Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Carpe Diem event will celebrate cultural diversity on campus

Monday, September 24, 2012
A performance at Carpe Diem in spring 2012 highlights a culture's music. Submitted photo

The food, music and performances at this year's Carpe Diem will highlight different cultures on campus, giving both American students and international students the chance to see different countries come alive.

Priya Tauro, a graduate assistant in the Office of Residence Life, says she got involved in Carpe Diem by performing in spring 2011.

Tauro is a recording artist in her home country of India and released an album titled "Care for Life" in December 2010. She performed three songs when she sang at Carpe Diem, which included "Roots and Wings" from her album.

"The crowd was really feeling it. They were rocking the music, too," Tauro said.

Tauro believes that her Indian culture has helped her become more dedicated to showing other cultures to students. Every year she wears a traditional Indian saree to celebrate her heritage.

"[My Indian background] makes me more passionate about this because how often do we get, as an international student or as an Indian student, get to celebrate my ethnicity?" Tauro said.

Agathe Pompon, a Southeast student from France, also became interested in Carpe Diem after being asked by her boyfriend to participate as a model for the fashion show this spring.

Pompon will participate in Carpe Diem by doing calligraphy. She was a graphic design major in France and wanted to showcase something she loved to the rest of the student body. Pompon feels that, although Carpe Diem portrays countries well, there is still room for improvement.

"I think [France] is not very well-represented because I think we still need more French people involved in Carpe Diem," Pompon said.

Carpe Diem will feature different cuisines, henna tattoos, a caricature artist and performances by students. There will also be a professional performance by Polynesian dance group Hui Hula O'Punahele.

Gwendolyn Duncan, administrative operations coordinator, believes that Carpe Diem succeeds in showing the diversity among students.

"I really felt like we had accomplished our goal, because not only were we able to provide an event where the international students were a focus of the event, and they are very pleased and proud to show their culture to the rest of the campus, but the domestic students that were in attendance had an extremely good time," Duncan said.

Tauro feels that the purpose of this event is to do more than just show the diversity on Southeast's campus.

"Yes, we want to highlight that diversity, but we want to spread that diversity to even the domestic students," Tauro said. "We want them to embrace it."

The event was started by several Southeast students who were told to create an event to celebrate diversity. Since then, the event has grown and become more popular on campus.

Duncan believes the name of the event gives the student body an idea of what they are meant to take away from it.

"Somebody came up with the name 'Carpe Diem' because it meant seize the day and seize the moment, and that's what it really was," Duncan said. "It was seize this opportunity."

Carpe Diem will take place at 7 p.m. on Oct. 6 at the University Center.