Maria Jesus Martinez
The Student Activities Council hosted the Explore West annual event on Tuesday, March 28 from 4 to 7 p.m. Located on the Campus Center back patio and Grassy Triangle, the event was centered on international cuisine.
The food was mainly served by the DineWest Catering, which included a variety of dishes from countries such as Taiwan, China, Jamaica and other countries located in Latin America. Specifically, they served several main dishes such as jerk wings, garlic yuca, fried sweet plantains (tostones), General Tso’s chicken, kung pao chicken, fried rice, pernil (roast pork), and empanadillas. The desserts offered included tres leches and Chinese doughnuts, along with a non-alcoholic mojito as a special drink.
There was also food from the Philippines from Me Lumpia Long Time, the only vendor there on campus which dished up lumpia (filipino dish rolls), which could be sided up with sinigang (garlic fried rice) and pancit bihon (filipino thin noodles).
“With our contract with Dine West, there are not manychances to get many vendors on campus, but they do provide a good variety of different cuisines that we can offer for students to try,” said Graduate Student Dejora Curry.
Students were received in two check-in stations which were serving popcorn, M&Ms and travel imitation souvenirs like flight tickets and an ID badge holder. The Students Affair were expecting between 200 and 300 students and faculty staff to attend, but that number was greatly surpassed. 365 students participated in the event.
For Curry, the event was about creating cultural exchanges.
“Our goal is to make sure that we have a good amount of cultures that reflect some students here,” said Curry. “At the same time, we also want to curate a new experience for them to grow, understand and create that cultural competency, especially when it comes to traditions and foods.”
The event also had a DJ, a caricature stand where students get drawn on their own or with another friend, a henna tattoo stand and a variety of games, such as a human-size Domino, Connect Four, Corn Hole and Spike Ball.
The Student Affairs hosts this event along with Dine West every year between the months of March and April, whether it is inside one of the Dining Halls or at the Campus Center.
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