PandaCATs: A Bridge Linking China and America

Founded in the spring of 2019, PandaCATs is a Chinese and American student organization that integrates diversity and inclusiveness and is active in UC. So, this semester we are also celebrating the first birthday of PandaCATs. Unlike CSSA (Chinese Students and Scholars Association) which is common in American universities, our goal is more focused on promoting friendship and cross-cultural communication between international and regional students.

I had the pleasure of interviewing the Chairman of PandaCATs—-Weijie Li.

Tell me about yourself. Did you start PandaCATs? 

Li: I am a sophomore undergraduate majoring in Economics and Business Analytics. Although I am not the founder of the organization, I have witnessed and participated in the construction and development of the organization from scratch.

How many PandaCATs members are there now? 

Li: After a year of development, PandaCATs now has 102 organizational members on campus, including 21 executive board members. The organizational structure consists of two chairmen and five committees. PandaCATs is a co-chair system. Each term has two presidents. One chairman represents the Chinese side and is an overseas student from China. The other, representing the United States, is a native American student. The five committees include the administrative committee, the event planning and implementation committee, the design committee, the communications and outreach committee and the China freshmen liaison committee.

What was the intention of PandaCATS? 

Li: PandaCATs aims to provide an interesting, safe, and free space for Chinese students by promoting the friendship between Chinese and American students and promoting exchanges between Chinese and international students. It can not only cultivate the cross-cultural communication ability of Chinese and American students, but also expose them to the cultures of different countries and cultivate their professional spirit in the workplace. Here, we will encourage students to actively participate in the discussion and develop students’ multicultural thinking and global vision. PandaCATs believes that students at the University of Cincinnati should share common ground and build a path to success. The organization’s long-term goal is to build and maintain friendships among its members, broaden their international horizons, and prepare them to become outstanding global citizens.

How many events have been organized so far? What impressed you most? 

Li: PandaCATs has hosted and participated in more than 20 events throughout the year. PandaCATs activities focus on social, professional, cultural, and community services.  

  • Social events include hot pot party, karaoke party, Sino-us entertainment game seminar, BBQ party in park, seminar on “Chinese identity,” and more. The purpose of the social activities is to train the expression skills of the members and build friendships with students from different cultures.  
  • Career activities including mock interviews, resume talks, company visits, Cincinnati American chamber of commerce New Year’s Eve party, and more. The goals of promoting student participation in career activities include getting people to know about employment and the working environment in the United States, working with local Chambers of commerce, and building workplace networks to prepare them for the workplace.  
  • Cultural events held by PandaCATs include the Mid-Autumn moon cake bazaar, the 2020 Chinese New Year celebration, Halloween parties, Christmas parties, and lectures on Chinese and English slang. These cultural activities help students learn about local cultures, promote intercultural communication, and broaden their horizons.  
  • Community service activities include helping the Cincinnati music association organize a music evening, working with local nonprofit educational organizations to teach Chinese culture in local schools, helping organize an Asian food festival downtown, and serving up the annual “fly pig” marathon. The main purpose of such activities is to help students better understand the local culture, develop students’ social responsibility, and help scholarship students complete the 30 hours of volunteer time each year. For me personally, I am more keen to community service activities, because this kind of activity is not only a good opportunity for the development of cultural study and communication, as well as to create more I outside contacts, the most important thing is that helps me to improve social responsibility, cultivate self-tolerance, the sense of responsibility, and empathy. 

Is there anything you’d like to share with new/future Bearcats? 

Li: In my opinion, PandaCATs can bring you two things – the visible and the invisible. Visible relationships include friendships with diverse students, and campus experiences can be put on a resume. The invisible include the cultivation and development of individual comprehensive ability, the formation of multi-thinking model and global vision, and the pride of inheriting excellent Chinese culture on behalf of the motherland. As a college student who is still working hard for his dream, I would like to share three Suggestions. First, constantly cultivate their sense of responsibility, do things to “everything has a secure, everything has an echo, everything has an explanation. Second: strive to build their own network, improve their ability to network. Third: keep challenging yourself to escape your comfort zone. Finally, I wish you all the best in your university life and study. I wish you early academic success! Welcome to PandaCATs!

Instagram & Facebook:uc_pandacats

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s