New MSU students introduced to community, campus through Shades of Starkville

Staff Writer

Despite the wind being too much for some canopies, numerous campus organizations, churches and Starkville businesses set up on the Drill Field Wednesday for Shades of Starkville.

The event was part of Dawg Days, a series of events early in the fall semester to welcome students back to campus and orient new students. Shades of Starkville also coincided with the first day of fall semester classes. The event was well attended, and several organizations and other presenters had free food and other items available to students. Clubs attending represented a broad range of interests, including duck hunting, Korean pop culture and ultimate Frisbee, among others.

Among the organizations demonstrating on the Drill Field was the Mississippi State Budo Club, which focuses on Japanese martial arts martial arts, including aikido, judo, jodo and laido.

“It’s what samurai did if they didn’t have a weapon,” said MSU associate professor of Spanish Robert Harland, the club’s faculty sponsor. “Samurai would not go into battle with no weapon, but sometimes they didn’t have one. They didn’t reinvent the wheel. They took the moves they knew and shrunk them down into a martial art mostly working on the head and arms and upper body.”

He said many students had expressed interest in the organization, but he wasn’t expecting everyone to show up once the club began meeting.

“There’s been a big variety of people, different majors, walks of life, so we shall see what happens,” Harland said. “The problem is not everyone shows up, so we shall see who shows up and who stays, but we are looking to recruit. We haven’t been as active recruiting in previous years, and we do a lot of stuff. We travel around. We have regular tips to Oklahoma City, and we’ve done some other travels.”

Not far from the MSU Budo Club’s booth, a different student organization was busy sharing its culture with the rest of campus.

The university’s 150-member Nepalese student association was showing off several artifacts from the homeland. Many members, some wearing traditional costumes answered the community’s questions about Nepal, and fostering cultural exchange.

“People are really open to knowing about new cultures, appreciating our presence here, and they really like our culture and traditions,” said MSU Nepalese Student Association Secretary KoshishSigdel, a senior electrical engineering major.

Sigdel described his experience as an international student in the U.S.

“ The environment here is very different,” Sigdel said. “You can find different sorts of people everywhere, and you get to interact with a whole different culture, and it’s been great. There are many organizations for international students, where we can go participate in activities. It’s a really nice place.”

Dawg Days events will continue until the end of the month.