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My favorite things about the Y

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.

Wen Min