New Indian Student group seeks members, ideas

Though University of Detroit Mercy is a small campus, it reaches all corners of the globe.

With students from China to the Caribbean, this school is its own melting pot. Having a university with so many different backgrounds gives students an opportunity to explore multiple cultural traditions.

One way this is made possible is through ethnic students groups that host events throughout the year that introduce people to their traditions and customs. On Sept. 10, the university held its annual student organization fair where many of these ethnic associations attended to recruit new members.

Larger groups included the Hispanic American Student Association, the African and Caribbean Student Organization and the Chinese Student and Scholars Association. But one organization that is still trying to find its path is the Indian Student Association.

During the first meeting of the school year, the members of the Indian Student Organization had big ideas. However, they don’t have the finances or enough people to achieve everything, and they are trying to find a way to make it work.

Just for the fall, the members have ideas to do a Bollywood movie night and a festival. The festival would offer free Henna and the celebration of Holi, the festival of colors with freshly made Indian food at the end. None of these plans are set in stone.

Other ideas they had were doing a flash mob, teaching students to dance or having a fashion show, but those will have to wait until they get more funding and members. The most important part is that they get to share their culture with everyone.

The majority of the members of the Indian Student Association have come directly from India to pursue a Bachelor’s degree in one of the many engineering fields.

The Indian Student Association’s president, Sravan Phanikumar Kopparthi, is in the Master’s program for software engineering.

“My goal for the Indian Student Organization is to create an atmosphere where others feel comfortable and feel like they are at home,” Kopparthi said.

Kopparthi grew up in India, and the first thing he did when he came to America was call Detroit Mercy. From there they provided him with housing. The welcoming that the university gave him is the same welcoming he wants to give to people who are in a similar situation.

A new member to the association, Sunil Kondreddi said that his goal for the club is a life goal. As he lives he wants to expose and introduce his culture to all kinds of people, he said.

When asked why it is so important to get involved Kondreddi said “it’s all about building relationships between students and getting to know people.”

The Indian Student Association’s first big event is the Festival of Lights and will take place during the first week of November.