Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Ladies Night Out celebrate culture

Friday, March 29, 2019

Southeast’s office of Intensive English Programs (IEP) hosted its International Ladies Night at the International Village March on 29.

Ladies Night exclusive to women, started five years ago with IEP and they try to make it once every semester.

Associate director of international education and services and the director of IEP Breanna Walling said Ladies Night is an opportunity for students to meet each other, and it is a great way to connect with both international and domestic students.

“It’s just a social opportunity to connect with other people to see how we are different and how we are the same and celebrate all of that stuff through music and food and having fun,” Walling said.

IEP teaching assistant Veronica Fernandez helped plan the event.

Fernandez said they try to get venues where everyone can gather to meet people from different cultures, ideologies and religions.

Students from Ukraine, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, India and Tibet were among those to attend.

Valeriia Andreieva, a student from Ukraine, said this is her fourth Ladies Night.

Andreieva said IEP has done a good job with recruiting both international and American women to come to Ladies Night and making it a safe environment to dance and listen to music.

“My favorite thing is honestly being able to dance freely because I personally love dancing, but I didn't get to go here anywhere to dance because I didn't feel comfortable going to clubs and stuff,” Andreieva said.

Andreieva said she met some of her current friends who are from Saudi Arabia during her first Ladies Night. She said she looked forward to a cultural experience every time she attends.

Andreieva said she likes the variety of music from the cultures represented at the event.

“We get to dance their traditional dances that I will not be able to do in Ukraine, because we are pretty much all Ukrainians, there's not much diversity,” Andreieva said.

Omeyimi Sanni, a graduate student from Nigeria, has been at Southeast for three months and was attending Ladies Night for the first time.

“Schools in Nigeria can’t normally organize events like this — maybe dinners but to have a girls night out where you party — you can’t have stuff like that,” Sannie said.

She said in Nigeria they only have celebrations for college week or college graduations but not a girls night out in schools.

Sanni said she was happy to see people dancing and having a good time.

Southeast graduate student Blessy Joseph is from Sri Lanka and has been at Southeast for three years said she has attended ladies night before and looks forward to connecting with other women.

“I always find it enjoyable how inclusive it is and it’s respectable women of every type. I think it’s empowering as women to come here and just dance and not be afraid of being watched, you can just be who you are,” Joseph said.

A graduate student from Bangladesh Raisa Choudhury has been at Southeast for seven years. Choudhury said she came out to the event to get together with friends and women she knows from Muslim countries.

She said she has made connections through Ladies Night, including becoming good friends with Joseph.

“Since I’m a Muslim, too I don’t get to go out places where I can dance freely, so over here when I come I meet other friends and we are free and we are dancing and we are having fun, so I feel good,” Choudhury said.

She also allows her to get away from her busy schedule and meet new friends.