MOORHEAD – On the second floor of Grose in Room 236, the sound of laughter and chatter can be heard in the early mornings on Tuesdays, as the Chinese Club hosts their weekly Tea Time together from 9 to 10 a.m.
“Tea Time is one of our most open events. We are able to talk about anything and everything. I love that it is so inclusive and open to opinions and topics of interest for the people present,” Chinese club social media manager, Cassandra Sternitzky said.
Sternitzky fills the cup of everyone in the room with fresh hot green tea as the Chinese club talks about their classes and what they have going on for the day.
They laugh and share stories as they listen to Chinese pop music and sip green tea.
Al Sterling, president of the Chinese Club makes their way around greeting and talking to everyone in the room before pulling up music to fill the space. Then joining the conversation of weekly plans and what everyone is doing with their time.
“Al has such dedication for the Chinese Club, their passion for learning about the culture is inspiring and makes you want to have that same passion,” friend and classmate of Sterling, Cate Satoris said.
The club shares stories and experience from their family, homes and the places they have traveled.
“I hope that people leave the room feeling awake, excited and lighthearted. Mostly, I hope that people leave the room having felt like they just hung out with a bunch of friends and had a break from a heavy course load that they can look forward to every week,” Sterling said.
Sterling challenges members to a chopstick challenge seeing how many pieces of candy they can get into a bowl within 30 seconds as a fun game.
“We welcome anyone that wants to try some Asian snacks, drink a warm cup of tea, or just come and hang out,” Sterling said.
The idea for the weekly Tea Time was to incorporate the inclusiveness and love of learning Chinese culture into a small community that is present at the Tea Time.
“Community is a major focus of the club, and so our Tea Times are especially important as a safe place for anyone and everyone to feel welcomed,” Sterling said.
In the future, Sterling hopes to extend the events out to more of the Concordia student body and faculty and people in the community. As well as expanding to connect with MSUM and NDSU to collaborate for events such as Lunar New Year celebration for all.
“I think that this club has a lot to offer in the sense of celebrating the Asian community in the area and spreading awareness in the area about a part of the world that’s quite different from the Fargo-Moorhead area,” Sterling said.
The Chinese Club is hosting a Hot Pot event on Dec. 8 from 6 to 9 p.m. for anyone who is interested in having a meal before the finals week begins. The cost will be $5 and anyone is welcome to join.