For those of you who don’t know, the Polynesian population at CWU has grown since i became a student here. When i first arrived i knew of about eight students who were of Polynesian decent and that number has grown to close to 40. Yes, that number may seem small to many, but to us it makes all the difference. When i first arrived i didn’t know how to get involved on campus and didn’t trust anyone. i didn’t want to reach out and felt alone and marginalized. When i caught wind of the Poly club on campus i realized that none of the members were actually Polynesian and instead of feeling the need to change that, i simply disconnected myself from the group.
My first year of college i heard of an annual event Central held called Polyfest, an event where students performed Polynesian dances and taught students about the history and heritage of each island. As a Polynesian student i thought the idea of the event was great but still felt uncomfortable about it since none of the students putting on the event were actually Polynesian, but that wouldn’t be the case for long.
This year the floodgates for Polynesian students opened up and Central admitted over 30 Student who were of Polynesian decent. That number literally quadrupled the amount we had in my previous two years and brought life to our community. Since the incoming class of Polynesian Freshman has arrived we have become the closest of friends all with different backgrounds, cultures, and stories but maintaining the same goals and interests. We do everything from Homework to weekend long bbq’s together where we sing, laugh, enjoy each others company and most of all EAT! We have become a tight knit group who has taken on the roll of organizing, dancing and teaching about our culture at this years 2015 Polyfest.
This years Polyfest means so much more to me and our community of Polynesian students for many reasons. First off, this years event has the most Polynesian student involvement than any other event held at Central Washington University. Secondly, we are given a chance to share each and everyone of our cultures by taking our audience through a tour of some of the Polynesian islands. We will be showcasing traditional dances from the islands of New Zealand, Fiji, Tonga, Tahiti, Hawaii and Samoa. Lastly, this is the opportunity to have fun, and perform with family. Our group this year is special and we have grown and will continue to grow with each other as our people have done for centuries. Because every Polynesian knows that we are nothing without God and our community. Be praying for our CWU family as we host our event on May 28 of this month!