When international students travel to the United States to learn English, the language barrier is just one of their challenges. Cultural differences like being overwhelmed in the grocery store, being embarrassed about not tipping a server (there is no tipping…
Join the Club: Asian Students in America (ASIA)
If you’re looking to pursue a new talent, passionate about a certain issue or even just looking to meet new people, the University’s 300-plus student organizations are a good place to start. In collaboration with the Office of Student Activities in the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, Syracuse University News highlights some of the many organizations that enrich campus life. The Join the Club series offers a glimpse into the organizations through their members—their mission, the events and activities they plan, and why you might want to join.
During his first year on campus, Alexis Ho-Liu ’18 was approached by some welcoming members of the student organization Asian Students in America (ASIA). They later became both mentors and friends to Ho-Liu, who became deeply involved in the organization and is now president of ASIA.
ASIA hosts social and cultural events for participants to experience and increase awareness of Asian and Asian American identity. Ho-Liu, an information management and technology major in the School of Information Studies, discusses what ASIA is all about and the impact it’s had on his time at Syracuse University.
Q: Tell me about your organization. What is your mission?
A: Asian Students in America (ASIA) is a culturally diverse organization established in 1979 to bring together and represent the Asian and Asian American student body at Syracuse University.
Our goals are to experience, examine and increase awareness of the Asian and Asian American identity by hosting social, educational, cultural and community service events. Through these interactions, we will lead and promote deep conversations that further the Asian and Asian American student body as a lobbying voice on issues of concern to the Asian community and to all other communities that need to be heard.
Q: What are some of the activities/events that you organize during the year?
A: Our annual events revolve around ASIA’s four pillars: Social, Cultural, Community Service and Political Education. Some of our main events include Autumn Moon Festival, a Chinese tradition celebrated with moon cakes, and Dance the Night Away, a hip hop dance workshop with Asian American choreographers from around the U.S. We also hold more traditional events, such as a Spring Formal, typically held in late April.
Our concluding event of the year is Asia Night, ASIA’s biggest event of the year. During this night, student talents are shared through dancing, singing and performing a variety of acts. A headliner is brought in, usually an accredited Asian American comedian, singer, etc., and performs a set for the students of Syracuse University. For this year’s Asia Night event we will be hosting a male pageant called “Mr. Asia” where contestants will showcase their style and talent. Stay tuned and follow us on Facebook for more information!
We also hold a “Big/Little” mentorship program where upperclassmen guide the incoming first-year or transfer members into Syracuse University’s college life. Big students may serve as role models, big brother/sister types, or just as a friend.
Q: Why did you join the club?
A: During my first year, I was approached by very enthusiastic and friendly members from the organization to join ASIA. These individuals later became both mentors and friends to me. Their friendship and encouragement left a big impact on me and gave me the motivation that I needed to excel in my academics and extracurricular involvement.
Q: What has been the best part of joining the club? How has it impacted your Syracuse experience?
A: My first-year experience was memorable and full of positive experiences thanks to the support and encouragement I received from ASIA members. I also made significant friendships and connections throughout the year’s social and cultural events. As the current president of the organization and being able to help build this community alongside motivated and passionate individuals, I have been both inspired and motivated to pay it forward to the next incoming first-year and transfer classes so that their experience here at Syracuse is unforgettable.
Q: What do you want other students in the club to take away from the experience?
A: It is important that we actively participate in the community that we are all a part of; it is an excellent way to build solidarity between the diverse cultures that fall under the Asian and Asian American identity. Being part of your community helps build a long-term sense of support and belonging, especially when we, as people of color, continue to face adversity and struggles.
Q: How can people join?
A: Follow us on Facebook at ASIA: Asian Students in America to stay tuned with our events or contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding our upcoming General Body Meetings and events.