Unity Day set for April 12 at Penn State York
Penn State York will celebrate its 15th annual Unity Day on Friday, April 12, and a variety of programs are planned from April 8-12, when students, faculty, staff, and members of the York community are invited to celebrate diversity. Events will take place in and around the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center from noon–1:00 p.m. each day with Unity Day festivities (April 12) from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Some additional events are also planned in the early evening. All events are free and open to the public and are sponsored by the Penn State York Diversity Committee, the Multicultural Club, and the Student Activity Fee.
Friday is Unity Day and the two-hour event features music and dance performances, an international fashion show, ethnic foods to sample, cultural displays from around the world, and even chocolate covered insects for sale. Performances will begin at noon. Displays that reflect the origin or ancestry of faculty, staff, and students will also be set-up in and around the student center and some campus clubs and organizations will have displays.
Those participating in Unity Day on April 12 will wear specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to Unity Day event can also receive a shirt, while supplies last, if they complete the Unity Day passport.
Students in Fred Haag’s introduction to visual studies (Art 10) class created 13 designs for Unity Week and the campus community voted to select one to appear on the shirt. Haag, an associate professor of visual arts at Penn State York, has involved his class in creating designs for a number of years.
A design by Travis J. Fauth, Red Lion, Pa., was selected as the winner. Fauth actually submitted two designs. Eleven other students submitted designs for the contest including Katie E. Crum, York, Pa.; Zachary R. Cullum, Delta, Pa.; Vincent M. Ferraiuolo, Stewartstown, Pa.; Samantha H. Hittie, Shrewsbury, Pa.; Wenxuan Li, Amoy, China; Alexis M. Querci, York, Pa.; Aileen M. Skennonto, York, Pa.; Drew M. Smith, Dover, Pa.; Wareesha Tariq, Karachi, Pakistan; Michael H. Tirkey, York, Pa.; and Joselyne A. Vivar, York, Pa.
Monday through Thursday, a variety of events are scheduled to take place, providing an opportunity to learn something new each day. Monday’s program features Bollywood dance lessons in the gym; Tuesday features performances by students in the First Music Association in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center (Ruhl); and Wednesday features Hispanic Dancing Lessons in the Community Room. A basketball tournament (3 on 3 play) from 5-6 p.m. in the gym on Tuesday and a mini soccer tournament from 5-6 p.m. on Wednesday round out the earlier part of the week.
Thursday features Holi, an Indian spring festival of colors. Get drenched in colors, throw water balloons, dance to Indian music, and celebrate spring. The celebration is from 12-1 p.m. and those participating, or who want to watch, will meet in the Community Room and then head outdoors to the soccer fields for fun.
Goals for Unity Week include creating teachable moments to learn about diversity and to provide opportunities for the campus and community to suggest ways Penn State can create a multicultural environment.
Unity Week is the culmination of the work of Penn State York’s Diversity Committee, which includes students, faculty, and staff, and is sponsored by the group. A variety of multicultural events are planned throughout the year to provide a forum for the campus and community to learn about diversity.
Flags fly at Penn State York representing the homelands of students, faculty, and staff year-round, and symbolize campus pride in the ethnic heritage of campus members and their commitment to providing an environment where all opinions are valued and respected. Unity Week is an opportunity to educate, understand, and appreciate the differences among us and embrace the many similarities.