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Dialogue @ ZJU: With CHEN Ziyi, the co-founder of ZJU's “loving” Accessibility Advocacy Club


[Editor's note: CHEN Ziyi, a senior student majoring in architecture, is the recipient of the Chu Kochen Scholarship (the highest honor bestowed upon ZJU students) for the academic year 2022-2023 and the National Scholarship for four consecutive years. Also, she is the co-founder of ZJU’s Accessibility Advocacy Club, and served as the president. Over last three years, she has actively engaged in accessibility public services, organizing over 20 activities, conducting 17 barrier-free environment surveys, and completing 19 experience reports. She has led the continuous development of the club through high-quality courses, inclusive activities for the disabled and non-disabled, campus tours and cultural and creative design projects, as well as concepts in new ways. Through this interview, we will gain insights into CHEN’s experience and thoughts about ZJU's Accessibility Advocacy Club.]

Q1: Can you talk about what benefits the club has brought to you over last three years?

CHEN: Besides the warmth, camaraderie and improvement of organizational skills, the deepest experience I gained from the club is being touched. Firstly, a group of like-minded peers strive to contribute their youth to building a barrier-free environment of equality and sharing for all with their love. Then, the university, institute and teachers provide us with countless guidance and support. Also, more and more young people and members of society are beginning to pay attention to the lives of the disabled and the construction of barrier-free facilities.

Q2: How would you describe the club in your eyes in one sentence?

CHEN: With love, we can overcome all obstacles. Since its establishment three years ago, the club’s influence is increasing, and has attracted more members. We held joint salons with the Institute for Accessibility Development of Tsinghua University. Also, we’ve attracted schools without similar initiatives to discuss how to contribute to the disabled together. Now, we are aiming to establish a nationwide accessibility alliance among universities.

Q3: What is the most memorable thing for you in your experience?

CHEN: We planned to hold an accessibility salon for students on campus in the first year. Because of the small scale, not many students took the initiative to learn our club, which depressed us. At that time, our guiding teachers reminded us that even a single person's efforts can inspire many. Hearing that, we were full of enthusiasm. Gradually, the club has steadily grown in size and impact.

Q4: Can you briefly introduce some creative and impactful activities organized by the club?

CHEN: I would introduce inclusive activities for the disabled and non-disabled, like inclusive sports. The activities attracted many people with disabilities to participate and gained attention and support from many students on and off campus. Some students also spurred interest in our subsequent high-quality courses. We felt participants’ passion and love for barrier-free construction through activities we held before, and we will continue to spread the love within our club.

Source: Guidance Center for Zhejiang University Student Organizations 

Translator: HAN Xiao ('25 Higher Education)

Photo: Accessibility Advocacy Club

Editor: TIAN Minjie