Barnard College - Mortarboard Yearbook (New York, NY)

 - Class of 1981

Page 17 of 272

 

Barnard College - Mortarboard Yearbook (New York, NY) online yearbook collection, 1981 Edition, Page 17
Page 17



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The Chinese enrollment in Columbia University and Barnard College is a sizeable one, and it makes up an integral part of the community on the two campuses. Chinese students, however, do not come from identical backgrounds. Basically three main geographical categories can distinguish most Chinese students. First, there are those who were brought up in America with a relatively heterogeneous upbringing. At home, Chinese culture is practiced; away from the home mostly Western culture is taught. Second, there are students from Hong Kong whose views of Chinese heritage are influenced by a very cosmopolitan. Western lifestyle that exists in the British colony. Finally, there are students who were brought up in Taiwan, yet another land of Chinese tradition and experience, whose people make up the third main sector of a most interesting Chinese community at Columbia and Barnard. Included this year also are approximately forty scholars from the People ' s Republic of China. Since all Chinese students share a common cultural heritage, it is also important to achieve a certain cohesiveness among the members of this community. This cohesiveness is necessary for students to organize in sharing and presenting their common culture. And because the Chinese students hold different views of the same culture, their interactions enrich and bring more meaning to Chinese traditions. The desire to organize, which overcomes the general reluctance of Chinese students to be involved in such matters, is concretely represented in the existence of the Chinese Students ' Club, which has become the center of activities in the Chinese community. It is therefore impossible to mention the Columbia-Barnard Chinese community without taking into account the CSC. Over the years this club has been the source of enjoyable extracurricular and social activities which are important to students in an academically demand- ing environment. The CSC has two primary functions: to promote Chinese culture and to facilitate an interesting social environment for its members as well as enthusiastic nonmembers. Events sponsored by the CSC work toward these two goals. For example, the Welcome Fest held soon after Freshman Orientation included a culture show, a Peking duck dinner, and a disco. Deans and several faculty members were invited to acquaint students with Columbia ' s faculty. In the Mid-Autumn Festival Chinese mooncakes were served under moonlight to commemorate this traditional celebration. And the biggest event was the festival, honoring Chinese New Year. In addition there was the basketball team, the movie presentations, the bowling and social hours, and work on the annual publication — the CSC Bulletin. In particular, the CSC has enjoyed its unique status of having members from very diverse geographical backgrounds. Such diversity has given its members greater opportunities for a better setting to appreciate their common cultural heritage. In this time of a growing awareness of the Chinese culture, it is appropriate and very significant that the CSC play such an important role in the activities of Chinese students. Its success is not only commensurate with its goal and title, it is also a salubrious element to a more lively atmosphere at Columbia University and Barnard College. Su-Ping Chan C ' 82 Addison Lau C ' 82 Susie Ng B ' 81

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