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The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

The news that keeps us Onward On!

The Carroll News

New East Asian Student Association brings about cultural awareness

JCU’s new East Asian Student Association brings new cultural diversity to campus and a better understanding of global cultures
JCU East Asian Student Association
JCU’s new East Asian Student Association brings new cultural diversity to campus and a better understanding of global cultures

Earlier this academic year, John Carroll University introduced a new multicultural organization: the East Asian Student Association.

This club, as the name suggests, is all about celebrating and educating the JCU community about East Asian culture, and the countries of China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam. The goal is to make the cultures of these nations more known both on campus and in the surrounding area.

EASA has already started and hit the ground running with different events and opportunities to spread the diverse East Asian culture on campus. A prominent event that the East Asian Student Association already hosted was a movie night on Nov. 3 where they watched “Howl’s Moving Castle”, a Miyazaki film.

When it comes to the addition of multicultural organizations on John Carroll’s campus, it is important to understand the reason why the organization was founded. Kimberlee Welch ‘26, president of the East Asian Student Organization, stated that a lack of representation was a significant reason for the founding of this student organization.

“We need representation to help us understand who we are and who we want to be. We need to see people like us do something in order to believe that we can also do it,” she says.

Welch goes on to share her own experience as an Asian student at JCU’s campus. It was difficult for her to make meaningful connections with other students until she found other people with East Asian backgrounds. She goes on to say that it is through her own experiences that she wanted to make sure that people with similar backgrounds can have a place to belong to.

Welch states that she hopes “all will be comforted by our presence. EASA is here, loud and proud, and there for people who need us.”

Not only does the addition of this club also help students feel represented and seen while on campus, but it also contributes to a student’s sense of belonging. Ayse Selen Zarrelli, Director of the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI), discussed the benefits of the addition of multicultural clubs on campus.

“It gives faculty a chance to understand the community they are in and students to make a change,” she says. “It gives the faculty a chance to see where students want to advocate and share their culture.”
When it comes to the addition of more multicultural organizations, it is important that a prospective club also contributes to the mission of JCU. It turns out that the East Asian Student Organization does this in two ways:

“As a university founded by Jesuits, we have a duty to welcome students. Creating multicultural clubs is essential to that mission,” Zarelli said. With the welcoming aspect that JCU has, it is essential that they represent that aspect of the mission.

Another part of the mission is to care for a person- body, mind, soul and spirit.

“EASA contributes to the mission of JCU because it feeds into cura personalis (care for the whole person),” Welch said. She goes on to list many examples of how that part of the mission is accomplished with EASA. From Filipino students teaching their peers words in Tagalog to inviting friends to different Korean restaurants in the Cleveland area, there are many opportunities to bolster the identities of the East Asian community on campus.

“We care for our whole selves by caring for each other”, Welch ended.

Although the club has just started, EASA is dreaming of new and fun ideas to bring about cultural awareness on campus. From celebrating the Lunar New Year to a paper lantern-making event to highlighting different noodle dishes throughout the East Asian region, it is safe to say that even though this club just began, their big dreams of creating a more diverse and aware campus are now becoming a reality.

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