Way of Council provides diverse cultural perspectives for students

Anna Dollar, News Reporter

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Way of Council, an event held by the International Education and Development, is a monthly event for domestic and international students to come together to have an intimate conversation about what students have gone through in their life and how their culture may have an impact on these experiences.

The most recent meeting took place on April 18.

Lindsay Pepper, assistant director to international student and scholar services and outreach, started the event in the fall to encourage the interaction between students that come from different backgrounds.

It is a very close knit group, so typically about 10 people are in attendance. Participants sit in a circle and use objects, such as chopsticks or bejeweled pin, as “talking sticks,” Pepper said, in order to ensure everyone is able to speak without interruption.

“This event is kind of an opportunity for students to get together, share prompts, share their experience, international and domestic, and get a new, cultural perspective that they may not have gathered if they didn’t participate in this event,” graduate student with the student affairs administration Mike Holley said.

Nkhosinathi Moyo, sophomore economics major from Zambia, Africa, said he enjoys coming to the event each month because it gives him a place where he knows he can have a confidential conversation about anything, even though there is always a prompt.

Previous prompts have been “Tell us about a time in the last year when you felt overwhelming gratitude” and “Tell us about a time when you learned something about someone very different from you” Pepper said.

“It’s a very intimate space. You just get to talk about anything and get it off of your chest. It’s a great way to interact with other people and see how other people view strong issues,” Moyo said.

As an international student, Moyo said it is interesting to hear the way American students view certain issues, such as politics, and said he sees it as an “eye-opening” experience.

“It’s sort of a format for storytelling, but also some really intentional listening, so usually there is a prompt,” Pepper said.

The prompt on April 18 was a life experience that taught you something new.

Pepper said there are six intentions of Way of Council:

  • “When you speak, be real.”
  • “When you listen, listen with the heart.”
  • “Be spontaneous with what you discuss.”
  • “Be lean of expression.”
  • “Keep confidentiality.”
  • “Be sure that what you are saying serves you, others and the world for the greater good.”

 

Way of Council is an event that welcomes all students, faculty and staff.