The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

The student newspaper of Bucks County Community College

The Centurion

Loading Recent Classifieds...

Indian Student Union Looking for More members and Unification on Campus

Photo Courtesy of Unsplash

The Indian Student Union opens this Nov. at Bucks intending to connect Indian students and foster appreciation for their culture.

The Union was organized by its president, Mann Patel, a 21-year-old Exercise Science major who lives in Bensalem and by Vice President, Madhu Karri, a 17-year-old Engineering major from New Hope.

These are early days for the Indian Student Union, and they have yet to decide on specific meeting dates and times. “We’ll make that available through Bucks+ and through flyers when we figure it out,” said Karri.

The organization had a table at the Involvement Fair earlier this semester, where students were able to sign up, some of whom came to a preliminary meeting.

They plan on meeting twice a month, with the first meeting of the month serving as a place for discussion and for planning the second meeting, which will be the celebration of a particular Hindu holiday or custom, starting with Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights.

“For Diwali, we want to paint candle holders and fly lanterns in the sky at the Quad. And in March we hope to do something for Holi — the Hindu festival of colors where everyone wears white and splashes clumps of colored powder on each other,” said Karri.

“We also have plans for events such as sales of cultural foods, and time for storytelling in club meetings. And we’re trying to organize yoga and language workshops,” said Patel.

The need for this organization was glaring to its founders, as Indian students make up such a minority here at Bucks.  “Being an Indian student here presented unique challenges. Over my two years at Bucks, I struggled to find other Indian students. I yearned for a community of fellow Indians with whom I could enjoy the comfort of sharing a common language,” said Patel.

“The idea for having an Indian Student Union came because Mann was my orientation tour guide. We simply talked as I had questions about life on campus and we realized that we both share the struggle of being able to embrace our Indian culture as we are such a small group here,” said Karri.

Both organizers stressed that the Indian Student Union is not meant to be exclusive to those with an Indian background. “That’s why we called it the Indian Student Union rather than the Indian Club,” said Karri.

In service of this inclusive aim, the organizers are trying not to make the events overtly Hindu at the exclusion of Indians who follow other religions. “The thing with India is that it’s just so diverse, full of all kinds of religions, even within Hinduism. But a long time ago—we’re talking thousands of years ago—India was almost entirely Hindu. So, there’s a lot of Hindu holidays that are celebrated by non-Hindu Indians, like Diwali and Holi,” said Karri.