Student Organizations Play a Role in Lunar New Year Celebration

lunar new year

The Cultural Event Series from the University of Houston’s Dining Services has been a mainstay on campus since its inception in fall 2022.  

The series, which provides culturally themed meals at the dining halls along with education, arts, and entertainment, allows students an opportunity to experience different cultures. 

To ensure students get the best cultural experience, UH Dining Services partners with subject matter experts on campus such as student organizations and university departments. 

lunar new year

For its latest cultural event series, Lunar New Year, the department partnered with the Vietnamese Student Association, Dr. Melody Yunzi Li, Assistant Professor in Chinese Studies, UH’s student-run Hallyu Club, and the dance group Cypher K-Pop, and the Institute for Global Engagement. 

Having student organizations be a part of the cultural event series is beneficial to the event and are invaluable, said Alexcis Mendoza, UH Dining and Chartwells District Marketing Manager. 

“The student organizations bring this level of authenticity that we just don’t have all the time, because we either don’t identify with the holiday or we don’t necessarily celebrate the holiday regularly,” said Mendoza. 

lunar new year

“They bring that insight, that level of checks and balances to make sure that other students like them, or student that want to experience something new are getting an experience they would be proud of.” 

For the Vietnamese Student Assocation, which has been active since the 1980s, being a part of the university’s Lunar New Year celebration gives them an opportunity to showcase their organization to the public said VSA Vice President Loc Nguyen. 

Cindy Ho, Vice President of Hallyu, a student-run organization that aims to educate and spread Korean culture among the UH community, said it's important for student organizations to be a part of the cultural event series but not only to promote its culture but to allow the club to reconnect with the roots of the event as well. 

lunar new year

Aside from spreading awareness about their organization, some of its members showcase their dancing skills via the dance group, Cypher K-Pop. 

The K-pop inspired group weren’t the only ones to display their dancing expertise. Dr. Li, along with Cougar Dance Dolls captain Kaytee Compton, performed a traditional Chinese dance. 

The Chinese Studies professor also sang a Chinese song alongside UH Law School alumni Bob Ward. The now corporate lawyer said he’s a fan of the universities Lunar New Year celebration adding that he and his half-Asian son attended last year’s celebration as well. 

lunar new year

Ward said he doesn’t recall the university having events like the Lunar New Year celebration during his time but he’s glad to see them now. 

The cultural event series put on the UH Dining Services aids the university’s goal of student success by getting students involved. 

“There’s a correlation between how involved the student is in the dining program and their success in their collegiate career,” said Mendoza. 

“We know that every move we make is going to impact a student’s college career, and we want to impact it for the better.” 

lunar new year