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The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Fit to be king
Lilli Dellheim, Special to the Hawk • July 13, 2024

USciences and St. Joe’s ASAs collaborate amid merge

Students+paint+mini+lanterns+as+part+of+the+Lunar+New+Year+festivities.
Students paint mini lanterns as part of the ASA’s Lunar New Year festivities. PHOTO: KELLY SHANNON ’24/THE HAWK

In preparation for the June 1 merger between St. Joe’s and the University of the Sciences, leaders of the Asian Student Association (ASA) at St. Joe’s have been talking to their counterparts at the USciences ASA.

Both organizations have approximately 60 active members, although USciences has a significantly higher enrollment of students who identify as Asian. According to the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), in fall 2020, 32% of students at USciences were Asian, while 3% of St. Joe’s student population was Asian.

Kimberly Lam ’23, social media chair and secretary of ASA at USciences, said the conversations between the two organizations have been on-going for several months.

“[When] we merge with the St. Joe’s ASA, I think we would be really excited because it would just give us more opportunities for events,” Lam said.

Incoming vice president of St. Joe’s ASA Vivian Eng ’24 said their group is most excited about the demographics of the USciences student body.

“They are a much more diverse school than St. Joe’s is,” Eng said. “I have spoken to [UScience’s ASA] as well, and they seem to be excited to merge the organizations.” 

Both St. Joe’s and USciences have approximately 100 student organizations, even though St. Joe’s has more than twice the number of students compared to USciences. NCES data for 2020 reports 2,375 graduate and undergraduate students at USciences, and 6,779 students at St. Joe’s. 

Beth Hagovsky, Ed.D., director of St. Joe’s Student Leadership and Activities, said after the merger, the new St. Joe’s will go from having 100 student organizations to about 200. 

“There’s some overlapping [organizations], but not nearly as many as you think,” Hagovsky said. “Because they are such a science-focused university, many of the organizations are very science focused.”

Leeshi Lee ’23, president of ASA at USciences, said when the merger was announced, students felt that lots of information was thrown at them.

“I just accepted it because in the end there is nothing we students can really do,” Lee said. “It’s already been done. It’s in the process.”

Gabriella Longenbach, coordinator of Student Activities at USciences, said even as students adjust to their losses during the merger, there are opportunities ahead for everybody. It will just take time.

“I don’t think either campus wants to lose that feeling of, ‘this is what we’ve created,’” Longenbach said. “So figuring out a way to honor some traditions within orgs and honor and cherish memories and past alumni and everything, figuring out how we’re merging but still remaining separate in some ways . . . . we are still separate student bodies that will over time come together, but not right at the get-go.”

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