Celebrating cultural similarities is one thing. But for seven women at the University, their differences are making them stronger friends and giving them a common purpose.
Beginning this fall, the seven women are opening a new theme house on campus that is dedicated to uniting international students with American students to create a learning experience for all.
Esperanto House is the name of the house created by six sophomores and one junior, all of various cultures. Esperanto is a fabricated language made to incorporate all other languages in hopes of breaking the language barrier. The nationalities of the women include Nicaraguan, Puerto Rican, Japanese and American as well as another incoming international student. With this mix of culture, the women want to encourage diversity with no barriers in order to offer more social and cultural gatherings as well as community service for international students.
For Angela Su Luna, a sophomore from Nicaragua, living in this house means that she can share the differences of her friends with the Xavier community by promoting various clubs and having fun together.
Unlike other theme houses on campus, though, the Esperanto house actually has two homes. One house is located on Ledgewood Avenue and has a large yard that will be used for outdoor gatherings. The other house on Dana Avenue has a large living room area to be used for indoor events.
As an underlying theme, each member has become an Interlink mentor to establish relationships among international students. As an Interlink mentor, a national student is assigned to an international student to converse about life in general. However, instead of talking individually about culture and language, the women plan to have monthly conversation hours where group discussions and social gatherings will take place.
This house is unlike other theme houses on campus because of the service it will offer to on-campus and off-campus students, says Angela Wilson, a sophomore of Japanese ancestry. Our houses focus is providing a service for international students to make them more a priority to campus life, says Wilson.
We are celebrating our differences in religion, nationality and race, which is something currently not available on campus, says Luna.
The women anticipate many activities for the new school year, some of which include having large gatherings in their yard and creating an international intramural volleyball team. They are also looking to collaborate with different clubs and organizations on campus to increase cultural unity through current and new events.