Mandarin club continues onward

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A few regular Mandarin Club members with their advisor Mr. Yeung outlining a new mural for Chinese New Year.

A few regular Mandarin Club members with their advisor Mr. Yeung outlining a new mural for Chinese New Year.

By Kai-Lou Yue
News Editor

Although Asians and other non-Caucasian races constitute the minority in Westford Academy, there are many opportunities for those students to participate in activities pertaining to their culture. The WA Mandarin Club is just one example of this.

The club was officially started in 2012 by seniors and co-captains Yili Xiong, Sharon Jiang, and Zoe Geannopoulos, and is advised by Neil Yeung, the current Mandarin teacher

The main activities of the club depend on any cultural or school event coming up. For the 2015 Chinese New Year, the Mandarin Club spent time decorating the cultural display case near the guidance offices.

“It’s a very laid back setting; we try to teach our club members some sort of Chinese culture, Chinese language, and we just talk about things that have to do with China in general,” said Jiang.

Xiong added, “Sometimes we’ll do fun games like jeopardy or trivia that’s Mandarin related […] It all really depends on the day and what our club members want to do.”

Generally about 5-10 students show up for every meeting, depending on what the club is doing that day. Additionally, students in the club are also invited to go on the same field trips that the Mandarin classes are going on.

Although it is fairly easy-going compared to others such as DECA or math team, the club is viewed as being important for Asian students, as well as students who want to be further exposed to the Asian culture.

“I see it more as Asians and Asian-friendly people having a safe space to just be Asian without worrying about being judged,” said Yeung.

One of the main school events that the club participates in is the Holiday Bazaar, where they cook and sell Chinese food; this school year, they made dumplings, fried rice, and scallion pancakes.

“For the bazaar we made […] about 300 dollars, and we donated 100 dollars to [an] organization […] that helps kids with social challenges,” said Jiang.

The senior co-captains of the club currently handle conducting most of the meetings and generally spread the word of meetings and events.

“It’s been a long run for [me and my co-presidents]. I mainly come up with ideas for meetings, plan the meetings, and then conduct the meetings. If there’s a special event coming up it’s also my job to post in our Facebook group, send out emails, and talk to any administrators [and] our awesome advisor Mr. Yeung,” said Xiong.

However, according to Yeung, as the senior captains are graduating soon, other students such as juniors Diana Zhou and Michael Ni will tentatively be the captains for the upcoming school year.

“I think the people that we’re leaving [the club] to are very responsible people; they’ve always been committed to the club, and they care about keeping Mandarin Club alive for future generations. If anything, it will get better [and] maybe a bit more organized,” said Jiang.

Mandarin club meets every other Tuesday in room 112 and is open to new members.