In the wake of student concerns on the Queens campus regarding race, and treatment of colored students, The Office of Gift Planning held their event, Romance of Spanish Food and Wine – An Argentinean Affair at the Queens Theatre.
Students and alumni had time to network while they enjoyed dishes like spinach, beef, and chicken empanadas. They shared their stories about the importance of learning about other cultures and traveling the world.
Susan Damini, Director of Gift Planning represents the McCallen Society, which is one of the largest alumni donor groups at the University.
“Tonight is a special night because we bring students and alumni together for a wonderful, cultural event where St. John’s gives back to everybody and we appreciate everyone’s support,” Damiani said.
Students like Angelica Acevedo and Kimberly Alvarez found the importance in meeting alumni recounting their memories from years ago in addition to watching the tango performance.
“I hear that some of them are donors, and I’d love to know why they’re donating I’m so excited about the tango show,” Acevedo said.
Alvarez, current undergrad student and captain of Sensacion Dance Team was excited to discuss the progression of cultural organizations at the University.
“It is a brand new, SGI recognized organization on campus,” Alvarez said. “We are a Latin dance team…we are Latin based but not Latin exclusive.
Their goal is to primarily introduce members to the Latin culture. She hopes to explore different dances within and outside the Latin American culture.
“As you may know the Latin culture is very diverse,” Alvarez said. “We’ve also gone as far as doing Bollywood, Hip Hop and incorporating those dances within Latin culture.”
Alvarez is Salvadorian and she expresses they love to explore different dances as well as dances outside of Latin America.
“We look forward to maybe in the future hosting a dance 101 event with our alumni,” Alvarez said.
In an open forum, Professor Douglas Cantelmo mentioned how St. John’s changed his perspective of globalism. He wants alumni to understand that the impact they’ve had in students’ life.
“While we’re enjoying all this kind of global, international flavor tonight, just know that you’re making a huge contribution to the life of this University and its students,” Cantelmo said. “It does not only give them a global perspective but also the confidence to travel independently.”