Unity Day set for April 13 at Penn State York

Event celebrates 19 years
Unity Day York Campus

Penn State York's 19th annual Unity Day celebration will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. April 13 in the Conference Center of the Main Classroom Building. International music, a fashion show highlighting the traditional dress from many cultures, food samples, exhibits, and presentations are a part of the day. The event, sponsored by the Penn State York Diversity Committee, is free and open to the public.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

YORK, Pa. — International music, a fashion show highlighting the traditional dress from many cultures, food samples, exhibits, and presentations will all be a part of Penn State York’s 19th annual Unity Day celebration, which will take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, April 13, in the Conference Center of the Main Classroom Building. The event, sponsored by the campus diversity committee, is free and open to the public.

“The Unity Day Celebration, on Thursday, April 13, will observe the diverse cultural heritages in our community,” said Judy Owen, chair of the campus diversity committee and instructor in biology at Penn State York. “Faculty, staff and students will present exhibits and activities designed to share their background, personal history, or even a personal interest.”

Students, who traveled to Puerto Rico on an alternative spring break last month that was dedicated to service, will share photos and other information about their experiences in the rain forest. As in the past, a variety of food samples will be available for attendees to taste, and a fashion show, featuring Penn State York students, will offer a glimpse of traditional dress from many cultures.

Those participating in Unity Day will wear T-shirts specially designed by a Penn State York student.

Students in Fred Haag’s ART 010 Introduction to Visual Studies class created a variety of designs, 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 each year.

A design by Zixin Zheng, an international student from Hangzhou, China, was selected as the winner. Zheng’s design, which features a hand tossing the letters in the word unity, and lots of color, was inspired by the unitive spirit if Unity Day.

“I designed a hand that looks like it is holding every letter from the word unity together, with an iridescent splash-ink background,” said Zheng. “I added all kinds of shapes around the letters for further embodying the concept of unity,” she explained.

Visitors to the Unity Day event can receive one of these T-shirts, for free, while supplies last, if they complete the Unity Day passport.

Goals for Unity Day 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 Day 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.

Earlier in the week, an International Fútsal Tournament is scheduled for 5 p.m. April 10. Fútsal stands for indoor soccer. The Fútsal Club, a new club on campus, is collaborating with the Multicultural Club to host this tournament. The tournament will feature 10-minute games, consisting of a pair of five-minute halves with a two-minute break in-between. Each team will have six members, five members on the court and one member as a substitute. All teams must have five members in order to play. The top two teams will be awarded prizes. For more information on the tournament, contact Francyou Desse at 717-758-8950 or [email protected], or Casey Tober at 717-476-4042 or 27tober27@gmail.

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 York campus, visit york.psu.edu or call the admissions office at 717-771-4040. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PennStateYork or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennStateYork.