Right before fall finals in December, I did a sort of de-stress/diversity program on my floor entitled ‘Holiday on a Budget’. A number of students on my floor had expressed a lot of anxiety about returning home for the holidays and not being able to purchase presents for their families. I really wanted to help them out, but having a number of international students on my floor, I didn’t want to exclude anyone. I had spent some time getting to know my floor throughout the semester, and I tried to use all the resources I had. With the help of a number of students, we put together a program that provided students a chance to share different cultural customs as well as to make gifts for others if celebrating a holiday during the term break after finals. I recruited two of my students to give an origami lesson, and I providing the paper and instruction booklets to help them. Another student from India gave a cooking lesson as well as a recipe for others to try or give away as a gift or stocking stuffer. I showed the girls how to make plaid Christmas cards, celebrating my own Scottish customs, and another Polish student brought in special cookies for the evening. Using the internet, I also found some fun and easy-to-make crafts, such as decorated hair pins and bracelets. The event was a success, not only in helping students make some really nice gifts for their families, but also in assisting my floor to become more culturally aware and appreciate those living in their community. At the end of the night, I took several floor pictures and gave them out as Christmas cards to my floor before they left for term break.
Submitted by Tracey Grozier, Residence Program Coordinator, University Of Windsor