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Mixed reviews for club caravan
By Sarah Fraley
An alleged lack of organization and communication has left some club members disappointed with the attendance at this year's University Students' Council's Cultural Caravan.
Many club presidents said in comparison to last year's Cultural Caravan, this year's has fallen short.
Persian Club president, Kourosh Hakinzadeh and vice-president Niloofar Iranpoor, said this year's Cultural Caravan has been a disappointment because of the lack of communication and organization.
"We were notified by e-mail about a month ago and were sent a second e-mail just last week. Overall, I think this year's USC has been poorly organized," Hakinzadeh said.
President of the Caribbean Students Organization, Talibah Miller, said she was upset with the organization of the event, which is taking place in the atrium of the University Community Centre between Wednsday and Friday of this week. "This is the best way for us to show the students at Western what our culture is about and we can't do that when it is organized so poorly," she said.
CSO vice-president Delinie Fernando, said poor organization could be responsible for the low crowd turnout. "Usually it is crowded and many clubs are participating, but this year, that is not the case," she said.
Miller said the CSO was told there would be an opening ceremonies and shirts provided by the USC, noting neither of these were done. "We stayed up until midnight [on Sunday] preparing and when we got here [Monday] we were so disappointed," she added.
International students' commissioner, Fariha Tayyeb, said a big reason for the poor turnout can be attributed to a poor response from the clubs.
Tayyeb said she wanted to thank all the clubs who got involved in the event. "Everyone has done a great job and I would especially like to thank the Caribbean and the Filipino clubs," she said.
VP-campus issues Andrea Boulay, said there was a lack of feedback from clubs. "We didn't receive a lot of feedback from the clubs when they were first contacted. This made it difficult to organize everything," she said.
Boulay said the best was made of a "sticky" situation.
"We can base an event's success on numbers, but this is not one of those events," she said, adding, "[The Cultural Caravan] is about showing students where you're from and what your culture is about. In that aspect, the event is a great success."
In regards to club participation, Tayyeb was optimistic that there will be an improvement today and tomorrow.
German Club president, Ali Bandukwala, said the club prepared for the caravan at the last minute, but noted he was still pleased with the display.
Bandukwala said the German club is a new Western club and explained this was the first year they participated in the caravan. He thought there could have been more communication, but added, despite the last minute preparations, the event turned out fairly well.