The Chinese Student Association at Purdue University

After the Civil Rights Act and the Immigration Act, many Chinese Americans found it necessary to organize in order to seek social justice and protect their civil rights. This united front, based in Chinatown, gave them a voice and authority.

Immigrants formed family associations, based on Chinese regional districts and dialects, and also wooi-kun, district organizations that were often like fighting tongs. Look for your ancestors’ names on their rosters.

Membership Benefits

The Association provides a platform for Chinese students and non-Chinese to communicate, share culture, heritage, friendship, and understanding. We develop a comfortable environment for undergraduate Chinese students in Purdue University.

Members can use the membership benefits of CANA, which includes networking opportunities with other Chinese nurses in the United States and a discount on professional development courses and events. Members also receive clinical, academic and career support from fellow members in a safe and supportive environment.

Membership is open to individuals and institutions involved in the study of China, regardless of location or academic discipline. Members benefit from receiving advance information about academic activities organized by fellow members, including calls for papers, lectures, workshops, conferences, summer schools, and book publications. Members can also serve on various ICSA committees, and are eligible to vote for ICSA officers. They also receive the ICSA electronic Member News every month, and can receive hard copies of Statistica Sinica and Statistics in BioSciences (both official journals of ICSA). Members under 35 can apply for a biannual Young Scholar Award, which is funded through the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation.

Annual Banquet

As the leading cultural club on campus, CSA hosts an annual banquet open to Cal Poly students and the community. This year will mark the 65th anniversary of this event. The event will feature a Chinese face change dance and Korean Pungmul drumming, along with a Chinese national sport called Shuttlecock and the gifting of red envelopes () at a Wishing Tree. Local band 9Hearts will be performing two new covers including “Every Summertime” by Niki and “Love Story” by Taylor Swift.

The CSA board’s goal for the banquet is to bring together members and their family and friends to enjoy the celebration of the Lunar New Year. The annual event also gives the association a chance to highlight its work and support worthy Asian organizations.

Shelly Gin, development manager for Chinese for Affirmative Action, a San Francisco-based non-profit that works to protect civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and advance social justice and multiracial democracy, has attended the banquet several times. She is an advocate for the importance of collective philanthropy and engagement to serve and support communities.

Lunar New Year Celebrations

With the Year of the Rabbit upon us, local communities around the country and world are preparing to celebrate. Known as the Spring Festival in China, this traditional holiday, which marks a new year based on the lunisolar calendar, is celebrated by Chinese and other cultures that follow the lunar calendar, including those from South Korea, Vietnam and countries with large populations of overseas Chinese.

Joy Chen ’25, a sophomore marketing management major at Whitman, says Lunar New Year celebrations bring families together. Families burn incense and worship ancestors, clean their homes to sweep away bad luck, give children good-luck money in red envelopes and make dumplings together to wish each other health and wealth.

The Year of the Rabbit also brings the opportunity to try new things. But not all things are welcomed – for example, buying books during the celebration is taboo because it is a sign of bad luck. Similarly, getting a haircut is frowned upon because it is believed that cutting one’s hair on the first day of the new year may reduce their chances of prosperity.

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association

The Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, or CCBA, is one of the oldest community organizations in Manhattan’s Chinatown. It was established in 1883, and modeled after clan affiliations in China. At various times in its history, it essentially played a governing role in Chinatown.

It helped Chinese people relocate and travel to and from the US, even paying for their steamship passage back to China if they died in America. It also provided legal and physical protection. In fact, it even organized Chinese self-defense groups to protect residents from rape by whites and other acts of violence against the community.

Today, CCBA still advocates for the Chinese community. It also helps members find jobs, and handles social services and public welfare issues. It maintains close ties with government officials. Former Mayor Tom Bradley, who was the first Chinese American elected to local office, was a great friend of Chinatown and CCBA. The CCBA also works with a variety of mainstream organizations to help Chinese Americans.

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