Wooster’s first Italian international student, Marco Roccato ’20, is trying to form a new student group on campus. Roccato is attempting to create the European Student’s Association (ESA), a group dedicated to represent all international students that come from Europe, including the College’s global nomads.
After walking through the annual Scot Spirit Day for the first time as a first-year, Roccato became inspired to start his own club, noticing that there was a lack of representation for European students on campus.
“I knew there were many Europeans in Wooster, and I thought it would be needed to have that presence on campus,” said Roccato. He also wants to debunk the idea that European culture can be dismissed from needing representation due to its familiar aspects in American culture. “Many people believe European culture is similar to American culture. They think it’s ‘oh yeah it’s whatever,’ but it’s very different and I want people to be conscious of how we live.”
Eventually opening up later to the entire student body, ESA’s temporary board is currently comprised wholly of European students.
Roccato is the president, Axel Nunes ’18 is vice president and Magia Karagianni ’19 is treasurer, all advised under the authority of Nicola Kille, the assistant director of International Student Affairs. Once ESA is approved to be an official club, they will hold new elections and add new positions, opening up to other non-European students.
“This is a way to spread positivity and awareness; we’re doing this because we like to come together,” said Roccato. “Europe is built on learning about each other and appreciating each other even with our differences, and we want to bring some of that to Wooster. Even if there are not as many Europeans, we still want to spread that message. That’s what Wooster is about, different people coming together.”
Not only does Roccato hope that ESA can share European values amongst the Wooster campus, but he plans to expand this network to other nations. Roccato expressed interest in working with the office of Off-Campus Studies here at the College. By working with OCS, students could generate more awareness and education about the European culture and atmosphere they will be entering into while studying abroad.
ESA also plans to work with admissions so that the admissions team can better promote themselves to prospective European students and to further bridge the gap. In turn, Roccato explains that this could lead to a larger network of alumni in countries all over Europe, building a community with a common identity.
“Outside the Europeans themselves, we want to work with other multiethnic groups [on campus]. Once we get approved, [we’re] going to be reaching out to other groups that do similar things. We think supporting each other is a successful presence, we don’t want to be isolated from other groups,” said Roccato.
Currently processing paperwork to seek approval on becoming an official club, Roccato and other members of ESA plan on continuing to spread awareness about this new possible representation on campus. For questions or comments feel free to email Roccato at MRoccato20@wooster.edu.