LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - There were stars and stripes and flags galore as McNeese students, faculty and staff joined to celebrate Multicultural Week with a parade of nations.
"America is a big melting pot," said Chinese-American student Renae Chen. "So, that's what we're doing!"
McNeese currently has over 300 international students enrolled representing 40 countries. The university's Multicultural Program is designed to help members of the McNeese community share and learn about new cultures on campus.
"There's so many people from so many different countries and I like that we actually represent them," said McNeese sophomore Krystan Johnson.
Event coordinator Kourtney Kennedy says Multicultural Week is important to McNeese because the activities allow students, faculty and staff to come together and celebrate diverse cultures not only on the McNeese campus but in Southwest Louisiana as well.
"There isn't just Americans or Mexicans," said Kennedy. "There are also Chinese, Japanese, Ecuadorians, different people from ever country and it's really awesome to find out the way they do things."
Graduate assistant of the Multicultural Office Milo Correa of Ecuador says the program gives international students an opportunity to be heard.
"McNeese is a really, really diverse campus," said Correa. "So, we try to get them out there and I know sometimes international people think that they don't have a voice but, that's what our office is for, to make sure they have a voice as well."
And with the help of each other, no student will go unnoticed.
"I think everybody's voice in their heart is the same," said Chen. "Even though when we speak from our mouth, it's a different language but, just don't be afraid to speak up. As long as you try your best, I think anybody will understand you. There's people there that will understand you."
For a full list of McNeese's Multicultural Week events, CLICK HERE.