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Taste of OSU hopes to give flavor to diversity, zest of campus culture

February 6, 2014

corry.21@osu.edu
A plate of food samples from the Korean International Student Organization at OSU at the 2013 Taste of OSU. Taste of OSU is set to take place Feb. 7 at the Ohio Union. Credit: Courtesy of the Ohio State University Office of International Affairs

A plate of food samples from the Korean International Student Organization at OSU at the 2013 Taste of OSU. Taste of OSU is set to take place Feb. 7 at the Ohio Union.
Credit: Courtesy of the Ohio State University Office of International Affairs

Taste of OSU did not get the recognition it needed to make a profit last year. In 2014, it hopes to make a comeback.

Taste of OSU is an event composed of various cultural student organizations, which prepare food samples, exhibits and cultural performances annually.

The 2014 Taste of OSU, hosted by the Ohio State Office of International Affairs, is set to take place Friday from 5-9 p.m. in the Ohio Union.

Since 1997, Taste of OSU has grown from a gathering of 60 people to a signature OSU event with about 4,000 attendees.

“It’s a way for the Ohio State community to learn more about the diverse cultures of our international students, through food, their booth displays and their performances,” Miller said.

This year, the event has a budget of about $48,000, Maureen Miller, spokeswoman for OSU International Affairs, said. She added a large portion of the expenses is donated, however, Taste of OSU needs to make $24,500 to break even. The event lost about $7,000 last year and Miller said she hopes Taste of OSU will bounce back this year.

“I think we tried too many new ideas in one event, and it didn’t work out. This year we’re not doing any of those things. We’re going back to basics,” Miller said.

Last year, Miller said Taste of OSU attempted to sell T-shirts and other goods, which proved unsuccessful. This year, the only costs associated with the event are for food purchases.

Admission to the event is free, and tickets for food samples are $1 each using cash or BuckID.

Additionally, in hopes to improve sales, this year, tickets are slated to be available for purchase later on in the evening. In years past, attendees were required to purchase tickets only at the beginning of the event.

According to the Taste of OSU’s Facebook event page, 23 groups are slated to perform and 29 student organizations are set to prepare food for sampling.

Despite minor setbacks, Miller said such an event is important to have at OSU.

“Events like Taste of OSU only help to pique students’ interest and enhance their knowledge of how to get along and learn from people from other countries. I think this is a really great opportunity,” Miller said.

Gabrielle Simmons, a second-year in psychology, said she likes that the event is trying to promote the variety of cultures at OSU.

“We have a diverse student body, so I feel like it is important to know what backgrounds people come from,” Simmons said.

Christine Koporc, a first-year in zoology, agreed.

“It’s nice to see what other cultures are like, and it gives people an opportunity to experience them,” Koporc said.

Miller said Taste of OSU is a good opportunity to learn about different cultures and their dynamics in today’s global society.

“Everybody has something a little different to share,” Miller said.


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