Andrea Magsaysay, a Chi Delta Theta member and graphic communication junior, said she wanted to encourage the public to become aware of the various backgrounds and customs of the university because it tends to be forgotten.
“We felt that we needed something like this because our campus isn’t very diverse,” Magsaysay said. “It’s a good chance for people to come together and enjoy the different cultures of Cal Poly.”
With the success of the previous festivals, Magsaysay said she hopes to continue that legacy and make this year unforgettable. The festival aims to educate people more about the various ethnicities and backgrounds of fellow students.
“I expect it to be more culturally (based) so people can learn more about diversity of Cal Poly,” Magsaysay said. “The foundation of the Lantern Festival started for that reason.”
Students have planned this event since the beginning of winter quarter. Magsaysay said spending five months planning for one day has led to a feeling of success.
“It’s a big sense of achievement, especially after the event is over and we get feedback from people,” Magsaysay said. “When they say, ‘It was really fun’ or ‘I learned a lot,’ it makes it all worth it. It’s a big accomplishment for all of us,”
The theme this year,“A Thousand Cranes,” parallels the famous Japanese origami. Part of the proceeds made from selling food and club merchandise will be donated to the victims of the Japanese earthquake.
The event is also set to include performances from the Chinese Student Association, the United States Martial Arts Demo Team, Cal Poly Lion Dance Team and Pilipino Cultural Exchange (PCE).
Marc Perez, an electrical engineering senior and PCE member, is excited for the festival and performing a hip-hop routine with his fellow club members. As a third year participant, he said he looks forward to the event because of the cultural message it sends out to the public.
“It’s a time when clubs can come together and show off the culture they represent,” Perez said. “Being a part of the Lantern Festival means I don’t feel so alone. Being a minority at Cal Poly has taught me to embrace it. This festival is a place where people come together and you feel welcomed.”
Timothy Chuc, an industrial engineering senior and coordinator of the Lantern Festival, said the festival has that welcoming effect.
“It brings together all the different Asian clubs on campus and shows the community what we’re about,” Chuc said. “It’s a time to share what we can do.”
Chuc wants to incorporate more of the San Luis Obispo community in the event. Attendees will experience all the different food, cultures and performances, and educate themselves on the diversity missing on campus.
“Personally, it means a lot to me and gives culture a chance at Cal Poly,” Chuc said. “It’s something that’s lost at sea.”
For Khanh Ho, an electrical engineering senior and Omega Xi Delta member, this event is an opportunity for more cultural exposure of the university.
“It’s a chance to branch out and show the community all the different cultures (of Cal Poly),” Ho said. “It’s a great feeling to make a difference and show people other cultures.”
Students are looking forward to the Lantern Festival and witnessing the multiplicity of ethnic development of students on campus.
Landscape architecture senior Jon Bayaca is attending the festival with high hopes and appreciation for the expected entertainment.
“I’m really excited for the event and looking forward to all the participation from the clubs,” Bayaca said. “It’s also great to see everyone working together and bring something like this for Cal Poly.”
The Lantern Festival is a free event held on campus at the University Union from 4 to 9 p.m.