Unity Week celebration is set for April 7-11 at Penn State York

Penn State York will celebrate its 16th annual Unity Day on Friday, April 11, with a variety of programs planned from April 7-11, 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 with Unity Day festivities from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 11. 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, a fashion show, ethnic foods to sample, and cultural displays from around the world  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 11 will wear specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to the 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 14 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 Molly York, York, Pa., was selected as the winner. York’s design, which features a map of the world and the word unity written in a variety of languages, was inspired by her love of travel and a passion for other cultures.

“I thought this design was the best way to represent how the idea of ‘unity’ is found in every culture and language,” said York.

Thirteen other students submitted designs for the contest including Ryan H. Blessing, York, Pa.; Brett H. Casserly, Jacobus, Pa.; Peter L. Ket, Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Ruyu Kong, York, Pa.; Jiateng Li, Beijing, China; Lindsy P. May, York, Pa.; Westley N. Senft, York, Pa.; Logan P. Steckel, York, Pa.; Mingyao Sun, Da Liam, China; Phuc K. Tat, York, Pa.; Hieu M. Vu, York, Pa.; Colleen M. Witkowski, Jacobus, Pa.; and Hannah L. York.

Monday through Thursday, a variety of events are scheduled to take place, providing an opportunity to learn something new each day.  The week starts off at noon on Monday, April 7, with “Do Ask, Do Tell,” a discussion about LBTGQ issues presented by Rainbow Paws, a student club on campus. Get ready to dance on Tuesday, April 8 at noon when the Multicultural Club will provide merengue lessons. Both events take place in the Community Room of the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center.

Unity Week continues on Wednesday, April 9, with an international sports day.  Learn how to play cricket in the gym from noon to 1 p.m. and participant in small soccer games from 4 to 5:30 p.m. 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 noon to 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. 

For more information about the campus, visit www.yk.psu.edu or call the admissions office at 717-771-4040.  Find Penn State York on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PennStateYork or follow Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennStateYork.

Last Updated April 03, 2014