Students learn about history and ethnicity at Ellis Island

Holly Boyer, Assistant Life Editor

Students from the Cross-Cultural Dialogue First Year Foundations class took a field trip to Ellis Island and Canal Street in New York City on Oct. 5.

This year was different as the class joined with Student Development to open the trip up to the whole university for the first time.

The trip to Ellis Island and Canal Street was a way for students to learn about history and ethnicity while having  fun and keeping it interesting by experiencing it all up close and personal outside of a traditional classroom.

“(The trip) provides students a perspective on the ethnic and cultural makeup of the United States,” said associate professor of communication studies  Evene Estwick, who teaches the  Cross Cultural Dialogue FYF class.

Students had the option of taking a tour through the site, or like freshman political science major Peter Tuzzo, students could view a 30-minute video clip which explained the process of Ellis Island.

“It made you appreciate what the people had to do, it was a difficult process,” Tuzzo said.

After getting the educational aspect from Ellis Island, the trip was able to unwind down Canal Street.

Students were able to freely walk around, see vendors to shop, and some even visited Little Italy.  The group finally met up for dinner at a Malaysian restaurant.

“My favorite part was walking around Chinatown. You got to see all different types of people, and I bought a couple things from different vendors,” Tuzzo said.

The members of the FYF class had an assignment that went along with their field trip. Their assignment for this trip was to write an analysis of their cultural identity.

“(The) majority of students haven’t been (to Ellis Island) before, so having students exposed to a new educational experience is my favorite,” Dr. Estwick says, “And the post-trip discussions are always good.”