By Hania Ahmed
Over 200 students and staff crammed into POD 250 Thursday to celebrate the diversity of Ryerson and enjoy free food.The Salad King International Community Celebration, hosted by International Student Services (ISS), is an annual event held to showcase the cultural variety brought to campus by students.
“This shows how much the Ryerson international community connects to the GTA,” said Diana Ning, the co-ordinator of the ISS.
Ryerson currently has 1500 international students, from about 140 countries.
The event displayed many of the cultures on campus, including a booth to get henna tattoos, Farsi and Chinese calligraphy and a photo booth where people could dress up in the clothes of different cultures. Flags around the room also showcased countries represented by Ryerson students.
Syed Mahmood, master of ceremony for the event said it was important to showcase the cultures of the university.
“It’s something that should be celebrated,” he said.
Many restaurants and business donated to the event. Gift cards to Metro, St. Louis Wings and Ribs and Paramount were raffled off, with one business handing out coupons for a free hour of pool. Shoppers Drug Mart donated a Michael Kors bag full of cosmetics.
Ann Mackay, the manager of the university’s convocation and awards and a first timer to the celebration said that the event was a great place to let both international and local students to show their pride.
“It allows them to show off to the community,” she said.
The day was also a chance to celebrate the achievements and contributions of four international students on campus, each of whom were given a bursary, donated by Salad King, for their work and involvement. These awards are the only ones available to international students.
“It builds a sense of community,” said Karlene Flemming-Fortune, a student from Trinidad and Tobago and winner of one the bursaries.
Asif Raman, a third-year business student, won a trip for two to New York City, donated by ISS.
Ryerson president Sheldon Levy stopped by, as he said he does every year, to taste the food and enjoy the atmosphere.
“Any event that brings people together is a really great thing to have,” he said.