Checking in with ASA leaders: Goals for 2021-22

Melody Rosales, Staff Writer

Intercultural Programs (ICP) on campus exist to create a space for students of different cultures and ethnicities to connect, provide support and discuss issues students may face. Co-leaders of the Asian Student Association (ASA), Zachary Hauw and Jordan Ogawa, elaborate on the program’s past and future goals.

Second-year Zachary Hauw described the program as “a space for Asian students at Westmont to connect and build friendships as well as navigate issues and stereotypes surrounding Asians.” 

All of the Intercultural Programs at Westmont have specific goals, such as providing support. Hauw explained that ASA’s goal for the fall semester of 2021 was “creating a safe space for AAPI [Asian and Pacific Islander] students as well as a community for the students, particularly the freshmen, to feel welcome … We also wanted to help educate our constituents on topics such as AAPI hate and the model minority myth so that they could better navigate these issues in their own lives.” 

Second-year Jordan Ogawa added, “Another goal that we wanted to accomplish was having more in-person events, especially since we weren’t able to meet as often last year.”

Some of the goals were met this semester. Ogawa described one of the goals reached: “We actually recently held an in-person outreach event where we showed ‘Howl’s Moving Castle,’ a Studio Ghibli movie, which turned out to be a great success. It was really encouraging to see how many people came to the event and we’re all very grateful that the event was such a success!” 

Sharing some of the difficulties that arise while trying to reach their objectives, Hauw explained, “Since it is our first time as leaders as well as our first time on campus with everything ‘normal,’ this semester has been a lot of experimenting.” He continued, “We are continually working to fine-tune aspects such as the structure of our meetings, time lengths for reservations and more.” 

For the upcoming spring semester, ASA has set a new goal. Ogawa described, “We’re definitely looking forward to hosting more events and spending more time with our constituents! More importantly, we’re also hoping that we’ll be able to fulfill the expectations that our constituents have for ASA.”

Ogawa expressed her enthusiasm for the future: “I think ASA’s next goal is to continue growing from this semester. It’s been an ongoing learning process for us leaders, but we’re really excited for what next semester has to offer.”

ASA continues to provide support and a safe community for AAPI students as well as inform the Westmont community about issues they face.

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