Students and visitors from all across UNLV came together on Thursday, Feb. 3rd in the Pida Plaza on campus to celebrate the Lunar New Year in an event put on by CSUN. The event hosted a small variety of food vendors from around the valley with a cultural significance on the holiday.
Traditionally, the Lunar New Year is a 15 day celebration within Chinese and other asian cultures. It is a holiday centered around prosperity and luck, and the importance of giving to others so that it may come back to you.
“It’s really important for us, and since the beginning of our platform has always been very important, [that we] hone in on the cultural diversity that we have on campus and showcase it,” said CSUN Vice President Abraham Lugo at the event.
The event was able to put the spotlight on Asian-American Pacific Islander student organizations on campus, giving a chance for each organization to showcase themselves and for the campus to celebrate them. Some of the organizations in attendance of the event were Alpha Psi Rho, the Asian American Pacific Islanders Student Association, and the UNLV Taekwondo Club.
The Lunar New Year celebration brought together foods from different local restaurants around the valley. The Brew Tea Bar, located across the street from the UNLV campus, provided different kinds of boba milk tea for the event. Grindz 2 Da Max, a local Hawaiian fusion restaurant, brought teriyaki chicken and rice bowls for students and staff to enjoy.
Paina Cafe, originally based in Hawaii, brought taro, strawberry, and cookies and creme mochi donuts as a dessert. Paina has two locations in Las Vegas, one in the Spring Valley area and one in Blue Diamond.
Kolby Lawson-Akau, the Director of Campus Life at UNLV for CSUN, was in charge of organizing the event and other events that CSUN puts on. The Lunar New Year Celebration was an event very close to his heart, as he is half-asian. He puts his heart and soul into planning these events throughout the year.
“We want to celebrate those who make up UNLV,” Lawson-Akau said. “February is perfect, because not only can we celebrate one type of race and culture, but also at the end of the month, we have our Black History Month party.”
Later in the month, CSUN will be holding a Black History Month event, which will showcase organizations on campus and the enriching culture that comes with black history, as well as empowering black voices.
CSUN has plans for more events through-out the semester, not just cultural ones. The campus is going to start seeing more events to promote civic engagement within the student body, with goals to not only encourage engagement in student government, but government in general.
With elections coming up, there are going to be events making sure people are aware of the elections for the next executive administration. Lugo tells us that they are planning events for meeting your candidates as well as debates. Campaigning for those running will be starting later this month.
As a Different, Daring, and Diverse campus, UNLV strives to be able to spread culture to all students on campus. Events like the Lunar New Year Celebration and Black History Month Party are just the beginning.