As I sit here writing this article, I cannot help but feel saddened that I will soon be leaving CJAS behind. When I look around and see so many new faces this year, I sometimes wonder, too, what it would be like to join CJAS for the first time again. When I first joined this club, there were no more than 30 members. CJAS had just started to hold its meetings on campus for the first time; before that, we were all watching anime in Masaaki's tiny apartment and an even tinier 13-inch TV.
CJAS' first year on campus marked the beginning of a new cycle, for founder Masaaki Takai passed the torch of leadership to us, and we proceeded to change CJAS to a club that wouldn't be just for members who were already into anime, but for those who knew nothing about it, too.
Many of our traditions like the T-shirt contests, the marathons, and the end-of-semester dinners started during that first year. Holding our weekly Friday meetings allowed us to meet a lot of new people, and I remembered that there would always be a few new members who would gladly stay after each meeting and stand outside of Uris with us for long hours in the cold winter nights discussing the significance of the Valkyrie transformation or the cinematography in Nausicaš. Of course, Uris library was completely dark by then, and on many occasions, Public Safety officers would give us strange looks. We didn't care.
CJAS has changed much over the past few years; it is no longer an obscure organization of anime fans. We have university recognition now, we have our own auditorium, and we have many, many more members now. Indeed, a lot more people know about CJAS now than at anytime in its history. But what is important is that the spirit remains the same; CJAS was, is, and will always be an organization of dedicated fans. I would stress the word "dedication" here because I firmly believe that as long as there exists a group of people willing to dedicate themselves to promoting anime at Cornell, CJAS will always exist.
My cycle at CJAS has come to an end now, but it has just begun for another generation. I leave the club in their hands now and wish them the best of luck.