KCC: encouraging diversity through celebration

From Cabaret to Lunar New Year, Korean Culture Club (KCC) has made quite an impression on campus through creative expression, interactive events and informative classes. In an anecdote, KCC President senior Cassie Lee said that, as a member of the Lawrence University Community Council (LUCC) Steering Committee, she helps to recognize and approve many student organization applications, many of which are committed to cultural celebration on campus. To her, KCC is an integral part of the greatly diverse sum that trademarks Lawrence.  

KCC’s members came to the club in several different ways. Although he is half Korean, KCC Social Media Specialist sophomore Evan Toth had little exposure to the culture before coming to Lawrence, having lived in America all his life. Upon coming to Lawrence in 2022, he made it his goal to explore that side of his identity. That year, he met Cassie Lee, who invited him to come to a meeting.  

Like Toth, Secretary sophomore Hana Ramos was interested in Korean culture. With many of his close friends being from South Korea, he wanted to find a way to interact with the culture more deeply.  

Event Coordinator junior Jonah Friedmann’s first exposure to KCC was through his residential situation. He regularly accompanied his roommate to KCC events and lived next to a club executive board member at the time, who would send him reminders of events and meetings via Instagram. Eventually, Friedmann became familiar with the members of the board, then the club, and soon became a full-fledged member himself.  

Both Ramos and Cassie Lee agreed that KCC is an integral part of the diverse environment on campus, the latter identifying Lawrence as a place of great “cultural focus.” To promote Korean culture, the club hosts several events throughout the academic year, such as introducing Korean foods to Lawrentians, playing Korean games and hosting classes about the language.  

Celebrating traditional holidays is another way Cassie Lee said KCC interacts with Lawrentians. Vice President junior Minjun Lee remembered teaching the crowd at Lawrence’s 2024 Lunar New Year celebration how to wish someone “Happy New Year” in Korean, after which several students approached him to do just that. He saw the opportunity to teach a part of his deeply rich culture to the Lawrence community to be greatly special to him. 

“In coming to America as an international student, you always have to have an attitude to learn,” Minjun Lee said. “You have to [learn to] adapt […] to the culture and the people. But if you’re at a club and hold events like this, you can be in a position to teach people instead of always learning.”  

Cassie Lee added that the KCC booth was approached at that same event by eventgoers asking about different traditional items they were presenting and remembered a similar pride in getting to explain. Toth hopes the pride KCC feels in sharing culture transcends the club and resonates with all Korean Lawrentians.  

KCC Treasurer sophomore Jinju Hwang recommended trying Korean food as a launchpad for Lawrentians into exploring Korean culture. She said it is a fun and easy way to ease into learning about the broader nuances of any culture, not just Korean.  

Cassie Lee claimed that cultural exposure is imperative to expanding the breadth of multicultural celebration she praised Lawrence for. However, she and Ramos both observed that many of the students who interact with KCC are Korean or claim international status. She encouraged more domestic students to attend KCC events and learn more about Korean culture.

Minjun Lee recommended Lawrentians attend KCC’s biweekly Korean class and follow them on Instagram for updates at