CSSA hosts successful barbeque, opens club to new members

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Shinichi Inoue

Over 150 students attended the Chinese Student and Scholar Association Welcome Back Barbeque on the Lake Erie shoreline.

Shinichi Inoue, Special Assignments Reporter

Over the past weekend, the Chinese Students and Scholars Association (CSSA) hosted its annual Welcome Party Barbeque on the shores of Lake Erie. Despite evening temperatures dropping for the first time since spring, the event still began without much issue.

This year, over 150 students attended the ceremony, including first-year students, transfers, and first-year graduate students. While the event was scheduled to run from 3:00 p.m. until 6 p.m., volunteers began to work three hours beforehand.

Each year since 2008, the CSSA has hosted a barbeque at the pavilion in Edgewater State Park, a twenty-minute drive from the Case Western Reserve University campus.

CSSA members, including many undergraduates and graduates, came together to provide various gourmet foods and activities for the students. At noon, the volunteers began setting up the barbeque stands. Within less than two hours, over 300 hamburgers and hot dogs had been prepared.

This year, the organization also provided seafood and vegetarian meals to accommodate all of its guests. All of the food was prepared by the members of the CSSA, and it gave many students a chance to give back to the group, especially those who attended last year’s event for the first time.

During the event, there was a raffle for some special CSSA-made items. Also, a small football game broke out, with some of the upperclassmen taking on the first-year students. All in all, even with the chilly weather, many students had food and fun for the weekend.

When asked about the reason for holding such an elaborate event, Han Hui Ren, the Director of Finance for the undergraduate section of CSSA, stated, “Personally, I see this as an opportunity for first-year students at Case to meet with upperclassmen.”

“This is a social event, after all. We wanted to provide an atmosphere that let the students to get to know one another and have a chance to bond with some of their fellow classmates,” he continued.

Qiong Wu, the newly appointed president of CSSA and a graduate student, discussed the importance of the event and why this edition was a major improvement over last year’s.

Wu stated, “We want to keep this tradition going, and want to make this more than just a barbeque. This event gives many first-year students a chance to get off campus and enjoy the beautiful sceneries that Cleveland offers.”

“I appreciate how many current members volunteered time out of their busy schedule to help out for this event. It shows the devotion and sets a great example for the incoming students. I am really grateful for all the work the students have put in for this event,” Wu added.

Because the event was held at Edgewater State Park, CSSA arranged rides to help students get to and from the event safely. “This year, many of our current members volunteered to provide rides for the incoming freshman. A perfect opportunity, in my opinion, as it gives the new students a chance to bond and interact with the upperclassmen,” Wu said.

“Also, it shows that CSSA is a family. Whenever one needs help, the entire organization is ready to assist. Thanks to our volunteer drivers, we had no troubles when it came to shuttling the students to and from CWRU,” Wu finished.

Han Hui Ren agreed with Wu, saying, “This year was a much more organized event and as we get a better hang of it, I am looking forward to next year already.”

Ren continued by saying, “I hope many first year students will join CSSA and maybe help better this event for the following school year. Personally, I am excited to work with many of them for our future activities.”

Wu also mentioned his goals for the year. “CSSA has traditionally been considered a closed organization, but I feel we are becoming more opened up to the CWRU community. Our major upcoming event will be our Chinese Lunar New Year celebration,” he said.

“We want as many people from the Case community to join us in celebrating a great tradition. I really believe CSSA will continue to improve and provide better services for our members and most importantly, I hope CSSA can build a better community and give back to the Case campus,” he finished.