UNR hosts Lunar New Year celebration

Marisa Sandoval, Staff Reporter

The Lunar New Year Celebration at the University of Nevada, Reno, provided an opportunity for Asian-Pacific Islander students to ring in the year and celebrate their culture. It was held on Jan. 30 at the Joe Crowley Student Union and included free food for students and a lion dance. The event also included an interesting twist; it gave attendees the opportunity to register to vote. 

“There is a huge Asian-Pacific Islander population in Reno,” event organizer Keola Wong said. “A lot of the population is not registered to vote. So we have a very low turnout of voters. That is why we do these types of events.”

This was the first year that they decided to hold this function. Students created this event because they were craving more culturally diverse experiences on campus.

“It is special because it is something that we never really have done in the past,” student Natalie Penn said. “But we are starting to do it and I think now you can see the universities’ efforts in starting to recognize the Asian-Pacific Islander community on campus.” 

 For the first year, event coordinators were preparing for a small turnout but the event was packed with a variety of students. 

“I am actually really surprised with the number of people that came out,” student Kirsten Layugan said. “We were expecting 40 people. But, this is between 40-50 people. It was more successful than we were expecting.”

With the help of the Asain Community Development Council, the UNR students could make this function possible. The event included traditional Asian food like roasted duck but also served Panda Express. It educated Asian-Pacific Islander students on the importance of voting. This was amplified when students were given the option to register to vote. Students hope to turn this first-time event into a tradition.

Marisa Sandoval
Students gather in the Joe Crowley Student Union to celebrate the Lunar New Year.