HKS celebrates student diversity through ‘Around the World’ week

By The Citizen Staff

The student government has marked the last week of April (22-27) for ‘Around the World’ – a week-long celebration of the domestic and international diversity at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS).

 International students make up about 40 percent of the student body at HKS, with the other 60 percent representing diverse communities within the United States.

 “We are very proud of the diversity at HKS,” asserts Sarmad Palijo, MC/MPA’13, Vice President of International Affairs in the student government.

This year, the student government is organizing the week in collaboration with the Diversity Committee at HKS to ensure representation of all points of views. The idea is for the diverse cultures at HKS to co-mingle and “get a chance to gather together to celebrate their own respective cultures” with the larger community.

Monday through Thursday, different student groups will host sessions supported by the student government. The planned line-up of sessions is truly diverse, including dances from the Middle East and Africa as well as the Philippines, cinema from Australia as well as Lebanon and Ecuador, thought-provoking discussions about Native Americans as well as about Iran, Mexico and Africa, and celebration of festivals from India and Pakistan. The week will be followed by the Spring Formal on Friday evening, and will culminate on Saturday with a Comedy Night honoring the diversity at HKS.     

This year’s line up is unique because – unlike last year – it is not just international week. Palijo explains, “We are highlighting diversity within the international community as well as domestic students. This is why we have called the week ‘Around the World’, to celebrate the diversity of students from North America as well as international students.”

He continued with a pitch for all students to join the festivities, “to celebrate our uniqueness and our diversity. The student government will be very proud and happy if all of us could come together to make this a week to remember, especially for those of us who are graduating.”

The weather is forecasted to be nice, an amazing line-up of sessions is all set, and it is the last opportunity to celebrate the HKS community before finals. In the coming days, detailed schedules will be shared with the student body through e-mail.

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