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Monday, September 25, 2017

Asian American Association starts the year off with annual UnificAsian event

UnificAsian draws in new members for the Asian American Association from across MU.

The Asian American Association kicked off the school year with its annual UnificAsian event on Aug. 27 with information and games designed for new members to get to know each other.

UnificAsian was first held by AAA in 2006 to attract new members and answer questions about the association. Since then, it has become an annual event that has drawn in over 100 people each of the last few years.

According to club treasurer sophomore Elaine Chen, members of AAA and its umbrella organizations started planning for this year’s event in early January.

AAA’s events are designed not only to have new and existing members meet one another but also to learn about other cultures and heritages.

“Community building is a large part of AAA, and we actually invite all people — whether they are or aren't Asian, to learn about how our heritage and culture affects our identity, experiences, and the issues we face,” Chen said in an email.

According to its webpage on the Multicultural Center’s website, the Asian American Association “strives to unite students of all backgrounds to bring campus awareness and understanding of Asian Pacific Islander culture, history, and current issues to the university.”

In addition, members want to spread the word to as many students as possible about similar cultures and identities of the organization and to work alongside other groups at MU to enhance their own and others’ effectiveness.

“For me, triple A is providing that community and space for students to explore, discuss and learn about different cultures and heritages,” AAA President Alice Yu said. “It can be about your own, or it can be about other people, so that’s why we say we’re culturally based but not culturally exclusive because we want to be able to invite other people to learn about others and about themselves.”

AAA is the parent organization over six umbrella organizations that have individual activities and recruitment events. These organizations include the Filipino American Student Association, the Asian Christian Fellowship, the Official Dance Crew and the South Asian Student Association, as well as Kappa Pi Beta fraternity and Alpha Phi Gamma sorority. Because these organizations work so closely together, many share the same members.

Jenny Lam, an FASA senior advisor and AAA member, has already started planning for an FASA event in the spring, Barrio Fiesta, or Neighborhood Party. The event is its largest of the year. FASA collaborates with other organizations that put on performances alongside FASA’s tinikling performance, which is a traditional Filipino dance.

“We’re also going to try to revamp our cultural event in the spring,” Lam said. “We’re going to try to add more cultural performances as well with a skit that depicts a Filipino folklore and then also try to add more cultural dances.”

Edited by Sarah Hallam | shallam@themaneater.com

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