Raising Awareness: Free Tibet Club


Students for a Free Tibet Club

“I created this club because I felt that I had a responsibility as a young Tibetan to be the voice for the Tibetans in Tibet who do not have the resources to make a difference,” said junior and founder of the Students for a Free Tibet Club, Tenzin Sangmo.

The movement for the awareness about a communist-ruled country has sprung upon the DMAE campus. Tenzin introduced the idea of a Free Tibet Club to Anthony Dinallo, the program manager for the Information Systems Academy. Tenzin was empowered by a fellow friend who ran a chapter at a different school.

“My friend encouraged me to begin a chapter in my school and take the opportunity to raise awareness of a situation that so many people don’t know about,” Tenzin Sangmo said.

The Free Tibet Club’s priority is to involve people and inform them about the political conflict between China and Tibet. Although the conflict goes back centuries, the more current clash began in 1950 when China forcibly took over Tibet and later made a Tibetan delegation give up its sovereignty. Tibet had been operating as an independent government since 1912.

Today, Tibet is still considered to be part China, which does not allow the formation of pro-Tibet groups. That is why clubs such as Tenzin’s are needed. Students and others need to know that the Chinese government obstructs Tibetans’ freedoms, such as cultural traditions and spiritual leadership. In particular, the people of Tibet are upset that the Chinese government tired to replace their spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, with one politically aligned to China.

“It has not been as televised or broadcasted by the media as other events; therefore, not many people know about this issue,” Mr. Dinallo said.

Because all funding and awareness campaigns must be done outside of Tibet, the club hands out flyers and makes colorful and vivid posters “that will catch the eye,” according to co-president of the club, Melissa Chan.

“I am very hopeful about the future of the Free Tibet Club because I think we have made great strides in informing DMAE already,” Melissa said.

Melissa explained that when they first started their awareness campaign, most students did not even know there was a Tibet.

“Now I know that many students are aware not only of what Tibet is, but what its current situation is, and none of this was possible without the creation of this club,” Melissa said.

Mr. Dinallo understands the Tibetan culture and Buddhism. He was the perfect advisor for the club according to Tenzin. After discussing the initiation of the Free Tibet Club, they decided that educating a school community was vital.