By Kate Tracy
Going to college a few hundred miles away from home and in a different culture may seem difficult to some, but Corban students have found a way to make it work. The Pacific Islanders Club has brought a new presence on the campus, as students from Hawaii, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other pacific islands bring their cultural traditions together to share with the Corban community.
Approximately 30 students are members of this club, according to Karen Ramos, vice president. The group meets about twice a month for activities. Among other things, the club has participated in hula dancing lessons, a potluck at their advisor Heidi Stowman’s house, and a movie and craft night, all aimed at exposing the members to similarities in each other’s cultures.
Sophomore Jennifer Amoguis joined the club as a first-generation American from the Philippines. She joined the Pacific Islanders Club to experience what life was like for students from other islands, and get to know people with a similar heritage as hers. “It’s kind of like being with family again and having those cultural similarities,” She said.
Ministries coordinator Abel Orbistando initiated the club when he talked to ASB about getting a constitution. Other officers include Anthony Martin, president; Jessica Baughman, media arts/communications; and Genesis Acuna, treasurer.
Leddy Ansanay, a sophomore from Indonesia, really enjoyed the Hawaiian hula hoop dance, as she learned to dance by moving her hips. “The people in the club are so welcoming to people and so friendly,” she said. She loves that she can spend her free time going to the club meetings and activities and getting to make even more friends and connections through it.
The Pacific Islanders Club has been crucial for students native to different islands to use their commonalities to forge friendships at Corban. The similarities of island living come out through memories of sunny beaches, as well as the same taste in food. “We found out we all like spam, eggs, and rice for breakfast,” Amoguis said.