Unity Week celebration set for April 13-17 at Penn State York

Holi, the celebration of colors and spring, is a popular event during Unity Week at Penn State York.  Jasmine Graham, left,  and Karla Buendia, took part in the festivities last year.  The Holi celebration for 2015  is set for Thursday, April 16, at noon. Credit: Barbara Dennis / Penn StateCreative Commons

Penn State York will celebrate its 17th annual Unity Day on Friday, April 17. A variety of programs are planned on campus from April 13-17, to encourage students, faculty, staff, and members of the York community to celebrate diversity. Events will take place in and around the Joe and Rosie Ruhl Student Community Center with Unity Day festivities (April 17) from noon to 1 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.  Unity Day features music and dance performances, a fashion show, ethnic foods to sample, and cultural displays from around the world. Performances begin at noon. Displays that reflect the origin or ancestry of faculty, staff, and students will also be set-up in and around the student center and some campus clubs and organizations will have displays.In addition to the events and activities each year, Unity Week, provides Penn State York art students with unique creative opportunity each year. Students in Fred Haag’s art class create T-shirt designs to promote Unity Week, and one is selected to appear on the official T-shirt that is given out free on Unity Day to participants. Haag, an associate professor of visual arts at Penn State York, has involved his class in creating designs for a number of years.Those participating in Unity Day on April 17 will wear these specially designed T-shirts. Visitors to the Unity Day event can also receive a shirt, while supplies last, if they complete the Unity Day passport.A design by Cyrus Trego, Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, was selected as the winner this year. Trego is a senior at Susquehannock High School and is enrolled in the dual enrollment program on campus. The Penn State York Dual Enrollment Program provides qualified high school juniors and seniors, like Trego, an opportunity to enroll in college courses while in high school. Trego said his inspiration for the design was quite simple.

“I wanted to make a design that would appeal to a wide range of people,” he said.  “All of my shapes, colors, and fonts encompass the idea of ‘unity’ and were made to flow together.”

Thirteen other students, all from Pennsylvania, submitted designs for the contest: Tusher Alam, York; Nicholas Anderson, Fawn Grove; Maddie Duty, Stewartstown; Maria Gonzalez, York; Patrick Hogan, New Freedom,; Ameena Khairat, York; Madison Kroner, Shrewsbury; Madison Matylewicz, York; Essence Rascoe, York; Levi Stein, York; Aruba Tariq, York; and Noah Trimmer, Hellam.

Monday through Thursday, a variety of events are scheduled to take place on campus, providing those who attend with an opportunity to learn something new each day.  The week starts off at noon on Monday, April 13, with Relax with Tai Chi, a form of Chinese martial arts. Later in the afternoon, from 5 to 7 p.m., a badminton doubles tournament for the campus community is scheduled and prizes will be awarded.  Sign-up to play by contacting Aruba Tariq at axt5233@psu.edu.Unity Week continues on Tuesday, April 14, with Penn State York’s Got Talent, a showcase of performances by students, faculty and staff at noon in the Community Room.  This event, sponsored by the Penn State York Blue & White Society, promises to be a real variety show. Those who participate will compete for prizes and in-between acts, vocalist Austin Renfroe, will perform.Venture back to your childhood on Wednesday, April 15, with Kids’ Games From Around the World – Let’s Play, at noon on the Community Room.  Games include musical chairs, four corners, Pakran (Pakistan), Pilolo (Ghana), and many more. In the evening, a soccer tournament will take place from 5-7 p.m. Sign up a campus team by contacting Aruba Tariq at axt5233@psu.edu.  Holi, an Indian spring festival of colors, is set for Thursday at noon.  Get drenched in colors, throw water balloons, dance to Indian music, and celebrate spring.  The celebration is from 12-1 p.m. and those participating, or who want to watch, will meet in the Community Room and then head outdoors to the soccer fields for fun.  The goals of Unity Week include creating an atmosphere conducive to encouraging teachable moments regarding diversity, and to provide opportunities for the campus and community to suggest ways that Penn State can continue to actively create a multicultural environment on campus.  The events of the week are sponsored by the Penn State York Diversity Committee, which is comprised of students, faculty, and staff.  In recent years, the Multicultural Club, a student organization, has taken the lead for this event, with the diversity committee supporting their efforts.Flags fly at Penn State York representing the homelands of students, faculty, and staff year-round, and symbolize campus pride in the ethnic heritage of campus members and their commitment to providing an environment where all opinions are valued and respected.  Unity Week is an opportunity to educate, understand, and appreciate the differences among us and embrace the many similarities.  For more information about the campus, visit www.york.psu.edu or call the admissions office at 717-771-4040. Penn State York can be found on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/PennStateYork or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/PennStateYork.        

A design by Cyrus Trego, Glen Rock, Pennsylvania, was selected as the winner this year.  Trego is a senior at Susquehannock High School and is enrolled in the dual enrollment program at Penn State York. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated April 09, 2015