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UA Graduate students enjoy Family Fun Day

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Ryan Revock
Ryan Revock / Arizona Daily Wildcat Wilson Hilgaertner slides down the slide within the jumping castle at GPSA week Family Fun Day Sunday afternoon. Family Fun Day was the first ebent for the appreciation week.

The Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week kicked off on the UA campus Sunday afternoon with Family Fun Day.

The event was a collaborative effort between the UA international community and the Graduate and Professional Student Council. There were bagged lunches, henna tattoos, a beanbag toss, lawn darts, a jumping castle and assorted board games.

“The Family Fun Day turned out quite OK. We had a couple attendances. A lot of people were having fun ­— people doing face paint, henna, playing games, kids enjoying themselves in the jumping castle,” said Kevin Chau, the GPSC events director. “So I think it [Family Fun Day] was pretty good. It could have been better, but like every event, we can always improve on it, so I am pretty happy with what is going on so far.”

The event also gave attendees the opportunity to grab informational sheets on child and family care, as well as another sheet for “planning tips” for children’s activities in the summer.

The International Student Services provided several volunteers for the event Sunday, said Noelle Sallaz, an international student adviser.

One of the volunteers was Samina Yasmin, an international student from Pakistan who is pursuing her doctorate in second language acquisition and teaching. Yasmin was providing free henna tattoos.

“I love it [showing people Pakistani culture] because when you are in your own culture, you don’t care a lot about it, but when you just step out of it, you feel the need of it,” Yasmin said. “You need your identity and the moment I stepped out of my country, came to America, I loved everything about it, but I somehow felt away from my identity and my culture. So that is why I loved to do it and that is the reason I contacted ISS for just giving me something that I can represent my country and my culture in a good way.”

Some attendees said the event was a good way to connect with graduate students.

“I … like to bring my son here because my son can have a great time. He can enjoy the company. He can see how the other graduate students are,” said Jianhua Hilgaertner, a biostatistics and agriculture and resource economics graduate student. “I also brought my homework and lectures here so I can do some homework while he is playing with other graduate students. This is very helpful, especially on weekends.”

The next event for Graduate and Professional Student Appreciation Week is today and is called “Geeks who Drink,” a trivia style game at Trident Grill from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

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