The Daily Iowan

Misunderstandings and misconceptions of Islam and Muslims are issues students in the University of Iowa Muslim Student Association aim to alleviate during the second-annual Islam Awareness Week.

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Part of the Vietnamese community in Iowa City joined to celebrate their culture and share it with others. The University of Iowa Vietnamese Student Association took time to celebrate the culture with an annual Lunar New Year celebration in the IMU on Feb. 27. “The Lunar New Year is celebrating spring coming, and it’s a time for family to get together,” group member Amy Luong said.

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Bijou and FilmScene offer a trip around the world, both literally and figuratively, with the Bijou Horizons Film Series. Watch five movies, win $1,500 and free airfare. That’s the draw of the Bijou Horizons series, beginning 6 p.m. Tuesday at FilmScene, 118 E. College St. University of Iowa students who attend all five foreign films between now and the end of the semester (free for UI Students, $5 for the general public) will be eligible to win a $1,500 study-abroad scholarship.

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Preparing for a trip abroad may have just gotten easier. Students and staff at the University of Iowa requiring visas, passport renewals, or other travel document services will now be offered these services at a discounted rate. The Committee on Institutional Cooperation has signed a contract with CIBT Visa Services to provide passport and visa services to the UI and other Institutional Cooperation institutions — which include other schools in the Big Ten.

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Students on campus have a new way to speak their minds in a safe space. The University of Iowa Center for Diversity and Enrichment office is hosting a three-day listening session that started Monday and will continue through Wednesday.The sessions were a direct response to the incidents that happened at the University of Missouri last week, said Diversity Center Director Nadine Petty.

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One of the most colorful events on campus is just around the corner.

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Issues affecting Muslims on campus were finally brought to light. The University of Iowa International Programs conducted a workshop titled “Muslims on a Secular Campus” Thursday.

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The Japanese program at the University of Iowa will be seeing several improvements thanks to a $350,000 grant from the Japanese Foundation. Sawako Kojima of the Japanese Consulate in Chicago presented the award to UI Associate Provost and Dean Downing Thomas, who accepted the grant on behalf of the UI on Oct. 16.

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They hail from as far away as Estonia, the Gaza Strip, the Côte d ’Ivoire and as near as Iowa City, but Monday, they were all gathered in one room to discuss human rights. Local and international activists gathered for a forum on human rights at the University Capitol Center, held by the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC).

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In the upcoming years, students will be able to get an up-close view of Cuba as never before. In December 2014, President Obama announced the loosening of trade and travel restrictions with Cuba, which took effect on Jan. 16. This makes visiting Cuba much easier for Americans than in the last 54 years.

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