Breanna Hill, Features Editor
The International Student Organization became part of Jacksonville State University campus and the community since the late 90s.
An international student from Nepal partnered with an American student in hopes of fostering a community for the international students. Doing so was to help the students who were away from their home and family feel more comfortable at the university. The sole purpose of the organization is to create a bond between all students and help familiarize all with each other’s cultures.
The International Student Organization is heavily involved with the surrounding community and with the university itself. Recently, they put together an event called “Hispanic Heritage Coffee Break” during Hispanic Heritage Week. Mexican bread and coffee was served from different Latin and Hispanic countries. The community was able to enjoy the incredible tasting experience while simultaneously learning more about different cultures that brought forth the unique flavors at the event.
On a daily basis, the organization plans, organizes and prepares events that they put on. The ISO officers also make it a priority to post on their organization’s social media platforms to keep members and the rest of the university’s students up to date with upcoming events and other shareworthy news.
Through COVID-19, the ISO is adjusting as best they can and continuing to support the university and the community by putting on various events.
“We saw a quick shift in the world due to the pandemic,” said Sushant Chhetry, the president of the International Student Organization.
Over the summer, the ISO officers met many times to discuss the changes that would be put in place when classes began for the fall semester and they were able to form a plan of action. The plan of action includes taking advantage of the virtual space and emphasizing heavily on virtual events held on various platforms. They have also been conducting meetings using these platforms as well.
There are a total of 16 active members made up of international and American students. All of the active members are considered “Friends of ISO.”
Getting involved with the International Student Organization can be done in a couple of ways. If you want to be an active member, you must pay certain dues to our treasurer. If you choose not to become an active member, you can still attend events that the ISO put on. Though it should be known that becoming a member means additional perks such as attending private events, discounts and more.
ISO meeting times and places are currently depending on the university’s policy for organization regarding the pandemic. Typically, the meetings are done on either the front lawn of the International House or they are held virtually on Microsoft Teams.
“Our main goal as an organization is to highlight the beauty in diversity present here at JSU,” said Chhetry.
The organization has students from all over who are eager to share their cultural backgrounds and traditions, and the organization serves as a platform for them to do just that.
“Even though the organization has ‘international students’ in its name, it is also a great place for American students to come and make friends and experience cultures from different countries as well as exchange their American culture with their international friends,” said Chhetry.
The International Student Organization. members pride themselves in staying true to their motto: “Many cultures, one voice.”
CORRECTION: Earlier, our story gave an incorrect date for how long the International House has been apart of JSU. The International House has been apart of JSU since 1946. The story also incorrectly stated that the spotlight was for the International House; it is for the International Student Organization.