As your productive and meaningful day of education comes to an end and you find yourself on that routine walk back to your bike, bus, or blue line, you reflect on the definitive successes and prevailing of obstacles that lead to such a glorious, fulfilling experience that encompasses you with the desire to return home to prepare for another day full of exciting challenges… Yet despite your progressing academic endeavors, there’s still an emptiness inside, a void (and I’m not talking about your hunger for that home cooked meal, cafeteria food, or whatever else is inside that Tupperware or crumpled up tin foil in your bag).
You realize that this emptiness can only be occupied by a greater cause. A structured coalition composed of your earnest peers that you can devote your additional time towards in a meaningful and social way. A student organization. Specifically, an Asian interest student organization. Led by charismatic, organized role models and generously attended by entertaining, chipper students with similar interests. WHAT ARE YOU EVEN WAITING FOR? (Their next event, I suppose...)
Luckily, I have had the enjoyable privilege of attending many of these organizations’ events and will try my best to portray what these organizations stand for as well as the experience you can expect when you join!
AASIA's mission: The purpose of this organization is to encourage and reward academic excellence, to promote campus and community awareness by addressing Asian American issues, and to provide social and cultural activities for its members.
“Hold on! That mission statement sounds just like every other Asian cultural org’s statement.”
You’re right. So what is this organization actually doing? What makes this organization different from the others? Why should you check out their meetings instead of studying?
AASIA is actually quite unique from the other Asian cultural organizations. It is the oldest Asian interest organization, founded in 1986, and is rooted in social justice and education for and about Asian Americans (they are making an effort this year to return to their roots!). They support, volunteer, and fundraise for non-profit community organizations that are in solidarity for the benefit of Asian Americans such as ADOPT (Asians with Disabilities Outreach Project Think-tank) and AAJC (Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Chicago). They are always actively collaborating with other student organizations, as well, for the betterment of the community!
AASIA’s efforts encompasses Asian Americans as a whole! They are not specific to one culture or identity (and also help fill our campuses lack of a Chinese cultural student organization). Their meetings and workshops are pedagogical in nature with thoughtful presentations and discussions on current issues, identity, and cultural aspects of Asian American lives! Their upcoming events include a micro-aggressions workshop (co-presented with multicultural fraternity, Sigma Lambda Beta) and a discussion about the model minority myth (Featuring Jeff from the Asian American Resource and Cultural Center).
As an aside, AASIA holds a special place in my heart being the first non-exclusive Asian interest organization I have checked out! Tea-tasting and Origami making were the first two events I attended and I greatly appreciated learning about the origins of these activities and their significance to our heritage. I was greeted by their e-board members with both, warm smiles and a warm cup of tea despite them not knowing of my existence prior at a meeting one month into the spring semester, so it’s never too late to come by!
- Imaginasian, a unique variety show in which student organizations prepare a skit that fits along with the theme! Features a famous headliner! (Last two headliners: David So, The Architeks)