AAA revises constitution

The Asian American Association aims to increase visibility and awareness on campus.

The Asian American Association has always been an outlet for social networking, support and activism among Asian Pacific Islander American students on campus, but this year, AAA's executive board seeks to ramp up its growth with a newly revised constitution.

The majority of changes to the constitution will pertain to the way club membership is measured in relation to who has the right to vote regarding issues within AAA.

"Before it was based on paying membership dues," AAA President Christyona Pham said. "But AAA is allocated an amount of the diversity fee which does not allow for membership dues."

Although there are no membership dues for MU students, members do have to pitch in for activities such as intramural sports team registrations.

"Revisions of the constitution help AAA improve and move forward, making each year different than the last," said Avy Kea, AAA vice president of external affairs. "The process for revising the constitution involves the entire AAA general body and holding meetings to discuss potential changes to the constitution."

Open to the public, AAA primarily focuses on increasing APIA visibility and awareness on campus. The APIA community at MU holds about 2.4 percent of the population. Within that number, just 11 percent of APIA students belong to the AAA. Because of such small statistics, some of AAA's executive board members feel it is easy for their club's voice to get lost.

But Pham, who is entering her fourth year of involvement within AAA, won't let that be the case for this year.

"AAA will continue to grow in membership, campus/political activism and more collaborative programs/events, with a far wider range of student groups," she said. "One of my goals for the following year that I hope to see through is a much stronger alliance and unity within all the APIA groups and the minority groups."

In the past, AAA has hosted prominent events on campus, including everything from barbeques to comedy shows to its annual Asian American Awareness Week, which includes an Asian Street Market. Last year, AAA hosted Kollaboration, a variety show in Jesse Hall that featured artists like Quest Crew, the winning dance team from season three of MTV's America's Best Dance Crew.

Executive leaders of AAA plan to finalize their constitution in the upcoming year, when members can vote in person, as well as have an open forum to discuss the reasoning behind the changes.

"We've been fiddling with it for some time now and have put it to effect but we're still trying to perfect it," Pham said.

She said the new constitution will essentially be more accurate in relation to what the club actually does.

"For the coming year, expect a stronger alliance between all the APIA student organizations on campus," Pham said. "I know together we can definitely make our voice heard."

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