ABBY DENAULT, TRUMPET GUEST WRITER
International Club, also known as I-Club, is welcoming a new president for the remainder of the 2021-22 school year.
Victor Cano-Ramirez, a second-year student from Guatemala majoring in engineering with minors in computer science and engineering management, is settling into his new role as I-Club President.
His election to office is not his first leadership position, but one in a list from before he came to Wartburg.
“Back when I was studying in Guatemala, before going to study abroad, I was working for an association called Ajede. I started there working as a volunteer and with time I became a product manager. I oversaw the different products that were being done in the city, just to make sure that legal requirements were met according to the things we needed,” Cano-Ramirez said.
Before college, Cano-Ramirez attended United World College (UWC) at the campus in Changshu, China. There, he founded the Entrepreneurship Club and S.W.A.T. (Students Working with Advanced Technologies) team.
When Cano-Ramirez saw that he had the chance to be a leader of I-Club, he took the opportunity.
“As a leader of I-Club, I think that you can appreciate that it doesn’t matter if I am from one country and another person is from literally the other side of the world. You reach a kind of mutual understanding of concerns and experiences you have because you are studying abroad in another place you don’t necessarily call home. That should be celebrated because that implies efforts that people do, sacrifices and trying to be the best you can be,” Cano-Ramirez said.
One of the focuses of the president of I-Club and the organization’s administration is building communication between different departments as well as within I-Club. Their priorities at the moment are set on the upcoming Culture Week. The event has been hindered the last two years by COVID restrictions on activities and attendance, but it is set to be more streamlined this year.
“What we are trying to do this year is to make our presence bigger. Culture Week is an opportunity to work as a platform for other students to present, to show, to appreciate and to celebrate different traditions all over the world. It is not more about what you are trying to convey, instead it is more about the dynamic and friendships and the experience itself of celebrating what we are doing,” Cano-Ramirez said.
For students who are not familiar with Culture Week, it is an event held by I-Club to allow students to showcase their different cultures and experiences. The week can involve various activities with a large show at the end to showcase performances by students from around the world. While dates have not yet been revealed, the show is set to happen sometime this semester.
Cano-Ramirez also sees the week as an opportunity for students to expand their boundaries.
“As president, I would really love to mix more domestic students with international students. I think if that can be accomplished, it would be like a dream for a lot of international students. That is something that for a big extent is something that goes out of our hands. It really comes to the fact that you have the willingness, but also take action and talk to people outside of your comfort zone,” Cano-Ramirez said.
Above all else, the new I-Club president’s focus is on creating a home for everyone on campus.
“I think I really would like to ask for participation in culture week. Something I can tell about I-Club is that we are so eager to talk about our culture and about stories. That is important, but also to have an experience where you can feel welcome. And I think that international students are the most welcoming people you could ever meet in your life. We are really trying to make this feel like home,” said Cano-Ramirez.
Peace Iteriteka, the previous president of I-Club, transferred to the University of Northern Iowa.
More information on I-Club can be found at https://www.wartburg.edu/iclub/.