Columbus club highlights Lewis & Clark’s multicultural students

Illustration by Ray Freedman

*The Backdoor is a work of fiction and humor

By Can Altunkaynak

A group of Lewis & Clark students decided to take an initiative a few weeks ago to start Columbus club which they believe is essential for the LC community. The club aims to teach people about geography and issues related to foreign countries.

“I have been to Barcelona this summer for two weeks.” Columbus president Amor Gibraltar ’20 said. “I can say ‘Hola’, ‘Buenos Dias’ and some other words in Spanish.  So, I wanted to create a club and share it with the rest of the students at LC. Look at my last name, it is an independent country in the Caribbeans. I was born for this.”

Gibraltar has been working on teaching people how to say peace in “Spanish.”

“It is such a beautiful word ‘estúpid’. It really captures the sense of peace,” Gibraltar said. She learned the word from a homeless man in the streets of Barcelona when he was spitting at her. Gibraltar said she was offended at the act first but registered the meaning when hot Catalan guys told her that it was just an act of kindness for good luck.

There are a lot of other students who want to share their knowledge about the world with their fellow students.

“It was so emotional to go to the Colosseum this summer and see how the Italians treated Romans so brutally for years keeping them there until they die.” Klein Kuş ’22 said in front of a Roman painting from 80 B.C. and pictures showing Italy’s unification between 1815 and 1871.  “Travelling around encouraged me to raise awareness about oppression in different contexts. Like Belgium is still a part of France. Belgians say they are a different country but it is not true because there are no borders between the two regions and Belgians do not speak Belgian, they speak French.”

Kuş is currently taking an active role in raising awareness about anti-European Union policies as he believes that the EU should stop invading countries. Some of the initiatives include burning euros and European Union flags, playing darts on President Macron and Chancellor Merkel’s faces and handing out pro-Brexit flyers on campus.

The club does not only focus on Europe but other regions around the world, especially Far East Asia. This is not much of a surprise as Portland is a city near the Pacific Ocean.

“Since I was a child I always went to eat sushi with my parents and I loved watching animes.” Beijing Je-sais-tout ’21 said. Je-sais-tout is another member of Columbus Club. “That is why I changed my name to Beijing. I love discussing different cultures with the students here. I do not agree with everything they say but that’s okay. I know they are biased because they lived in their countries for so long. Still, it is nice to hear different perspectives and be critical.”

The overall effect of the club seems to be beneficial to the LC community. There is already an increase in the number of overseas applications and projects all thanks to the club. Not only does the club raise awareness on campus, but it also motivates students to do greater things in their lives to change the world.

“I grew up in Miami and that’s why I love geography so much.” Gibraltar said. “I grew up looking at Africa from my house which you can see on clear days. I want to go to Africa and help this great country one day. I also want to have a pet lion.”

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