By Damon Reyes, Correspondent
Image Credit: Hye Jin
On Nov. 15, 2022, the Student Outlook Action Resources (SOAR) club at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Prescott hosted their International Week Duck Decorating event at the Student Union.
SOAR is a community outreach club with the goal of preparing underclassmen for academic and professional leadership roles. Members “plan events and do anything else that is needed on campus or any projects that we think are necessary,” stated Naomi Borg, Marketing Director for SOAR.
SOAR’s main goal includes connecting with campus departments such as the Student Government Association (SGA) when hosting events to engage with the campus community.
Among the many other events of International Education Week, SOAR hosted the duck decorating event to bring students of different backgrounds together and express their diversity through painting yellow rubber duck toys.
Students who attended the duck decorating event sat at the SOAR table and painted rubber ducks. Using the many paint colors and brushes offered, SOAR encouraged students to paint and decorate ducks that would represent their diversity and backgrounds.
While most students painted their rubber ducks the colors of their chosen country’s flag, some students painted unique designs relating to their country, such as cherry blossoms for Japan.
SOAR had a total of 50 ducks that they paid for themselves. On the rubber ducks, students painted many different countries. These included ducks themed as Mexico, Korea, Germany, Taiwan, Ukraine, Spain, and many more. One duck was painted with a traditional German Lederhosen.
The student turnout at the event exceeded SOAR’s expectations, and all 50 ducks were painted by students.
“While I was there it was really nice to see conversations start about what people were painting and the things they loved about their various cultures,” Borg stated.Ally Allman came up with the rubber duck idea at one of SOAR’s general meetings. SOAR wanted students to give the ducks meaning through painting them. If students didn’t want to keep their painted ducks, they could give them to SOAR to display.
Like the Thankful Flags event earlier in November where students painted flags and hung in the Student Union, SOAR took the ducks and displayed them on empty shelves in the SGA office. The ducks filled up every empty shelf available, and students can walk into SGA’s office and see the many decorated ducks on display.