The Campus Activities Board (CAB) and Residence Hall Association (RHA) are reinventing the annual BC Boardwalk event—which traditionally featured rides, games, carnival food, and giveaways—into World Fair this Saturday. Fourteen intercultural organizations will have booths highlighting food and activities from their respective cultures set up around O’Neill Plaza in the fashion of an outdoor market from 1 to 4 p.m.
CAB and RHA are promoting this event as one of their steps in the ongoing Race Against Racism challenge, although this new display and celebration of campus culture had previously been in development within CAB. The organizations said their goal is to establish a new campus tradition while also providing a new opportunity for cultural representation.
As Boston College’s largest event-programming organization, CAB reaches a large audience and pools many resources. CAB has been thinking about ways to use these resources to benefit campus in a more intentional way, said Nick Valiton, the assistant director of Campus Engagement in CAB and MCAS ’20, which led to the organization sharing these resources with some of the many intercultural organizations on campus.
While promotion of the event has taken place largely through CAB and RHA, the actual World Fair is the work of the intercultural organizations involved.
“We usually have to bring a lot of creative energy to our events … but they really took the reins,” said Alycia Kent, the director of Campus Engagement and MCAS ’20. “All we have to do is facilitate that.”
Both CAB and RHA have voiced their excitement in giving BC’s smaller clubs a bigger stage, and members of these organizations have expressed their excitement as well.
“Though every group is active within their clubs, we rarely get a chance to come together in one large event on campus, making our activities and information accessible to everyone,” said Carolina Gazal, a member of the Armenian Club and MCAS ’19. “As a smaller culture club, we don’t often get the chance to participate in larger on-campus events, and they provided us with a great opportunity to do so.”
Gazal also mentioned that the Armenian Club receives minimal funding, and CAB and RHA have helped break down this financial barrier.
Yaira Soriano, MCAS ’21, echoed these feelings. A member of CAB and the Mexican Association of Students, Soriano was looking forward to creating a new tradition that opens up opportunities for underrepresented populations on campus.
“They can really express their individuality and where they come from, and feel comfortable and represented in a unified way here at BC,” she said.
Though World Fair will feature just a small sample of BC’s intercultural organizations, this year’s organizers have hope for growth in the future.
“There’s so many other organizations that we can reach out to, and hopefully it’ll become bigger and flourish even more next year,” Kent said.
The band Arts Fishing Club will be performing at the event, and those in attendance will receive free shirts that they can tie-dye. Postcards that students will be asked to bring to the event in order to enter a raffle for prizes will also be handed out in the McElroy Commons lobby.
Featured Image by Madison Sarka / For The Heights