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On a campus with more than 37,943 students, from various backgrounds and ethnicities, cultural organizations at UH go a long way for students in making friendships and finding a home away from home.

Houston is one of the most diverse cities in the U.S., and most of the University’s student body comes from various backgrounds.

To give the student body a space to learn more about the various cultures and raise awareness, the Council for Cultural Activities hosts multiple events to expose students to different cultures and promote diversity among the student body.

“We give a platform for different organizations to come and showcase their cultures and learn more about other cultures. And so that helps in building that sense of community where you’re learning together on learning different things about each other,” the council’s director Sarah Khan said.

The council holds multiple events for students throughout the year such as the Carnival of Cultures and Cultural Explosion.

The carnival was an interactive DIY-based event where people would come and make a trinket of each continent with the idea that students would learn about a new culture with things. They make themselves and take home a trinket that holds traditional significance, Khan said.

“Culture explosion is a platform where students come and showcase their traditions, like dances or songs folklores, so it really gives that sense of community where you can come and learn more about everybody else and support your own culture,” Khan said. 

Accounting and MIS junior and the Vice President of External Affairs at Indian Student Association Dheeraj Mulani said ISA provides a space for students to have a sense of belonging.

“I think it plays a great role in fostering the community on campus, especially with a new community,” Mulani said. “The University of Houston has a really large, Indian American or just like Indian population student population.”

The association holds multiple events throughout the year such as Daniya Dhamaka and movie nights throughout the year, the events open to all the students on campus are an opportunity for students to have fun while being college students, Mulani said.

At one of the many events that ISA hosts every year, after going to an event his freshmen year on campus, Mulani said it helped him make friends and give him a community on campus. 

“My freshman year on campus, I had gone to an ISA event,” Mulani said. “I made some great friends from that day and they’re still my friends to this day. So, it definitely would, you know, vary per person. But I say it can definitely say with certainty that ISA does make an impact when it comes to fostering a community here on campus.” 

As an international student, Khan said she holds a special place in her heart for cultural heritage and the significance of traditions and being a part of an organization that connects people on campus, makes her “overjoyed” to be the director.

“I think it’s a very enriching experience because I truly feel so happy when I see people coming together at CCA events and finding new friends or just learning something new about a different culture,” Khan said.

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