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Student org to explore small-town culture

Courtesy of MCT

Autumn is the harvest season, traditionally a time to share the plentiful bounty with the entire community. For one student organization, they’re hoping to expand OSU’s diversity through pumpkins.

The Multicultural Understanding through Nontraditional Discovery Opportunities, learning community will be traveling to the Circleville Pumpkin Show Thursday.

Through this trip, open to all students, members say they hope to educate by observing a local, diverse small-town environment.

Rachel El-Amin, a third-year in biology, explains that each month MUNDO establishes a theme to center the group’s activities.

“For October, we decided to do a ‘Fear Factor’ theme,” El-Amin said. “This trip relates to students, especially first-year students, because Circleville is a small town with its own diversity. We like to do events that are interesting and educational.”

El-Amin explained that the goal of MUNDO is to get rid of students’ fears by doing service projects and events about different cultures. Once students take the first step, El-Amin says she hopes participants will create their own diverse community and relate their experiences with others.

One student that took the step was Thara Nagarajan, a second-year in anthropology. After joining last year, she is looking forward to her first trip with MUNDO.

“From the trip, I’m hoping to gain a new perspective about the community,” Nagarajan said. “Since becoming a member last year, I really want to get out and bond with different types of people. Going to the Pumpkin Show will be a great experience and a chance to enjoy fall.”

MUNDO has traveled to the Pumpkin Show in the past, said Julius Mayo, coordinator for MUNDO. Mayo hopes that from the trip, participants gain insight to what local communities have to offer in a hands-on atmosphere.

“This experience is designed to help students first learn about the exciting and fun experiences that are right here in Ohio,” Mayo said in an email. “To use ‘non-traditional discovery opportunities’ that start students talking to each other, and digging deeper into the major issues impacting our society right now.”

For the participants who have never experienced the atmosphere of a small town, Mayo said the Circleville Pumpkin Show will open their eyes to what the world has to offer.

“Smaller communities, such as Circleville, are full of rich cultural traditions and history,” Mayo said in an email. “I am really looking forward to my first official slice of pumpkin pie and seeing the group’s faces as they check out the massive pumpkin pie that is featured at the show each year.”

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