A recently formed Temple University student organization is enjoying success after just five months of being in existence.
The Russian student organization Mir, which means peace in Russian, was formed to promote the cultural interaction between Russian, American and international students at the University through social events and activities, said Whitnee Williams, the group’s event coordinator.
“We try to [create a] social relationship between different cultures,” said Williams.
The organization encourages students from all majors and years of study to join, according to Mir President Rebecca Davis “Mir is truly a unique organization because it encourages students to simultaneously share and learn new information, and it is a microcosm of the professional and global environments that impact our lives,” she said.
Mir has had a rapid growth in membership since it was formed last semester; the group now has over 80 members.
Davis said that one of the reasons for this is that although Mir is a Russian club in origin, it encourages students of all nationalities to join and currently includes students from 14 different national backgrounds.
“Because we market to all of Temple, we expected to get attention from international students,” said Davis.
“We really do want to take an international look at Russian culture.”
In attempt to expand its membership, the group is in the process of developing partnerships at other universities across the country.
“We have expanded to Rider University, University of Tennessee, University of Pennsylvania and Rutgers [University],” said Williams.
Davis said that they hope expand Mir into a worldwide organization, especially at universities located in Russia.
Although the field of study among its members varies, Mir offers tremendous opportunities for business students to learn more about the world of business, Williams said.
“[Mir] is very business-like,” she said. “I have learned a lot in terms of running an organization and being a leader.”
She added that Mir benefits business majors involved through networking and by helping to find internships at top-of-the-line business firms.
“We also get our people involved overseas,” said Williams.
Besides helping its members pursue career goals, Mir been working to show the University community what Russian culture has to offer.
Last Friday, Mir organized an event entitled “Memorable Moments in the Community” that allowed students to experience Russian entertainment and food at Kleopatra, a restaurant in Northeast Philadelphia.
Later this month, there will be a presentation called “Nord-Ost: The Story of the First Russian Musical” that discusses the future of the musical play Nord-Ost, which was playing in Moscow last October when Chechen fighters stormed the theater and held the audience hostage for several days.
The siege ended when Russian police stormed the theater; over 100 hostages died from the gas the police used to incapacitate the rebels.
Students interested in joining can contact Rebecca Davis at email@example.com.
Jonathan Vann can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.