The biggest part of Fulbright’s community is undergraduate students, the generation of dynamic, progressive, and empathetic young people who wholeheartedly pursue what they believe in and have passion for. The vibrant and diverse colors of more than 21 booths from 16 Fulbright Student Clubs have made Fulbright Giving Week 2022 all the more unique and remarkable.
Attracting more than 300 attendees, the Giving Fair, initiated and organized by students, successfully raised 1,300 “tamarind leaves” with each leaf equivalent from VND 10,000 to VND 50,000 (approx. US$2). This fund will support student social projects.
21 Booths: collection of distinctive pieces
One of the most exciting activities at the Giving Fair is a trilogy of Wheels of Fortune, Tarot Reading, and Bingo (Lô Tô), held by Fulbright Event Hub with the support from Fulbright Student Engagement staff.
“We call it ‘Event Hub’ because we wanted it to be a space where everyone can be their own childish selves, freely play like when we were kids and we can grow up together,” shared Lê Thảo Tường Vy, President of Fulbright Event Hub.
The recreational format was also chosen by other clubs with various types of challenges, such as Google Developer Student Club with programming games, FulPride & Alliance with quizzes on LGBTQ+ topics, Fulbright Basketball Club with a mini playground, Fulbright Philosophy Society with board games, while TEDx FUV and Running Club presented interactive activities and fun trivias.
With a more academic theme, Fulbright STEM Club, Fulbright Consulting Club, and Fulbright Historical Society took this opportunity to introduce their recent activities. The participants were invited to listen to The Keen Podcast, experience business case solving, and explore the new research projects, all of which were engaging activities to expand the clubs’ popularity.
Staying true to the “giving fair” concept, many clubs were selling items related to their clubs’ activities or handmade products. There were books at LIT Magazine’s booth besides poetry reading activity; artworks from the Fulbright Art Lab along with art exhibitions; or “pre-ordered” products specially crafted by talents from Fulbright CIDO. And Fulbright Business Club, with their entrepreneurial mindset, could not miss this opportunity to sell ready-to-eat foods and souvenirs, which no one would refuse to buy.
Taking advantage of costumes and decoration, Fulbright Theater offered Polaroid photography with one-of-a-kind accessories and backdrop. Meanwhile, the Fulbright Debate Club invited participants to contribute in two ways: cash or hair to the Vietnam Breast Cancer Network. With the pure expectation is to create engaging activities and bring laughters to the Fair, Nguyễn Đỗ Nguyễn (President of Fulbright Theater) shared that the donation were the unexpected response which made the club members over the moon.
“At first, our photography service was completely for free because we were afraid that no one would be willing to pay just to dress up and take pictures. But surprisingly, people loved it, some even came back 4 times. We are very happy because the donation shows that our passion for theater has spread to many people!”.
Besides the Clubs, two student projects also joined the Fair, namely Hearty Plant Project (project to develop urban gardening model) and ICPC Project (programming project). They introduced their projects to the wider student community with presentations and hands-on experiences.
Fulbright Student Clubs – where passions are ignited and nurtured
University life at Fulbright presents opportunities for students to participate and thrive in a dynamic, welcoming environment, where they can make discoveries and find their own voices. As a division of the Office of Student Life, Student Engagement aims to promote students’ campus-wide involvement in learning opportunities, programs, and events outside the classroom.
With guidance from staff and faculty advisors, students can come together to fully explore, develop and pursue lifelong passions, actively planning and participating in projects close to their heart.
The passion for theater has always been in Đỗ Nguyễn’s heart, yet it was not until he entered Fulbright where Nguyễn has truly lived with the desire to cultivate this art in the community. “For me, Fulbright Theater is a passion, a dream, and a voice for arts. Being a part of the club, I can perform on stage or stay behind it to prepare for magnificent performances – it is freeing to me.”
Another art club that is newly established at Fulbright is Blue Period, the club that collaborated with Fulbright Art Lab to organize the Exhibition in Giving Week 2022. Not just a space for art practitioners, Blue Period’s vision is greater than that, “In Blue Period, this is what we really want to focus on: to help students to have hands-on experience with painting specifically, while also having an environment that is inclusive for all, not just the art majors,” shared Phạm Bá Hoan, a Blue Period member.
Beyond the financial and professional support from Fulbright faculty and staff, there is the inner strength of the student community itself. The financial resources to promote students’ initiatives partly come from community funding activities, which solidifies and sustains the community. That is the spirit that Fulbright recognizes behind the impressive numbers which the students have achieved during the Giving Week 2022.