Published Wed, Sep 28, 2011 11:11 am Dateline
One step onto the streets of Athens reveals a world full of colors from every corner of the spectrum. However, this mosaic does not come from the streets, the buildings or even the trees.
Instead, it comes from the faces of OU’s diverse student body.
As of fall 2010, the ethnic backgrounds of Ohio University students are extremely varied.
The majority of OU students were Caucasian, 81.6% percent.
There were also significant African American, 4.5 percent, Hispanic, 2.4% percent, and Asian American, 1.0 percent, populations on campus.
However, the most striking of these statistics may be the amount of international students studying in Athens.
According to the Ohio University Office of Institutional Research, 7 percent of all undergraduate and graduate students on the Athens campus are international.
In fact, there are nearly 1,000 international students on campus representing more than 100 different countries.
Most students from overseas feel welcome in Ohio, including Tanzanian graduate student Francis Semwaza.
“Ohio is a place to be actually. You come across different nationalities, you come across different cultures, and I like it,” said Semwaza.
Although the Midwest hospitality has treated international students well, they still understand the importance of maintaining their culture and heritage.
Currently more than 30 multicultural student organizations reside on campus, and many are responsible for some of Athens biggest events. On Saturday, the African Student Union hosted their “Crossover event,” which highlighted music, dance, poetry and more from students’ native countries.
The ASU is not the only multicultural group starting off the new school year with a bang. On Monday, a group of students from a different part of the globe welcomed freshmen with a taste of Latin America.
The Multicultural Greek Council and the Latino Student Union joined forces to teach students about Latino culture through music, dance, and food.
Although everyone was welcome to enjoy the festivities, Ohio University Junior Erika Rodriguez said that these events are more than just fun and games.
“The target is to get it out to multicultural freshmen that they are not alone. There are students and organizations all over campus for them to create a sense of identity with, a sense of home,” said Rodriguez.
Events and opportunities abound throughout campus for international and multicultural students studying at OU.