2016 International Night costume party


Bohdanna Cherstylo

Attendants were able to see their names written in different languages.

Studying abroad or being involved in an exchange program can be an intimidating experience. Often times, those who go to school abroad are far away from home, surrounded by new people and immersed in a completely different culture.

Oakland University strives to make these international experiences fun and memorable by holding all sorts of events. Some of these campus events encourage international students to share their cultures with OU students.

On Thursday, Oct. 27, the 2016 International Night Costume Party took place. The event was held in the Oakland Center Banquet Rooms and went on from 7-10 p.m. It was sponsored by the Center for Student Activities and Leadership Development (CSA), Chartwells and OU Student Congress.

“It’s a costume party, but it isn’t a Halloween party,” said Jean Ann Miller, director of the CSA. “We really want the international students to wear their traditional clothing from home. They don’t get to do that very often in the United States, so they can share that with our students, and then our students can wear international costumes or Halloween costumes . . . That’s the whole idea behind the costume party: it’s to share cultures.”

Miller said the event had music and dancing. The bulk of the music played at the event was suggested by various multicultural student organizations, and Miller sent the list to Jake Rapanotti, general manager of WXOU.

“It was suggested we play the following: Mariachi Music, Maranga Music, Hmong Music, Spanish Reggae, Benga Music, Highlife Music,” Rapanotti said via email. “WXOU has been asked every year to play music for the event.”

Prior to this year’s International Night, Rapanotti said he was impressed with the event in previous years.

“It has been fun in years past,” he said. “Everyone seems to have fun and there is great food.”

Miller said a wide array of international cuisine was available. People were given the opportunity to fill their own crepes and sample the French cuisine.

“I worked with Chartwells for food,” Miller said. “One of things we [featured was] a crepe bar. Crepes are a dessert, which is French.”

Miller said Halloween may not be celebrated everywhere. This costume party allowed the OU students to share the Halloween experience with international students who may have never celebrated the holiday before.

“It really is a celebration of our very diverse cultures on campus,” Miller said.

International Night is usually held twice a year. Each year, the CSA tries a new theme to try and keep the experience fresh and interesting.

For more information on OU events, visit the CSA in the basement of the Oakland Center or call the CSA at (248) 370-2400.