Students Explore ‘World Piece’

November 28, 2007

BLOOMINGTON, Ill.— When Illinois Wesleyan University senior Nurman Noor hands someone a flier for a World Piece discussion, he sees him or her smile. “There is that look. They think you meant to say ‘world peace,’” said Noor, a biology major from Indonesia. “I think we’re all rooting for world peace, but this is a little different.”

Noor is the committee chair of the World Piece, a monthly student-led discussion group at IWU that allows participants to learn about other cultures and ideas. Sponsored by the University’s International Society, or I-Society, past discussions have focused on understanding Islam and modern China. “It gives us a format for talking about different perspectives,” said Noor. “It’s learning a little ‘piece’ of the world, and making global citizens one step at a time.”

The next World Piece discussion will be from 7-8 p.m., Monday, December 3, at Kemp Hall/International House (1207 N. Main St., Bloomington). The discussion topic will be “Ho, Ho Holidays: International Celebrations 101.” Noor will lead the discussion, which will focus on holiday celebrations around the world.

Farah Munir helped lead last month’s discussion on understanding Islam. The sophomore accounting major from Bangladesh volunteered because she wanted to gain a new perspective. “I was hoping anyone who attended might come away knowing more about Islam, just as I would have a better idea of other people’s impressions,” said Munir, who noted she was impressed with the turnout. “Students from all majors and interests were there. It was a great discussion.”

Events like World Piece create a place where students can learn from each other, said Noor. “It’s all about an exchange of ideas,” he said. “You’ll find a lot of American students in I-Society and at World Piece, which gives international students the chance to learn more about American culture.”

Illinois Wesleyan is home to 55 international students from 22 countries, a number that continues to rise each year. “With our growing number of international students, we wanted a program with topics that could appeal to everyone,” said International Student Advisor Reenie Bradley. “Because the students decide the topics, the discussions address what they want to say.”

 Contact: Rachel Hatch, (309) 556-3960