Article by Kay Shi

IASAS. One of the campus’s most eagerly anticipated events, IASAS brings Potato Corner, cute athletes, the opportunity to skip class, and more. As the future of IASAS athletes, middle school students regard IASAS as an inspiring opportunity. There have been many middle schoolers who have seen admirable performances on the fields, and have been inspired to come out for that sport and represent our school. Bearcats regard IASAS as an event where they can miss classes in the face of school spirit, and there has never been an IASAS that left a negative impression with us. However, there is much more to the event that meets the eye.

Mr. Pekin says, “Whenever ISM is slated to host an IASAS event, the planning for it beings as much as 18 months before. The main reason that these events take so long to prepare is the budgeting and the logistics that are behind every event.”

If ISM is hosting an IASAS event that we haven’t hosted for a while, Mr. Pekin says, “I make it a point to go to the IASAS event a year before, and notice any changes that were made in order to give everyone in attendance a great experience. It’s especially challenging, however, to organize events off campus, like golf, because of the challenges that present itself when working with outside groups.”

Being someone who has hosted all different types of athletics events for more than 30 years, Mr. Pekin has seen IASAS develop within the ISM community. He has grown to love the sense of spirit that has developed within the campus whenever these events occur, but he does wish that the ISM community could improve on one thing: housing.

The ISM community could really improve on the attitude and the stigma around housing, and improve further on getting behind the concept more, as well as being more open and proactive. Since so many Bearcats are hosted by  amazing families whenever they go away for an IASAS exchange, it is only right that we return the favor so that we don’t have travelling athletes who don’t have any beds. Creating the housing drive is one of the most difficult factors that has to be considered when organizing an IASAS event, and with ISM’s amazing community, it shouldn’t be this way! So, for all of the Bearcats out there who have never hosted anyone before. Give it a try! It’s a great opportunity to make new international friends who may last a lifetime.

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