“Can you hear me?” were the first words heard from the Dominican Republic by a crowd of students and professors in the Bruce Owen Theater last week.
The words were a test for the video conference arranged by Akash Patel, early education major, and the Multicultural Business Club, with representatives of the Model United Nations working with the Office of the First Lady of the Dominican Republic.
The event was hosted by Patel, who introduced his fellow presenters, who spoke to the audience on Skype. The purpose of the conference, Patel said, was to educate students about the opportunities for work study and service learning available through the UN.
“Although the conference focused primarily on the programs available through the office of the First Lady, there are hundreds or even thousands of programs I can think of that students could get involved in,” Patel said.
“Those programs were only the focus because we were running short on time, and students didn’t really ask a lot of questions.”
The opening remarks were delivered by Germain Pichop, business and economics professor, and faculty adviser to the MCBC. He welcomed the audience, and spoke about the purpose of the MCBC.
“The club was founded to help students from different cultures link up with each other,” he said. “As the world moves forward to being a global community every day, it is necessary now more than ever to have a better understanding of different cultures.”
The fact that so many young individuals were present was inspiring, said Stanley Tomy, nursing major.
“Not many people think of volunteering as a big deal,” Tomy said. “They tend to think more about Facebook, and liking things, and so on. And I think for some, especially high school students, that it could be a real eye opener, and help us become better people.”
Victoria Harrell, public relations major, said she was pleased the college and the MCBC were providing such an exciting opportunity to work with so many projects.
“But there were a few places where I had a little trouble understanding what was being said,” she said. “While the whole thing was great, I would have liked it if they’d had a handout to help explain the agenda and the programs being discussed.”
Patel said he is compiling a list of volunteer programs available to students, which he will email to anyone who requests it. For more information, Patel can be contacted through the Multicultural Business Club at http://occc.campusgroups.com/msbc.
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