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New Clayton State club has international flair

Clayton State University's International Student Association will hold its first meeting today in an effort to promote diversity and inter-cultural awareness.

The organization has members from Lebanon, Spain, South Africa, Ukraine, Slovakia, France, England, Wales, Hong Kong, India and the United States.

The group will meet today at 11:30 a.m. in room B-11 of the Lecture Hall. The meeting is open to all students.

Tony Yaacoub from Lebanon is the organization's first president. Yaacoub is a former Rotary Scholar and one of the university's busiest students, said officials with the Clayton State International Student Services Office.

"He's one of our best, most involved and visible international students," said associate director Brett M. Reichert.

The International Student Services Office helped organize the students' group. In addition to promoting diversity, inter-cultural awareness and understanding through social and intellectual activities, the group will address issues affecting international students. Members will also help ease the transition of international students into the Clayton State University community.

Clayton State welcomed 18 new international students this semester from Spain, France, India, Wales, England, Sweden, Ireland, Saudi Arabia, Germany, Thailand, Nigeria and Canada.

Other upcoming events include an ice cream social Friday at 7 p.m. in the Laker Hall multi-purpose room; paint ball competition Saturday at 9 a.m. at Hot Shots Paintball in McDonough and a Diversity and Multicultural Conference Oct. 13-14 at the Student Activities Center.

The International Student Services Office exists to provide support, guidance and resources to the university's foreign students. Officials also assist international students in wading through the bureaucracy and paperwork so they remain in compliance.

In addition to the university's web site at www.clayton.edu, the office hosts a Facebook page with information for international students and a calendar of upcoming events.

For more information on the new international students organization, contact Yaacoub at tyaacoub@student.clayton.edu.