I vividly remember looking at the pictures of students celebrating Diwali (a famous Indian festival) in one of the prospective student webinars about life at RIT. This was even before I landed at RIT - that made me curious to know more about the student clubs and organizations on campus. Looking at the variety of clubs at RIT had already made me think about the exciting experience I was going to have. And it absolutely turned out to be true! With over 300 clubs and organizations at RIT, I was bewildered which ones to join. I started my semester by joining Oasis, Women in Computing, and the Badminton club. Mostly, all clubs have weekly meetings where we get to connect with like-minded people and participate in some fun activities.
OASIS is my personal favorite - as coming from a different country to pursue our academic goals and excel in a professional career, we sometimes find ourselves nostalgic recalling our family and home. But I find the Oasis club meetings having those pretty homey vibes. I always look forward to Friday evenings as we all gather to play some fun games, chatter about the recent happenings, appreciate each-other’s achievements and enjoy traditional food. Weekly gatherings are sometimes also like Volleyball game nights, karaoke evenings, tunnel mural design activity and a lot more! It gives an opportunity to explore, interact and share ideas with harmonious individuals.
OASIS stands for ‘Organization for the Alliance of Students from the Indian Subcontinent’. It promotes the growth in the international understanding and a fellowship of the cultures of the Indian Subcontinent. Any RIT student can be a part of this club and it’s super exciting to see people from all the continents being a part of it to know and embrace the culture. Here we make friendships and bonds to cherish forever. I am sure you would be surprised to know that the Oasis club has been running at RIT for the last 30 years!
In the Fall semester when I joined the club, they were looking for new e-board members to contribute to the vision of the Oasis and coordinate the activities within. Since my school times and in my undergrad too, I have been active in co-curricular activities and organizing/managing events. I love anchoring and enjoy networking with people and this was a chance for me to continue the same in my graduate studies. I applied for the position in the Oasis committee and had an interview with the club president. That led me to become an e-board member and an event-coordinator at Oasis.
In Fall 2021, to celebrate the classic Navratri festival we conducted ‘Dandiya Night’. It was a grand dance night with more than 300 attendees - everyone in elegant kurtas and gorgeous cholis. Kurtas and Cholis are one of the traditional Indian dresses for men and women respectively. The best part of the event was the diversity being seen in the room. To name a few, we had our American, Chinese and Mexican friends joining us in celebrating the event. It was a really fun night with the best memories made.
I have heard seniors talking about the Holi celebration and have also seen those colorful pictures of the Holi events conducted in the past. Unfortunately, it has not been held for the past two years due to COVID. But if situations permit, we are planning a Holi festival celebration this year in March and everyone is super excited for it.
Besides the festive celebrations, Oasis has also been helping new students to make their transition easier. For last winter, we had developed a winter help guide that mentioned details about the RIT trip to winter clothing market, best places to buy reasonably priced good-quality clothes and some tips to manage things in cold months. We are also working on some projects where we plan to invite RIT alumni to share their inspiring journeys and to motivate current students for apt career development.
Checkout our Instagram page to see some amazing moments captured at the club meetings and events: https://www.instagram.com/oasisrit/
I would like to end by mentioning that planning to pursue a graduate study is an important career decision for all of us. But at the same time, we would want to have a fun student life at school that enables a positive learning experience. RIT has been providing an amazing balance for both of these and I am glad to be a part of it. Whether you are into art, gaming, music, politics, science, sports, or theater - you’ll almost certainly find others at RIT who share your same passion. If not, you’re always welcome to create and build a new club!