Plattsburgh State students join together to discuss and learn about Chinese culture, promote representation and create a positive community on campus at PSUC’s Chinese Association.
This semester, the club focused on its recent dance performances for Night of Nations, a multicultural event sponsored by the Global Education Office and Club International, while planning possible club trips to urban Chinese areas like trips made earlier in 2018.
PSUC senior and Chinese Association President Brian Lei said Night of Nations is a time to showcase Chinese culture and the club itself.
“We came together with other clubs and individuals to show Plattsburgh what we’re all about,” Lei said.
Lei originally joined to discuss and learn more about his Chinese heritage and culture and to make connections to other students with the same goal.
PSUC sophomore and current Chinese Association Treasurer Renee Choong participated in Night of Nations last year, so joining the club after was natural once she decided to get more involved on campus.
In only her second semester as a club member, Choong was the choreographer for the three dances performed by the club on the event night. Although Choong described going through the struggles of putting the show together, she said the experience was a fun one that she would do again.
“This year, we wanted to keep our tradition with the fan dance,” Choong said. “But we wanted to use a modern type of music, so it was a really good experience because it was tough to manage everything.”
Lei has been with the club for three years and as a senior he said his favorite thing about the club was meeting his fellow club members.
“[What I like best] has got to be the people,” Lei said. “We meet a lot of different people from China and it’s good to hear different stories from them.”
Choong said the best part of being in the club is learning about the different experiences, traditions and histories among her peers, which helps her appreciate her heritage.
“Even though we’re all Chinese, we all come from different backgrounds,” Choong said. “Some of us are international students, some of us, like me, are from the city. We all have different ancestors from different places.”
Lei wants Chinese Association to be a guide for Chinese students and let them know they are welcome and accepted at PSUC.
Last year, upon getting his presidential position, Lei wanted to expand the club’s horizons and do more.
Last semester, Lei lead a club trip to Boston’s Chinatown, where the club went exploring. Choong enjoyed walking around the Chinatown and enjoying a traditional Malaysian restaurant.
Next semester, Choong will take over as club president for a year and foresees the club expanding more and more.
Possibilities include doing another trip to experience a different type of Chinese culture to opening up the club to everyone on campus no matter the commitment level.
“People can always come and learn about Chinese culture,” Choong said, “even if they’re just joining us for a day.”
Email Windsor Burkland at firstname.lastname@example.org