Bloomsburg University welcomes Chinese club hosted by Daniel Copes for this semester. Chinese club is an on-campus organization, which serves to engage students in learning about Chinese culture. Copes, a physical therapy major with a minor in Chinese, is currently the president of the organization. He was proposed the idea of running this organization by Chinese professor and chairman of the language department, Dr. Luo. Copes is currently enrolled in the third level Chinese course this semester and has improved his listening, writing and speaking comprehension in Chinese.
This was not the first time Chinese club appeared on the BU campus. According to the student handbook, this language club has existed for a while. Due to previous leadership and lack of student interests, Chinese club failed to progress or fulfill its duties as an organization. However, Copes has taken on the challenge of creating an organization where students can have a better understanding of the language and culture. “Once we get it revived, we can get a lot of exposure to Chinese culture,” said Copes.
Copes began learning Chinese not too long after he studied abroad with other BU students and Dr. Luo for the Chinese Summer Immersion Program in 2011. “I’ve only studied Chinese for a year, but I was able to excel quickly as a result of direct immersion in the language.” After visiting China again, he not only became better acquainted with the culture, but with the language as well. “It’s an eye-opening experience,” said Copes.
He reminisced about his experiences in China as moments that impacted his life, and how he adapted to the differences of Chinese culture compared to Western culture. “Every day I would go to class and have language instruction for hours where I was forced to learn Chinese,” said Copes. The teachers didn’t even speak English, and he recalls not knowing anything about the language before his first visit to China.
Although Copes and the other officers have only hosted three meetings so far, he is ready to share the knowledge he acquired from his travels and study of the language with BU students. The officers are listed as follows:
-Salman Haque-Vice President
In addition to the officers listed above, students from the Chinese Student Association are assisting Chinese Club as well. The Chinese Student Association is an organization in which students specialize in promoting the Chinese culture and helping Chinese-native students adapt to the campus.
In a previous meeting, a small group of students, who are enrolled in Chinese language courses, were asking questions about the culture, receiving tutoring, completing homework and watching a Chinese film. Copes strongly encouraged the students to watch films or Chinese Central Television (CCTV) because the people can speak Chinese and Chinese subtitles were also added.
Students also had the opportunity to taste one of China’s special flower teas, chrysanthemum tea. Copes wants to influence the students to strengthen their listening and reading skills in the language by watching foreign films and YouTube videos. He and the officers plan to immerse the students in Chinese culture through trips, basic language lessons, study sessions, etc. Copes with the help of the officers, is also planning a trip to New York to visit areas where they can find Chinese-speaking people.
Due to his passion for learning Chinese, he plans to remain at BU until he can enroll in the Chinese Major Program. According to Copes and Dr. Luo, the language department is currently working on creating a Chines Language Program where students can declare it as a major.
The goal is to have the program available for students by next year, but the date is still unclear. For students who are interested in joining Chinese Club or want to find out more about the organization, feel free to come any of their meetings. The meetings are held every Friday at 3 p.m. in old Science Hall room 220. Take Copes’ advice, “Discover what this culture is about.”