Multicultural event coverage was short of ‘spectacular’

The International Club (IC) Board is disappointed by the perfunctory representation of the event “Spectacular Spectacular” in last week’s issue of the Record (April 22, 2009), which ignored the diversity of the performances and IC’s efforts to bring the community together around the appreciation of different cultures.

We were especially bothered by the photo caption that described the event as “a collaboration of groups performing dances.” Firstly, “Spectacular Spectacular” did not solely consist of dances; only two of the 14 performances were dances. All the other performers sang in various languages. Secondly, “Spectacular Spectacular” was not a collaboration of groups but an event organized by IC under the sponsorship of the Minority Coalition. To be precise, the IC board collaborated with individual performers to put the event together. While we appreciate the inclusion of “Spectacular Spectacular” in the issue, we are disappointed by the lack of credit to the main organizer and by the implications of such an omission.

One implication is that the reporter present at the event did not familiarize himself with the details of the event despite the informational flyers distributed during the event and the previous publicity through Daily Messages and the online event calendar. We cannot but wonder how the editors allowed an under-informed description to be printed despite the availability of these resources.

The omission also suggests that the Record fails to recognize the efforts of the groups that aspire to promote multiculturalism on campus. A more global campus would only enrich the academic and social experiences of the students and allow each individual to grow as global citizens. We are grateful to the administration for making this aspiration a priority this year by forming the International Education Initiative Ad Hoc Committee. IC’s efforts in raising awareness on the artistic and linguistic diversity on campus through “Spectacular Spectacular” only comprise a tiny part of this goal. However, we strongly believe that these efforts deserve accurate recognition from the Record if the event is deemed worthy to appear in the paper. This being said, we hope that the Record acknowledges the importance of a more global campus and will prove more sensitive to recognize the efforts by students and administration towards that aim.

Burge Abiral ’11