The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Striving for diversity

Members of the Asian Student Association at the Rocky steps (Photo courtesy of Megan Hartwell ’18).

The Asian Student Association celebrates culture.

The Asian Student Association (ASA) is a Student Inclusion and Diversity organization which strives to celebrate Asian culture and educate students through events on and off campus.

The ASA offers Asian students a welcoming space on campus, but it also promotes the importance of inclusivity. The organization invites all students to join in the events and learning opportunities that it offers. ASA’s mission appeals to both Asian and non-Asian students interested in experiencing and appreciating Asian culture.

“It’s not limited to Asian people, even though we definitely encourage Asian people to join,” said Ting Brown ’20, secretary of ASA. “It’s just a group of people in a space that’s accepting and appreciative of Asian culture. It’s a place for Asian students to come together. There isn’t a lot of Asian representation at St. Joe’s, so it’s a way for as students to connect.”

During the general meetings and events, Asian students can gather with others who share their traditions or who come from different Asian backgrounds. As part of Student Inclusion and Diversity, the ASA welcomes students looking to find a safe and familiar space on campus.

For treasurer Alison Eng ’18, ASA provided a way for her to become involved in a campus organization where she felt comfortable. She started by attending the general meetings, and now holds a position on the organization’s executive board.

“I got involved more my sophomore year, even though I went to my first meeting freshman year,” Eng said. “I guess what changed for me was that I was getting out of my shell more.”

While ASA is an important organization for Asian students, it also seeks to include students who don’t typically experience Asian culture. Megan Hartwell ’18, co-president of ASA, emphasized the inclusive environment that the organization offers to all students.

“I’m a president, and I’m not Asian, so I really strive to get other diversity,” Hartwell said. “As part of the Student Inclusion and Diversity organization, we strive to get students of all backgrounds.”

Hartwell also began her involvement in ASA by attending a meeting during the spring semester of her freshman year to see what the group was like. Hartwell is not Asian, so she was not sure if she would be invited into the organization.

“I’ve always had an affinity for Asian culture in general,” Hartwell said. “When I heard [ASA] was an organization, I said I’ll go to the first meeting and see how it is, and I absolutely fell in love with the community, just how everybody was so welcoming of any background. I just felt like I was allowed to be there.”

ASA has many events planned for the upcoming months. This month, the group will take a trip to the Chinese New Year parade in Chinatown and host a karaoke night on campus.

ASA will also continue a few popular events this year, including sushi nights and Holi. At the sushi nights, ASA members teach students how to make sushi using provided ingredients and bring in sushi from local restaurants. Holi, the Hindu festival of colors, is run in collaboration with the Hawks of India, an adult student organization. These events have been popular among Asian and non-Asian students alike.

“ASA is smaller group in terms of size, and we’re pretty tight knit, but we’re always looking for new members,” Brown said. “We love seeing new people. That’s why I like Holi because it’s encouraging a broader group of students to be involved in our activities.”

Members of the executive board encourage students curious about ASA to consider attending a meeting, going to an event or reaching out to one of the members. Students can also learn more about the group on Facebook and Instagram.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *