Asian Student Union Helps Bring Asian Representation to Pace

Xiao Chen (left), vice president of Asian Student Union  and Sammi Li (right), during their Lunar New Year event

Xiao Chen (left), vice president of Asian Student Union and Sammi Li (right), during their Lunar New Year event

Sammi Li

Sammi Li

Xiao Chen (left), vice president of Asian Student Union and Sammi Li (right), during their Lunar New Year event

Adiba Sikder, Feature Editor

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The Asian Student Union, a club launched by Sammi Li, a sophomore at Pace,  promotes cultural fusion in order to help increase diversity on campus.

The Asian Student Union was created to help teach students about the different customs, traditions, and holidays of different countries in the continent and to give Asian students on campus a safe place to connect about their culture.

Several members of Asian Student Union are Asian, however, they are open and welcome students of any background.

Joshua Francois, a sophomore at Pace and member of Asian Student Union, believes that the club helps to bring new ideas and representation to cultures that don’t often get too much attention on campus.

“Coming from a small town in Connecticut, I’ve been surrounded by people from European descent for a long time and all my friends back home are Italian white dudes,” said Francois. “Since coming to Pace I’ve been wanting to learn about other cultures.”

Many of the meetings are about innovative ideas about events, important and controversial discussions that are had among the Asian community, and popular media.

“This semester, we want to implement something people can take away from. We’ve had discussions on Valentine’s Day and the different ways Asian countries celebrate it. We’re planning a discussion called Stay Woke which will be about assault and hate crimes towards Asians,” said Li.

The president of the club, Li, is originally from Queens and believes that having that much culture around you at all times helps you develop an understanding and an appreciation for it which she hopes Asian Student Union will bring to Pace.

“When I came to Pace I noticed that there is a fairly decent Asian population at Pace but they weren’t as represented as other races, that motivated me to step up and be the president of Asian Student Union,” said Li.

The Asian Student Union hosts several different events throughout the semester in order to raise awareness to the entire continent and not just the Southeast Asian countries.

“We have so many different events ranging from Lunar New Year and Holi. We want to raise awareness and represent the entire continent. There are so many different countries that deserve representation,” said Li.

In the past, there have been several attempts to start a club similar to Asian Student Union with a similar goal of trying to raise awareness to the culture and to host events helping the Pace community to learn and appreciate diversity, however, they became inactive very quickly.

“In the future, I hope that the Asian Student Union grows and remains active on campus and that there are members on the eboard that have the same passion, motivation, and pride that we have,” said Li.

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