By Sean Cubillas
What does Chinese Club do?
Chinese Club is a campus organization that actively seeks to promote and educate the St. Edward’s community on traditional Chinese culture. The club itself is not just centered on discussion but on educating the university community on different aspects of Chinese culture by engaging in different activities and talking with Chinese speakers (and those taking Chinese language courses). The club provides students opportunities to celebrate different Chinese traditions as well as ways for students to immerse themselves in different rituals and practices in order to help them learn about the culture and pick up the language. Part of their mission is to provide a voice to the Chinese community, allowing people of different backgrounds to intermingle and learn about Chinese traditions and contemporary issues.
What do you get out of participating in Chinese Club?
Club meetings are infrequent, but carefully planned around Chinese events and activities around Austin. The club meets once a month and is typically attended by students taking Chinese language courses, but it is looking for opportunities to expand to welcome new members. In terms of activities, Chinese Club engages with students by providing opportunities to talk in Chinese, eat real Chinese food, watch movies, listen to music, and go on sightseeing trips. The club also celebrates Chinese holidays, holding events that allow them to embrace the mission of the club to its fullest.
What does Chinese Club contribute to the St. Edward’s community?
Chinese culture is something embroidered with a vast and colorful history, spanning centuries and detailing a litany of different rituals and traditions. As China grows, so does the country’s cultural influence, as more people every day become invested in learning about its language and social practices. Chinese Club brings this cultural undertaking to St. Edward’s by focusing on and actively engaging with students to celebrate the different events and practices that arrive from China.
In terms of club atmosphere, it’s mostly advertised towards students taking Chinese language courses, and most attendees are members from past years. However, club proceedings are not closed to those not taking the Chinese language courses. The club is open to anyone and everyone interested in learning about China and its people.
The entire basis of the club is promoting a community, culture, and language from overseas to those less accessed to it. According to one of its members, “Who knows? Maybe people who go to the events will take an interest in the language. You know? And maybe want to take a class or two.”
This club has a lot to offer the campus in terms of providing students opportunities to learn about current Chinese issues, as well as experience its vast history through its colorful and expansive rituals and customs. It’s an open space to not only ask questions but also tackle misconceptions that media and American perspectives may have skewed.
How can students get involved?