Prospects and plans for AAA under Daphne Yu's new leadership

Daphne Yu replaces Victoria Yu as the new president / Executive members expect a smooth transition

On March 1, senior Victoria Yu sent out a letter officially announcing her resignation as Asian American Association president to members of the organization.

External Vice President Daphne Yu, a sophomore student majoring in journalism and political science, will step up and serve as the new AAA president for the rest of the academic year.

This change of leadership, however, did not come as a surprise. The AAA Board of Executives had been planning this transition of power since the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

Before fall semester started, former AAA President Andrew Pham decided to step down for personal reasons, he said.

In the case of a president stepping down, according to the AAA’s Constitution, the two vice presidents will take his or her place. However, both the internal vice president and the external vice president “weren’t comfortable with stepping up,” according to Victoria’s letter of resignation.

“They felt like they could use more guidance and experience before stepping up as president,” she said. “Since I was the most recent president, they asked me to come back. So I stepped back in as president with a goal in mind that fall semester would be (used for) guiding, training, supervising the two VPs to take on the role as president this semester.”

Victoria spent the fall semester grooming the vice presidents with a method that combined learning with practice.

“It wasn’t so much as telling them to do this or that,” Victoria said. “It was more giving them the opportunity to learn through experience. You learn most by going through that experience.”

Eventually, Internal Vice President Brandon Spink decided to stay in his position, as did the rest of the executive officers except for Daphne Yu, to whom the presidency was passed.

Daphne Yu said she received a great deal of help from her fellow friends and colleagues while adjusting to her new role.

“I have a great team of executive officers,” she said. “We are a very cohesive team in what we do, so I get a lot of support from board members and other executive officers. It hasn’t been so hard.”

In regard to her new tasks as president, Daphne Yu said planning ahead is the key.

“AAA is really big-picture thinking, so a lot of the planning had been done in fall before spring semester even started,” she said. “We’ve got our events and general body assembly meeting dates figured out. We’ve already contacted our keynote speakers for AAA month in April. For me, as president, it’s just making sure that all those things go smoothly.”

Daphne Yu then laid out her goals for the prospective path of AAA, focusing on infrastructure development and outreach.

“This year, we are trying to cultivate a closer bond between umbrella orgs and AAA as a whole, as well as bring in more freshman members,” she said. “My goal is to make everyone comfortable at meetings … making sure that everyone is having fun while doing their jobs. I want them to feel like it’s rewarding at the end.”

Both Victoria Yu and Spink expressed their confidence in a smooth transition and the new leadership.

VIctoria Yu said she is confident the organization will be able to still be stable and productive during the transition. “The future of the organization is still in good hands with Daphne being president now,” Spink said. “I have all the faith in the world that Daphne will do a wonderful job, and I am anticipating an unforgettable semester.”

Victoria Yu, after retiring from three semesters of service as president, expressed her thoughts on the organization along with her aspiration for its future.

“AAA is so close and dear to my heart, it’s like a home away from home; I really connect to the community there,” she said. “My goal is that AAA will continue to advocate for Asian-American issues to those who are interested in learning about Asian-American issues and culture.”

Graduating in May, Victoria said she would still be involved with AAA and its community.

“I’ll definitely provide guidance and assistance in any way possible,” she said.

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