Campus & Culture

Taste of the World Brings Multicultural Cuisines to Hawk Hill

by Erin O'Boyle

Four students standing behind trays of food.

Four Hawks at Taste of the World. Photo taken at a previous event.

Keys to the Article
  • On May 6, Saint Joseph’s will hold its biannual cultural event, Taste of the World, sponsored by the student-run group Bridging the Gap.
  • This event is an opportunity for multicultural student groups on campus to showcase and share their culture’s cuisine. The event typically includes performances, music and entertainment.
  • This year’s events will feature food trucks, as well as a movie and trivia night.

On May 6, Saint Joseph’s will hold its biannual cultural event, Taste of the World. Sponsored by the student-run group Bridging the Gap, Taste of the World is a chance for different multicultural student organizations on campus to represent themselves through food and entertainment.

Jess Atoo ’21, an information technology major, is the president of Bridging the Gap, a student-run group that aims to increase awareness of the diversity and different cultures represented on Hawk Hill.

“We really just try to highlight and celebrate the cultures we have on campus,” says Atoo. “And we try to do this by holding events that celebrate different cultures, whether that’s a movie night for Hispanic Heritage Month or going to the Penn Museum to look at the Native American heritage exhibit.”

Taste of the World is another way Bridging the Gap is showcasing and celebrating diversity at the University by bringing together the multicultural student organizations at Saint Joseph’s in a “potluck from around the world.” In previous years, the different organizations would bring in trays of food ordered from local restaurants, which were then distributed by the students, buffet-style, in The Perch. There would also be music, entertainment and cultural performances from groups like the Irish step team, the University Singers, and the Black Student Union talent show winner.

But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Bridging the Gap has had to adjust its approach to this event in order to comply with CDC, city, state and campus guidelines. Instead of having the event in The Perch, Taste of the World will take place outside on the Maguire-Wolfington lawn. And instead of having buffets served by students, this year’s event will feature food trucks.

Atoo says Bridging the Gap started planning early this year to make sure the event could still take place. The students also worked hard to find food trucks that could represent the various cultural cuisines of their student organizations.

“There’s going to be food representation from the African Caribbean Student Association, Hawks of India, the Latinx Student Association, the Asian Student Association, the Italian Club and the Black Student Union,” says Atoo. “We reach out to all cultural clubs on campus. We’ll gladly take anyone who wants to participate.”

In addition to serving ethnic food, Taste of the World will still include cultural performances including Irish step dancing and a preview of the African Caribbean Student Association’s fashion show.

Atoo says this spring’s event will be bigger than ever, and will include a movie and trivia night afterward. 

“We’re having the different multicultural organizations represented at Taste of the World contribute questions to trivia night, so they get a diverse group of topics and questions,” says Atoo. “It’s going to be like a big family gathering. It will be a really nice event.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, April 27 at noon, and purchasing in advance is highly recommended. Ticket prices range from $4 to $10 and can be purchased here.