Out with the Rooster and in with the Dog


Luc Bernier

Lunar New Year event Feb 10 in the Grand Maple Ballroom, hosted by the Asian American Student Union included performance by the Cat’s Meow, UVM Taiko and comedian Eliot Chang.

Enola Mercer, Staff Writer

The promise of Asian cuisine and a new community waiting on the top floor of the Davis Center offered fun and comfort to students of Asian descent.

The Asian American Student Union hosted the 2018 Lunar New Year celebration  in the Grand Maple Ballroom at the Davis Center.

Though the official start of the Year of the Dog is Feb. 16, the annual event kicked off at 6:30 p.m.  Feb. 10.

The Grand Maple Ballroom was decked out in red and filled with people celebrating.

Guests also sported red, a color that signifies luck and vitality in Chinese culture according to nationsonline.org.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated throughout many Asian countries, and each culture has its own traditions

AASU’s Lunar New Year party honored many of these cultures through its food and entertainment.

The wide scope of clothing styles, from Qipao to American Eagle, was also representative of the range of attendees.

“Even though I was underdressed, I still felt very welcomed into the experience,” first-year Caeli Rice said.

Guests enjoyed a performance by the Cat’s Meow, UVM Taiko and a keynote speaker, Eliot Chang.

Chang is an actor and comedian who has appeared on Comedy Central and guest-starred in Law and Order: SVU, according to IMDb.

In addition to his comedy act, Chang discussed serious issues of race when sharing stories from his upbringing as a Korean immigrant.

The event was not only fun for students of all backgrounds, it also provided comfort for those like first-year AASU member Jenni Stocker.

This year was her first celebrating the New Year away from home. It was “a new experience, but nothing foreign,” Stocker said.

Her membership in AASU has made her feel “more accepted within that community and fully comfortable and proud being Asian,” she said.

Though the Lunar New Year party reflected many aspects of traditional celebrations, it was not meant to perfectly mirror a specific tradition, Stocker said.

“Everyone in AASU knows and accepts that we all come from different backgrounds and were raised in different ways that do not fit the stereotypical’ Asian,” she said.

The night was topped off with a traditional Filipino dessert and closing remarks from AASU event organizers.

The mission of AASU is to focus on “empowering students to raise their voices around issues surrounding the Asian/Pacific Islander community,” according to their Facebook page.

It echoes one of Chang’s messages: “to be bold, daring and take risks: a great way to start off a great 2018,” he said.