Junior Andrew Pham, who was elected in April to be the 2014-2015 president of the Asian American Association, resigned Aug. 26.
Pham said he had to step down for personal reasons. He has been a member of AAA since his freshman year, and said he will remain in the organization.
“Some personal issues have come up this summer,” Pham said. “I wanted to be able to give AAA the service that … it deserves. If I try to serve as president throughout the year, it wouldn’t only be damaging to my grades and my academic status as a student, but also to AAA at the same time.”
Pham made the announcement to AAA on the organization’s Facebook page.
“I will still try to maintain a presence in AAA,” he said. “I will probably be a general body member, rather than hold a position on the executive board.”
In Pham’s absence, 2013-2014 AAA President Victoria Yu took office immediately after the release of his resignation letter.
“Since I’ve had experience from last year, the transition will be more smooth,” Victoria said. “I have the confidence to step back into the role.”
AAA External Vice President Daphne Yu said she is confident in Victoria’s ability to lead AAA again this year.
“Last year, AAA had one of its biggest turnouts,” Daphne said. “We added a ton of new events. (Victoria) knows what’s she’s doing. We won’t go backwards, that’s for sure.”
Daphne said she is confident AAA will succeed in its goals under Victoria’s leadership. She hopes to have AAA branch out to other Asian-American and Pacific Islander-American organizations at other schools, as well as collaborate with the Missouri International Student Council on campus.
Pham said he approached Victoria last week with his decision to resign.
“I talked to (Pham) to see what had been planned out and his vision for AAA, and then I took over from there,” she said.
This semester, Victoria said AAA will be focusing on hosting diversity events, networking with other leaders on campus and creating a welcoming atmosphere for its members, who currently number about 60.
“The organization is as strong as its members,” she said. “I am very open-minded to adding new traditions, events or discussions. I think the input of our members … is very important.”
Victoria also acts as chief diversity officer on the Missouri Students Association executive cabinet. Having several different leadership roles on campus will be very positive, she said, especially because they are all interrelated.
“For me, responsibility is important, so just making sure I am always putting 110% effort into these … roles and organizations is what I am hoping for throughout this semester,” she said.
As AAA president, Victoria said she wants to focus on building a sense of community, advocacy and collaboration with other organizations on campus.
“One of the reasons why I joined AAA, and will continue to stay in it, is because I really see it as a second family,” Pham said. “I hope that AAA maintains its strength as an organization. I hope that we continue to grow, not only in membership, but also in the quality of its student leaders.”