TCU Daily Skiff Student Salute 2004
Frog Fountain
Banquet gives credit to cultural students

By Emily Goodson
Staff Reporter

Members of over 15 of TCU’s cultural organizations gathered Friday night for the Sixth Annual Intercultural Banquet, which featured dinner, an awards ceremony and a dance.

Over 350 students, faculty, staff and alumni attended the event, including Chancellor Victor Boschini, Friday night.

The Organization for Latin American Students, the Asian Student Association and the African Heritage Organization were just a few of the groups represented, though the banquet was open to all students and cultures. Regina Evans, the Student Development Chair for the International Student Association, said the event is “a chance for international and minority students to gain recognition for their hard work and how much they’ve contributed to the university.”

Evans, one recipient of the Very Important Team Player Award, said, “A bunch of us received the award, but I’m just glad people thought of me.”

The first award recognized the Community Scholars, a group of high school seniors with full academic scholarships. The students received a standing ovation as they accepted the honor. Others to receive awards were Cornell Thomas for Staff Appreciation and Corrie Lockhart for Outstanding Leader.

The first Intercultural Banquet was held in a church banquet hall, with an attendance of about 120 students. Since then, the ceremony has moved to the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Fort Worth, and attendance has almost tripled.

“To see it grow from the first year to what it is now is a huge accomplishment,” said Neelu Shori, the student planner for the banquet.

The international and minority communities came into greater focus when two international students were assaulted while camping over spring break. The incident prompted a town hall meeting to discuss issues of race and prejudice on and off campus. As a result, the establishment of a mentor program was proposed to help international students adjust to life in America.

The Intercultural Banquet provided an opportunity for students to gather for a positive reason, said Darron Turner, associate dean of student development.
“The banquet allows students to get together to enjoy and have a good time,” he said. “Pretty much every minority is represented.”

Proceeds from the event go to the Intercultural Education and Services department, which provides support and guidance to minority students.
TCU Daily Skiff ©2004
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