Being one of the first student clubs at Fulbright University Vietnam, the Fulbright Event Hub (FEH) has organized many fun events and crafted invaluable memories for the Fulbright community. Below are some most significant initiatives FEH has done since its infantry. At Fulbright Event Hub, no idea is left unexplored and nothing is deemed impossible.
September 2018: Meet the family
Co-Design Year students are the new babies of the Fulbright family. To initiate stronger bonds between Co-Designers and our brothers and sisters from the Master of Public Policy (MPP) 19 class, FEH debuted with the first ever event at Fulbright, Meet and Greet. We talked, we shared, we played games, and we had a lot of fun throughout the event.
“We are different in many ways but we also hold similar values. I believe that the one most important value we share is to respect each other’s differences,” said Phuong Nhi, Co-Designers’ representative. That belief lies in the core of our community since the beginning. We open our heart to learn from others but at the same time, we embody our unique color in the Fulbright family.
October 2018: Get the creep on
Various ideas were generated while brainstorming for Halloween, from Escape room, to Scavenger hunt, to Amazing race. Yet, we wanted to take our first Halloween party at Fulbright to the next level. It was not a simple mission. To realize our idea, we needed to control the electricity, the door system, and the sound system of the whole campus. But which university would let the students do such thing?
We came to Student Life Department for advice. To our surprise, Ms Linh told us: “I am also into these ideas. Go ahead and develop them further. I’ll check the campus policy and let you know what we can do.” We understood then that we had found the right place to be.
Thanks to the help from Student Life, we successfully pulled off the Halloween event, Bloody Crescent. The concept was similar to the Escape room concept, in which the players would have to solve a specific code to get out. We went all out on the creepiness level of Halloween decoration, from placing a bloody hand next to a fake mummy, or turning the classrooms into red rooms, to staging a murder scene with school girl in áo dài randomly running out of the School Murder room.
It was an unforgettable event not only for us, but also for all the attendants. We established a foundation of trust with the administration team at Fulbright University Vietnam; this will help leave for room for creativity when we organize more and more events on campus. Most importantly, through this event, we learned how to ask for help. With the strong support we receive from Fulbright, the sky is the limit.
November: Show the love
After feeling more comfortable with the new environment, we suddenly had a moment of epiphany: while we were exploring new Western culture, our faculty members also wanted to learn more about Vietnamese culture. Thus, for the Vietnamese Teacher’s Day, we wanted to show our professors one of the most important aspects of Vietnamese culture: to honor our teachers and their teaching (tôn sư trọng đạo).
We decided to organize two different celebrations. In the morning, the Co-Designers wanted to surprise the Undergraduate faculty with a casual and fun party with the help from Dr. Ryan Derby-Talbot, Chief Academic Officer. As briefed, Dr. Ryan sent out an email calling all Undergraduate faculty member for an urgent meeting. The Co-Designers then “hijacked” the so-called meeting with treats and wishes for our beloved professors. However, the faculty members were not the only ones who were surprised. We, Co-Designers, did not expect to see our professors looking so great in the traditional áo dài.
The afternoon celebration was a formal one, which we partnered with the MPP 19 brothers and sisters to organize for all faculty members of both Undergraduate and Graduate program. The ceremony was filled with songs we practiced together to honor the help and support we received from our professors. We hoped through our songs and our words, they could know how much we appreciate them in our lives.
The Vietnamese Teacher’s Day, we believe, is not only for Vietnamese teachers, but a day for us to show our gratitude for all the teachers in Vietnam, no matter where they originally come from.
December 2018: Do you believe in fairy tales?
December was definitely an eventful month. We started it off feeling completely terrified when our staff members came up with an idea of organizing a big concert with a not-so-big budget. The reach of the concert was no longer just among us Fulbright family but extending to two other universities, University of Humanities and Social Sciences and International University.
We were on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. We went from being horrified seeing how impossible this idea was, to being hopeful knowing that it could be achieved, and finally to being ecstatic when the Tiny Campus Concert materialized. We were so proud to bring together a cozy night for everyone to enjoy with their loved ones, listen to beautiful melodies, and show off their talents in the open mic session.
In retrospect, we realize that budget, venue and human resources are indeed important factors; but they are not the most deciding factors. As long as we keep our dreams alive and dare to take the first step to realize them, we can do everything. The Tiny Campus Concert was the first step we took to realize our dream of organizing a mega concert one day.
Of course we did not forget Christmas. Among the various Christmas activities on campus, the most fun activity has to be Christmas Challenge Week. Everything could be challenged. On campus, you could see a lot that you would not otherwise see on a normal week. For example, the Fulbright family was a bit perplexed seeing roommates in twin-clothing, or girls in their male friends’ styles. Finding out who was who was not an easy task for our Residential Advisors.
Another interesting activity we did was the Secret Santa event. Each of us had to be the Secret Santa for another person; we had to follow their routines and find out what they would want for Christmas. It was an interesting experience for all of us. By being caring, we learned to notice others’ even smallest feelings and actions and appreciate them even more.
January 2019: Vietnamese Culture Tour
Some may say that the feeling of Tết comes from the preparations, not the actual celebration. That is when everyone in the family comes together and gets ready to welcome the new year. It was true for the Fulbright family.
Tết is the most important celebration in Vietnamese culture. As part of the quest to introduce Vietnamese culture to our professors, the Culture and Language Project, Food and Fitness Club, and the Fulbright Event Hub cooperated to introduce a bánh chưng class on campus. To prepare for the class, we had to wash 70kg of sticky rice and clean 300 dong leaves; no words can describe how we felt after that.
Similar to a normal class, we also had instructors: Co-Designers, one Graduate faculty, and Youtube videos. Though not so well-versed with making bánh chưng, especially more challenging without any cake mold, the Fulbright family had lots of fun. Things suddenly got heated when everyone competed to make the most beautiful bánh chưng in the shortest amount of time.
We ended the class with a traditional dinner with signature dishes for Tết such as stuffed bitter melon soup, caramelized pork and eggs, and salted vegetables. It was a great introduction for our professors on Tết, but for those students who live away from home, the dishes reminded us of home and helped cure our homesickness.
No Tết celebration is complete without lì xì (lucky money), and no one is too old to receive lì xì. FEH taped up 54 lucky money envelopes around campus and the Fulbright family slowly filled them up with many lucky things, from money, small gifts, notes, and even reading assignments. 54 Co-Designers then said a new year wish and played lucky draw to see who was the luckiest person to receive the highest prize, the VND500,000 bill. We had a good laugh when the boys picked up glamorous earrings and then did not know whether to laugh or cry when the biggest prize fell into the hand of a staff member.
Year in review
Last year has been a wild ride for the Fulbright Event Hub. We have experienced a wide range on the emotions spectrum in just within five short months. There were low moments, in which the thoughts of quitting were eminent. Yet, there were high moments that helped further reinforced our belief in ourselves. Above all else, we know that this is only our starting point. Together, we can conquer all obstacles and aim even higher next year.
Stay tuned, and craft many more extraordinary memories with Fulbright Event Hub!
Fulbright Event Hub