On Nov. 1, CFUV launched a new show named “Diversity Speaks” that airs biweekly on Fridays. The host is Xi Zhang, a Chinese undergraduate student in her last year of biopsychology. The first instalment addressed theatre and storytelling.
“Xi’s show will be a platform for international students to talk about their unique experiences at university and in Canada,” said Liz McArthur, the news director at CFUV.
“Size of international students is increasing every year, but their voices and stories haven’t been really captured,” says Zhang. The numbers seem to support this. UVic saw the enrolment of 1 000 new international students last year.
Zhang wishes to introduce various intriguing topics that will appeal to international students. “I think a lot of interest is around multicultural news and intercultural communications, introducing different aspects of different cultures like food, music and arts. And another theme we’re thinking would be interesting is to introduce some good Canadian artists or even local restaurants. So some local resources or programs that can help students find good jobs. We’re focusing on the arts aspects as well as local practical resources for international students.”
McArthur is currently offering technical assistance to Zhang while helping her develop topics. “I am one of the staff members who provided broadcast training to Xi. She started volunteering at the station with the intention of being involved in an International Student produced radio program.”
Zhang says the idea came to light just last summer. “We just expressed our interest to CFUV and the community leader Liz [McArthur]. She’s quite interested, because she was on multicultural community affair show at CFUV. She supported us a lot. So a couple of us signed up as volunteers, from there we did a series of training: studio training, newsroom training, and air training.” Zhang is currently the only one who has fully completed her training, which is why she started hosting the show. She meets with her friends to brainstorm ideas that will be on the show and hopes that her friends will host the show together in the future.
“CFUV strives to produce quality shows that reflect the diversity of communities on the university campus and in Victoria and the surrounding area,” adds McArthur. She believes CFUV’s audience will appreciate hearing the students’ perspectives on the topics they cover. It will also be a way for international students to share their thoughts and discussions with CFUV listeners, both on and off campus, and to get involved with the vibrant community of CFUV volunteers, she says.
“The number one goal is to let people—local or domestic students or just everybody—understand, and let them hear the voice of international students and what we care most about. The second goal is to entertain the international students, to help them gather and package the most useful information,” says Zhang on her personal goals for this show.
Zhang has been considering which direction to take after her graduation this year. She is experiencing a learning curve thanks to her great interest in communication and media. “I’m learning graphic design and even web design. I’m really interested in this area; and getting people’s stories out, and people’s voices out,” says Zhang.
“I want to help and support international students in succeeding in their university life, achieving their personal and professional goals. Not many international students will step into this field. A lot of them will be in science, engineering, and finance, so I see myself as that person to tell to their stories to support them along the way.”