by Linh T Dieu Nguyen’20
Saturday, November 11th, the International Club at Beloit (I-Club) hosted an event called “International Night” in Mayer Hall. The event attracted a crowd of students, staff and community members, who were able to learn more about nine different countries through table displays and a talent show. After the event, I-Club’s current treasurer and secretary shared why they enjoy being part of this particular campus organization, and how involvement in the I-Club’s is a perfect opportunity for international students to put the liberal arts into practice.
According to the club’s treasurer, Shreya Regmi’20, the mission of the I-Club at Beloit “… is to introduce people from different backgrounds to each other.” As Shreya elaborates, “I don’t feel like we’ve been specific in bringing international students and domestic students together, but it’s definitely a platform. We welcome all students to our events, so everybody can join in.” And with such a diverse group coming together, the I-Club naturally fosters a community in which students can practice the liberal arts outside of the classroom. As Shreya remarks, “There’s a challenging aspect to [the mission of the I-Club] because it’s difficult to bring students from all kinds of backgrounds together. But people are given the opportunity to interact and understand each other, and share their experiences, so [I-Club] definitely [embodies] the liberal arts in practice.”
I-Club’s secretary, Kaveri Sarkar’20, wholeheartedly agrees. As Kaveri says, “As a team, we have learned to be ready to change gears and try our best in areas that aren’t really our specialty. For example, as a secretary, I have worked on the marketing of events; others have taken up roles that aren’t really their roles in the exec board.” A year ago, I-Club was not really active on Beloit’s campus; however, the executive board has been working hard to change that, challenge themselves to new ideas, and step out of their comfort zones.
Looking ahead to the club’s future, Kaveri imagines, “There will probably be a completely new team next semester. We have such a nice team, and we work perfectly well together, you know, and we have big events, but everything works out in the end. But I know we have some very enthusiastic freshmen, so I’m sure they will guide the legacy forward.” Until the board’s turnover, the current exec team is busy planning the I-Club’s last event of the year: a formal. Shreya says, “The last time we had it, it was a great hit. I think this time it’s going to be bigger, and hopefully, there will be good music. Also, as Kaveri said, this event will probably be the current exec board’s last event, so we want to end the year off right.”
When asked if they had any advice to pass on to future executive board members, both Shreya and Kaveri had some wisdom to offer. Kaveri advises students to “Think big, and plan big. I think we built ourselves up and got to the top. It will be a little bit easier for the people after us because we have built some foundations for them, but don’t be afraid to think big.” Shreya adds, “At least try reaching out to people. Don’t hesitate to ask because there are a lot of resources on campus that you may not know about. Do what you want to do and be proud of it, because most of our events had never been done before or had been done but in a different way.” Kaveri enthusiastically agrees: “What I love about I-Club is it’s not always about the exec. Some people are always there to help. And those people, they come to help because they care.”
So, next time you see an advertisement for one of I-Club’s upcoming exciting events, challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone, stop by, and say hello! You could make a new lifelong friend or possibly even find yourself as a new executive board member.