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January 25, 2022

130 Stories: Haobitai “Melody” Haobitai

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Haobitai “Melody” Haobitai, C’20, Education

“I was co-president of the East Asian Student Association for three years. The club is a space for East Asian students to share their experiences and feelings safely, without worrying about being judged for their accents or cultural backgrounds. We also wanted to spread cultural awareness to our campus, so the challenge was in engaging other students who haven’t studied abroad or who may not know a lot of students of color. We would use food to draw students in, because that is something that people are familiar with, but I would always prepare a PowerPoint so that we could share something educational. More and more students wanted to be involved as we planned game-nights, watched movies, and celebrated traditional holidays.

“The International Office was a big support. Dr. Sumi Song, the Director of International Affairs, was our advisor for the club, and she always had our back. Once when we planned a visit to China Town, Dr. Song reserved a school van for us and gave up her Saturday to drive and go with us. She shared her culture and challenges growing up, supported the students in telling their own stories, and encouraged the club members to have open minds toward each other’s cultures. She took the time to be present and made us feel that we had support and that we had a safe space to share our experiences.”

We’re celebrating 130 years of North Park community. You’re invited to share your own story at www.northpark.edu/share130


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