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Feven Getachew
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Michael Lozada
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Nathan Hoffman
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Harvey Wilhelm `24.
Harvey Wilhelm
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Students perform at Lunar New Year Gala

Students performed in the Harris Center concert hall during the Lunar New Year Gala. Photo by Qingshuo Du.

The Chinese Student Association (CSA), Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), Korean Student Association (KSA) and the International Student Organization (ISO) co-hosted the Lunar New Year Gala in the Harris Center concert hall on Saturday, Feb. 12. Attendees enjoyed musical performances, door prizes and snacks to celebrate the Lunar New Year.

Steven Chen `23 performed “Brave Shine,” produced by Kenji Tamai, on the piano. Chen chose to perform this song because of its importance to him. “This is one of my favorite songs, and I think this New Year event has many student groups, including Japanese, so I chose this one from a Japanese animation,” said Chen.

Chen shared that this was his first time performing at a gala, though he attended some in previous years. Though Chen felt nervous about his performance, the audience received it well.

“If you ask me, that was the best performance of the night,” shared Sun Yuvachitti `24.

Britney He `22 danced to “16 Shots” by Stefflon Don. She performed at Lunar New Year galas in previous years and felt this year’s gala resulted in a different experience. “I feel like, I guess because the previous galas were before COVID, so I feel like with the lighting and the staging and event planning … the whole experience, like, felt more immersed,” said He.

In previous years He also helped organize CSA galas. She said this year’s gala felt reduced, in part because there were less performances and attendees, and no food being served like in previous years.

“When there’s no food, I feel like less people come. So then yeah, I definitely feel like the crowd would be less cheerful,” said He.

The CSA, led by President Janet Liu `24, organized most of the event. Liu said that because the CSA is mostly composed of second years, it was difficult to plan the gala without previously attending one themselves because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Pandemic precautions put into place also presented a challenge for providing food as they had in previous years.

“I think it succeeded, except for one thing: initially we planned to supply food, supply some Chinese cuisine,” said Liu, “but the school kept reminding us about the policy, about the mask policy. You were not allowed to take off your masks, so we only provided you guys with snacks.”

In addition to pandemic precautions, the CSA also struggled to plan the event closer to Feb. 1, the date of the actual Lunar New Year. Liu shared that the small time-frame between returning from winter break and the Lunar New Year made planning the event and finding performers challenging. KSA and VSA helped with advertising the event and recruiting performers.

While the CSA had trouble receiving budget approval from the Student Government Association (SGA) in time for the event, Liu said ISO proved helpful in acquiring it.

“ISO, they mainly helped us to get our budget, because we applied for the budget from SGA. So ISO just helped us a lot, you know, they always asked SGA, ‘Have you guys already approved the budget list from CSA?’” said Liu.

Despite the challenges in planning the event, performers and audience members believe the future of New Year Galas is bright.

“A lot of people obviously don’t want to be overly negative about the event, but in my case I feel like it has a lot of potential. Maybe some constructive criticism?” said Yuvachitti .

“I do feel like previous galas were a little bit better, just like because it was more organized. But then people have also arranged events before too, so they just need to have more experience,” said He.

Liu thanks all seven members of the CSA for working together to make the gala possible. “It’s not only like what I did to make the gala successful, but everyone, everyone, everyone’s job. So yeah, I’m so grateful,” said Liu.

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