By Rigel Le Claire
The Center for Intercultural Studies is offering a unique opportunity that all students can participate in: a multicultural scavenger hunt where they are reimbursed for their purchases. This initiative is meant to broaden students’ horizons and to help them make connections with the surrounding community.
Some participating students have made meaningful friendships that they would not have outside of this opportunity.
Solveig Schreck, a sophomore social work major, went to a Nepali restaurant and an immigrant-owned grocery store with her roommate and met a Nepali-speaking Bhutanese man. They made a connection that included him coming to speak in Schreck’s global practice class.
“It was cool to experience getting out of your comfort zone and being in the minority, and showing support for immigrants [in the area],” Schreck said. “I would encourage people to go on the multi-cultural scavenger hunt, and to go where they wouldn’t normally go… You may happen to like it and see people you wouldn’t normally see or talk to.”
“I [recommend] Nepali Kitchen,” Schreck said, referring to the Akron restaurant thirty minutes from Malone. “I have gone twice since the scavenger hunt because it’s so good, and the people there are so sweet.”
“I would encourage [students] to get out there and try new things because this world is so small yet so vast,” Schreck said. “There are so many people here, even just around us.”
The multicultural scavenger hunt encourages students to go into Canton and the surrounding area and experience different cultures and meet people of vastly different backgrounds. Through a grant from the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities, the Center for Intercultural Studies will provide up to $10 reimbursement at this time for participating students.
“We’ve opened up this opportunity for students to explore the international community around them in northeast Ohio or even in their home area,” Dr. Elizabeth Patterson Roe, the director of the Center for Intercultural Studies, said.
“We have a Google Form they fill out [that prompts students to] ask some questions about the culture and country of someone working at the store [or restaurant], an owner or even someone else shopping [or eating] there,” Patterson Roe said.
“You may go to [places like] a Mexican store, an Asian market, a Korean market or an African market,” Patterson Roe said. “The student has to choose a couple of items to purchase: [one] they wanted to try that looks good to them, and then something they wouldn’t normally buy if they were using their own money.”
Not only can someone go to an ethnic grocery store for the multicultural scanner hunt event, but also go to a restaurant or a worship event of some kind. Some students are participating because of classes like global practice or a major like global and international studies, but any student is welcome to try it.
First, email Patterson Roe (email@example.com) or Maddie Blyer (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express your interest and she will send you the Google Form questionnaire. If you went to a restaurant and/or grocery store that fits the criteria, take the receipts to Annie St. John, the administrative assistant of the social work department.
“Don’t be afraid to be a minority,” Schreck said, “because these people are in a minority all the time. Definitely get out there and try new things.”