By Billy Ludt
Youngstown State University’s International Student Association is hosting its 4th Annual Halloween Costume Party, Fright Night, on Halloween from 7 to 11 p.m. in the DeBartolo Stadium Penthouse.
Catherine Cooper, vice president of the International Student Association, talked about the importance of events like Fright Night for the community, as well as American and international students.
“We want everybody to become involved,” Cooper said.
Fright Night will have a pumpkin carving contest, games, music, henna tattoos, tarot card readings and Halloween makeup with the a YSU Make-up Effects Guild. The pumpkin carving contest is team-based and a prize will be given to the winners.
The International Student Association organizes events and trips that are open to the YSU community. They recently took a group of students to Niagara Falls.
Admission to Fright Night benefits the International Student Association, allowing it to continue organizing events for group members.
“The real reason why I joined, and why I became a leader, is that I have a vision for this organization to help American students to understand international [students] and also to promote diversity,” Cooper said. “Internationally, I want them to gain the experiences in order to understand about America. I want them to have fun. This is why they’re here. They want to have fun; they want to make friends.”
The group aims to promote diversity, acceptance of religions and backgrounds and giving opportunities to international and American students to work together and network.
Cooper said her mother was originally from Ecuador and moved to the United States 25 years ago. She had a difficult time assimilating in American culture because of a language barrier.
“We’re trying to help them learn different things about — this is what our culture’s expectations are, this is what our traditions are — because they want to know too,” Cooper said.
Next month the International Student Association is hosting the Taste of Culture Formal on Nov. 14, a celebration involving 20 universities. They are also working on organizing International Students Day, which would be a procession in Kilcawley Center where international students would dress in traditional clothing. The event would try to get the YSU community interested in international culture by providing food, music and introductions to different languages.
“I think American students would benefit from learning about different cultures, making new friends, building relationships, networking with students from different countries,” Cooper said.
The International Student Association is continuing to work to get international students involved in the YSU and surrounding community.
More information about the YSU International Student Association can be found on their Facebook page. Admission to Fright Night is $5.