Allison Wordes — Staff Writer
Because of the current crisis, Dordt’s Student Without Borders Club has faithfully been conducting their regular meetings over zoom. While other events and clubs have sadly fizzled out because of the missed opportunity to gather in person, SWB has been on top of things getting their team organized for the 2020-2021 school year.
The President, Vice-President, and Event Coordinator were all graduating seniors. One of the goals of the club at their meetings was to set up a new leadership team for the upcoming season.
In the meeting, the club discussed who would be interested in these particular roles and who wanted to switch roles for the coming year. Then current president, Joy Kim, sent out a google forms survey for the open positions to people who were on the SWB email chain, who regularly attended the events and would be interested. There are also added two trainee positions, so that the experienced leaders can pass on their skills. They also posted on the SWB Facebook page and the Dordt International Facebook to get students interested.
The sign-up form remained open for about a week before the next meeting, where the positions were voted on anonymously. The members for the upcoming 2020-2021 year are as follows:
Yeelim Shin as president, Doreen Christabel as vice-president (as well as training the treasurer position), Obed Miranda Duarte as secretary, Enoch Ariko as event coordinator, Abby Barrientos as event coordinator trainee, Delano Adamson as marketing, David Riadi as graphic design, Siena Rose as graphic design trainee,
This year’s new president, Yeelim Shin, is taking over from Joy Kim, who led the team successfully this past year.
“I enjoyed taking care of the different events, even though as president I didn’t get to do the hands-on things,” said Kim. While similar to the events held previous years, they were still original. For example, Curry Craze was exciting because the Emcees brought variety with their games and trivia. For the Cultural Fair, there may have been less talent show performances, but because of that there were more cultural games that brought audience interaction.
“When the events actually happened, I could see all the members working together,” said Kim. “I could see the end result and say, ‘I am proud!’”
This year, the group also paired with the art club to host an origami night—with success. Kim is hopeful for how the group will interact with other clubs next year.
“Clubs can work together, like with the origami night, to plan together and attract students with different interests.”
The club was planning a trap shooting event, joined with the trap shooting club, with a focus on international students—unfortunately, this did not work out due to the current pandemic situation. They will try again for it next year under the new leadership roles.
“I was the secretary for the SWB club for the last two years and I think that really helped me prepare for the role as the president,” said Shin, “because I was able to see and understand how each event worked and the role each member did during our meetings.”
There are a lot of events to plan for, including Curry Craze in the fall and the Cultural Fair in the spring. With huge events like this, the SWB has to do a lot of planning and preparation, which is not for the weak. The minds of this leadership team need to be creative, clever, and prime at problem-solving.
Most importantly, however, they need to have a love for culture.
“I started at Dordt three years ago, and the SWB leadership has changed each year,” said coordinator of Off-Campus and Multicultural Student Programs, Rebecca Tervo. “However, it has continued to be a group of dedicated students who are truly passionate about creating opportunities for cross-cultural engagement. I’m confident in the leaders we have chosen for next year, and I’m excited to work with them!”
“The SWB committee is usually formed by internationals and we also encourage non-internationals to join our club too,” said Shin. “We give back to the community by creating events where anyone is welcome to come and enjoy.”
The reason that SWB exists is because it intends to bring together international students who are miles from home, yes, but also to bring in nationals who care about them and the expansive cultural significance that they represent.
“Our biggest event, the Cultural Fair brings a little bit of our home and culture to Sioux Center,” said Shin, “in order for the community to taste and see different cultures around the world.”
Students who participate in the events put on by SWB have an opportunity to learn from each other and grow in their knowledge and love of something outside of themselves.
“As the new president, I’m very excited for what next year will bring and what new events we will create for the community,” said Shin.
The club is still looking to fill the position of treasurer.