On Friday, April 25, 2014, Emmanuel's Association of Countries, Cultures, Events, Nations and Traditions (A.C.C.E.N.T.) hosted the 25th annual International Hospitality Night (IHN) in the Jean Yawkey Center Gymnasium.
The evening's theme, "Celebrating IHN Through the Ages," was observed with a photographic timeline from International Hospitality Nights spanning nearly three decades. Alumna Beatrice Antoine '13 returned to campus to handle hosting duties. The event featured music from the Emmanuel College Ukulele Club, Jill Vaccaro '14 and female a cappella group For Good Measure. Beraca Depestre '15 performed a Haitian Creole worship medley and Aleia Gardner '17 and Andy Compere '16 each offered spoken word performances. The College also welcomed students from Boston's Showa Institute, who performed a traditional Japanese dance. Other dance performances included the Emmanuel College Dance Team, a dancehall reggae and soca mashup, a Cape Verdean pasada and a Haitian dance.
Alan Gabriel '14, Michel Le Gendre '14 and Dorian Morales '15 spoke on the nonprofit, student-run NGO Hope2o International's mission to provide safe drinking water to people in developing countries, as well as the organization's upcoming trip to Haiti.
Students could also participate in a free raffle, sample a wide variety of international desserts, receive henna tattoos and have caricatures drawn.
A.C.C.E.N.T. President Emma Mugerwa '15 noted the organization's executive board spends months planning each IHN with the help of several other departments, but that the end result is always rewarding.
"IHN is our biggest event," she said. "It's a night to learn about and celebrate Emmanuel's diversity, while witnessing great performances. It's such an amazing atmosphere."
The organization also hosts the yearly Taste of Culture celebration, the Giving of Thanks dinner, International Bowling Night and the Halloween Fright Fest, which is co-sponsored by the Black Student Union. During general meetings, members give presentations on their respective cultures, whether it be showing part of a film or sharing a traditional recipe. Mugerwa stressed that A.C.C.E.N.T. is an organization for all Emmanuel students, regardless of their heritage.
"A lot of students think that since they've lived in Massachusetts their whole lives, then they can't join," Mugerwa said. "We're all about fellowship and bringing people together."
Emmanuel's International Students Office, the International Students Club and the Multicultural Task Force hosted the College's first International Hospitality Night on December 6, 1989, in an effort to bring together the college community in an environment respectful of cultural difference. The event featured performances of traditional songs and dances by students and guest performers from India, Japan, the Netherlands, Haiti, South Africa, Thailand, Mexico, Cape Verde and the United States. It has since become the longest-running multicultural event on campus.