Hello everyone! I am Wen Min Chen, the vice president of the Caltech Y excomm, as Laura mentioned in her first blog post. I hold the Caltech Y near and dear to my heart, since it has allowed me to experience things I probably wouldn’t have at other universities. After all, the Caltech Y is devoted to giving students opportunities to explore life outside the Caltech bubble. The Caltech Y has a lot of programs that can be grouped under five main categories: educational programs, outdoor adventures, community service, social activities, and cultural events. There’s always something that will interest the average student here!
I particularly like the community service and social activities aspects of the Y. Some of my favorite memories from last year included planning the Community Service and Advocacy Fair, often abbreviated to CSA Fair since it’s quite a mouthful! For the uninitiated, the CSA Fair is something the Y organizes every year, and we invite a lot of local organizations to raise awareness about different causes and volunteering opportunities that undergraduates and graduates can participate in. To sweeten the deal, the Y offered free boba, a popular type Taiwanese tea-based drink, in exchange for talking with several representatives. The fair is great way for many students to start thinking about Make a Difference Day, an event that the Caltech Y holds in the spring that encourages the Caltech community to volunteer. Make a Difference Day will be mentioned later since it’s a huge event that deserves its own post.
Planning the Fair was pretty awesome. My favorite part was ordering the boba; we ordered 125 cups, an insane amount for someone who has only had it occasionally. Carrying it over was a lot of work as it was pretty heavy, but I really enjoyed talking to the organizations and chatting with students about which organizations they found the most interesting
A small fraction of the boba we ordered. Boba, also known as bubble tea, is made with tea, milk, a sweetener like sugar or honey, and tapioca pearls. It’s an interesting contrast between the chewy pearls and the sweet tea, and I initally didn’t like it. Now I’m a huge fan!
A view of the Fair. We held it during lunch time so people could learn about the organizations on their way to lunch.
Caltech may be a small campus, but it has a large variety of food options. There are three main dining locations on campus — The Lee F. Browne Dining Hall, the Hameetman Center (which houses our beloved Red Door Cafe), and the Broad Café.
As a Caltech student, I obviously have a love for STEM. But for me, that love is incomplete without the bigger picture—the role that STEM can play in helping society. That connection between science and humanity served as the initial motivation for one of my primary passions: organizing for environmental justice.
Now that the 2021 baseball season has come to close, I want to take a little trip down memory lane to the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) playoffs. To set the scene, after an exciting wild card game win, the Washington Nationals (my team) began a five game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Dodgers win the first and third game of the series, and the Nationals win the second and fourth game, making game five a do-or-die situation. The final game took place at Dodgers Stadium, a mere 20 minute drive from Caltech. I pounced on this opportunity, going to the game with my fellow baseball-fanatic and Caltech student, Arya.