The Comparative Ethnic Studies Association’s (CESA) main goal is to reinforce the importance of cultural consciousness to students and faculty members while further engaging the Learn By Doing approach to education.
Now it just needs to become an official club.
Ethnic studies senior and CESA founding member Kou Xiong is working on making the club a place where curious students can learn more about the world’s cultures through activities, speakers and events.
“If you become more open-minded to different cultures and different cultural experiences, you can go and absorb what they have to teach,” Xiong said.
On top of providing access to speakers and cultural events at Cal Poly and around the San Luis Obispo community, Xiong has plans to expand the club into a resource where students can find out the best ways to infuse ethnic studies curriculum into their future careers.
“We can learn more, experience more and once we gather all those insights, we can actually know what we want to do in the future,” Xiong said.
CESA will also be used as part of the ethnic studies course material.
Instead of just having the ethnic studies students read about cultural subjects, the CESA will provide them with opportunities to see cultural events in person. Xiong plans to make this happen by connecting with the community and university to provide opportunities for students to see cultural events, much like Chumash Casino Resort’s annual inter-tribal pow wow.
Xiong also noted that CESA is not exclusively for ethnic studies majors or minors. Rather, it is a practical and relevant tool for students and faculty members from all areas of study.
Much of Xiong’s plans for CESA are still in development, but he relies heavily on his peers to formulate the organization’s needs.
“What I have in mind is to, as of now, create a cohort system and communicate with other ethnic clubs and the MultiCultural Center to build a bond,” Xiong said.