator and event organizer. "We want to provide not only international students but also domestic students with a platform where they could interact with each other outside the classroom."

K-State 2025, the university's visionary goal, is a strategic plan for Kansas State University to become a Top 50 public research university by the year 2025.

The Carpe Diem Extravaganza event is organized into three parts:

* Art activities, as people walk in, including cartoons from a caricature artist; professional henna tattoos from a St. Louis artist; license plates from a spray paint artist; and calligraphy in three different languages.

* Performances throughout the evening. The performance groups include: a professional Chinese folk dance group from the Kansas City Chinese American Association; a hip-hop/krump dancing group from Kansas City-based Jigsaw Dance Productions; and a flamenco dancing group from Kansas City.

* An open dance for everyone at the end of the evening, with music provided by a DJ.

"We are trying to provide art from all over the world for students to appreciate and understand that it doesn’t matter where it is from, everyone can have fun and enjoy it," Ansari said.

The event is a dress-to-impress one, Ansari said, and people are encouraged to dress up or wear traditional clothes to help students learn about other cultures. Prizes will be awarded for best-dressed guest, best dancer and the most spirited guest. Other raffle prizes include gift cards from Bed, Bath & Beyond, Wal-Mart and other local businesses.

The extravaganza is organized by the university's International Buddies program, which partners students, staff and community members with international students, scholars and family members. It is sponsored by the Student Governing Association, housing and dining services and Asian Market in Manhattan.

Organizers intend to have the event every year.

"For several years, we have been doing the International Buddies program where we partner an international student with a domestic student," said Ansari, who is the co-adviser for the International Buddies program. "Now we want to do it on a larger scale and partner a group of international students with a group of domestic students."