As the summer months of 2017 come to a close and the school year creeps up on us, Arthur Newspaper looks forward to another year of reporting to the Trent and surrounding community. To kick things off, the team at Arthur has reached out to our new student group leaders whom are eagerly waiting to take up their new positions.
One of these new leaders is Stefany Can Feng, a fourth year business administration student and the newest president of the Trent International Student Association or, TISA for short and is the second largest student group at Trent.
Can Feng was born and raised in Venezuela, however both of her parents are from China. A diverse mix that Can Feng says she hopes will give her a unique perspective while in her new role as TISA president.
So far, the new president has wasted no time in arranging and preparing for the new academic year, while even having time to organize two events throughout the summer including a picnic that welcomes all regional groups, international students, and all summer students, as well as the Cultural Cup, an annual soccer tournament hosted at Trent.
When asked what pushed her to campaign for this position, Stefany states that it is largely due to the actions of the previous TISA president, Hamza Bhownar.
“He inspired me to give back to my community, and to help the international students because it’s not easy for these students to come to a foreign country and not have family around. I went through that, and I just wanted to give the new international students and the old ones, a support system.”
Arthur then asked Can Feng the big question, what are some goals you’d like to achieve while in this position?
“I think the most important thing I can do in this position is to work to create a bridge between the domestic students and the international students. I’ve noticed that there is a huge gap between the two groups, and I find that there is need for a platform in which domestic students can learn about other cultures, as well as using this platform for international students to integrate into Canada while they are here.”
Can Feng says that in order to achieve this lofty goal by focusing on the social aspect of post-secondary life, which is something that international students have traditionally struggled with, as in many cases the environment and culture is vastly different. However TISA is a powerful group, and Stefany says that she is confident that this power and reputation can be harnessed in this way in order to help promote a positive environment, and experience for all students.
Stefany says that her and her team are currently working on a marketing plan to expand their already vast following for TISA’s largest annual event, Cultural Outreach. Stefany says that TISA is looking to attract new demographics past the Trent community and into the larger Peterborough area, such as local businesses, as well as Fleming College.
As well as expanding their demographic to get their message out, TISA is also looking to expand their sponsorships with some local business owners who are new to Canada as well such as the popular Middle Eastern restaurant Ariyana, and DODO’s anime café.
To close off the interview with our new TISA president, Arthur asked simply, why do you think an international student group is important to have at Trent or post-secondary institutions at all?
“That is a very good question, and possibly the hardest one to answer clearly!” Can Feng said laughing while collecting her thoughts.
“I guess the biggest thing that comes into my mind right now is that, groups like these really opens peoples minds to being more accepting. These groups give people who are outside these groups a different perspective on how the rest of the world works. One that many would have otherwise been blind to some of these foreign cultures, while most importantly giving the international students coming to Trent a sense of community and acceptance where support otherwise may be low.”
In closing, TISA reminds everyone of their “welcome back BBQ” in September which is a free event hosted by TISA and available to all students.
The TISA website also has more information on the group and upcoming events at, https://www.facebook.com/TrentuTISA/