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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Annual Fusion Fiesta aims to educate and entertain

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Photo by Photo by Yuri Suchil

Students are encouraged to visit each country’s booth to learn more about their culture. 

Fusion Fiesta brings together students from all over campus with all different backgrounds with the mission to educate the Texas A&M community about culture.
The 11th annual event will be held 7 to 10 p.m. on Nov. 9, Rudder Plaza and will host over 30 cultural booths and 15 performances as part of Fusion Fiesta’s annual celebration. The event is free to the public and will have food, door prizes and t-shirts for attendees.
According to Hunter Irion, a chairman of Fusion Fiesta, this is the largest cultural event on campus. Irion said the event will be bigger than ever and will treat Aggies to entertaining performances, including one from Reuben May, the sociology professor who goes by Reginald Stuckey and is known as the ‘rapping professor.’
Irion said Fusion Fiesta is a way for Aggies to bond over both their differences and similarities.
“I think it’s very hard to reach out of your comfort zone and meet people that are different than you,” Irion said. “However, it’s one of the most important things that we need to do. Not only as students, but as future leaders of the world.”
Irion said regardless of background, all students will be able to bond over something, even if it’s something as simple as being an Aggie.
“Just being able to go out to this event and talk to people that might not share any of the same viewpoints, experiences and culture as you, but still being able to find common ground is really important,” Irion said. “The first step is breaking down barriers and befriending someone.”
Jessica Hsu, the vice president of Asian President’s Council, said this year’s event is different because of the numerous new organizations participating in Fusion Fiesta.
“This year is so different because this team worked so hard to find organizations that are not part of the Department of Multicultural Services or affiliated with it,” Hsu said. “For example, the Puerto Rican Student Association is an organization that was typically not involved with Fusion Fiesta in the past. To have them here this year is really exciting.”
In response to devastation of Hurricane Maria, the Puerto Rican Student Association’s table at Fusion Fiesta will provide attendees with information about donations. Ricardo Mercado, the organization’s president, said this will allow people to directly help Puerto Rico.
Hsu said she really likes the diversity of the event and the fact that it combines recent issues with entertainment.
“We try to incorporate fun aspects with the serious aspect of culture,” Hsu said. “We want people to appreciate our cultures and where we come from. I like to view Fusion Fiesta as a showcase for all the different cultural organizations on campus. When I was a freshman, Fusion Fiesta was the opening door for me to find so many different culture organizations and find so many different people.”
Patrick Patraca, the Director of Fusion Fiesta Marketing, said attending the event as a freshman also made an impact on him and made him interested in what goes on at A&M. He said he hopes attendees learn a lot at the event.
“The purpose of Fusion Fiesta is to celebrate culture,” Patraca said. “Culture is the first step to learning about a person’s life experiences. Learning about other cultures helps people understand and relate to people that seem different.”
Hsu said she is looking forward the event, and believes the organizers’ hard work toward preparation will pay off.
“I am really excited to see how much culture and education the organization bring to their tables,” Hsu said. “They have worked so hard to make this event happen. Honestly, Fusion Fiesta would not happen without them. I’m really excited to see who comes to the event and what they learn.”

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