Diversity is the essence of university campuses, where students from different backgrounds come together to learn, grow, and foster cultural exchange. A vibrant example of this in student organizations at Southwestern is the Asian Student Association (ASA). With its mission to celebrate the rich heritage of Asian cultures, promote inclusivity, and provide a supportive community for Asian students, the ASA has become a vital force on campus, leaving a lasting impact on the University’s multicultural landscape.

A Haven for Cultural Exchange

“My biggest goal for this year was to build community and build a safe space not just for Asian students but for everyone on campus,” said Outgoing ASA President Michelle Nguyen ’23. “I feel accomplished in this because we were able to host several events, including International Cultural Night on campus.”

Students participating in a cultural parade at International Cultures Night. Students participating in a cultural parade at International Cultures Night.


The ASA serves as a vibrant platform for Southwestern students, regardless of their ethnicity, to connect, share experiences, and celebrate their diverse cultural backgrounds. It offers a safe and welcoming space for students to express their unique identities and learn from one another. Through various events, workshops, and cultural celebrations, the ASA fosters a sense of belonging and pride among its members.

“The ASA has fully impacted my Southwestern experience. I came in during COVID times and didn’t really know anybody. I went to a few ASA meetings when they were virtual and was instantly able to build community,” recalled ASA Social Media Manager and Historian Aleena Khan ’24.

Cultural Celebrations and Awareness

One of the primary objectives of the ASA is to raise awareness and appreciation for the multifaceted Asian cultures within the University community. The organization hosts an array of cultural celebrations throughout the academic year, showcasing the beauty of traditions, art, music, dance, and cuisine from different countries.

The events hosted by the ASA provide a platform for Asian students (and beyond) to proudly display their heritage, educate others, and promote cultural exchange. From Lunar New Year festivities to Diwali celebrations, attendees experience the vibrant colors, tastes, and sounds of Asia, fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of the diverse Asian cultures.

“This semester, we really focused on increasing our visibility on campus. We make sure that not only Asian students have a place to find community and support but also make sure the campus as a whole knows we’re here and we exist,” said ASA Treasurer Nina Woodward ’25. “I think it’s very easy for small schools to say they have a diverse student body and then not interact with them. Our goal is to allow everyone to experience and interact with diverse cultures more often.”

The ASA is dedicated to making a positive impact both on campus and in the broader community, holding bi-weekly meetings and numerous special events both on and off campus for any Southwestern student to participate in. In the fall semester the organization partnered with a local boba tea restaurant Tru Boba and offered discounts for those who said they were with the ASA.

The ASA stands as a testament to the power of diversity, cultural exchange, and unity. Through its commitment to celebrating Asian cultures, fostering a sense of belonging, and empowering its members, the ASA enriches the campus community and contributes to a more inclusive and culturally vibrant university environment.

As the ASA continues to grow and evolve, it serves as an inspiration for other student organizations, demonstrating the importance of embracing diversity, fostering cultural awareness, and empowering marginalized communities. The ASA truly embodies the spirit of unity and acceptance, creating a legacy that will endure for generations to come.

“I am really looking forward to the ASA getting more involved in the campus community and becoming a more prominent safe space for diverse students to connect with each other. I also hope to build our events to reach a larger scale, especially International Cultural Night because it is such a fun celebration of cultures,” Incoming ASA President Sabrina Zheng ’24 said.


ASA Officers at International Cultural Night ASA Officers at International Cultural Night

To learn more about the ASA and similar organizations offered at Southwestern, visit their webpage. You can keep up with ASA and their upcoming meetings and events via their Instagram page @southwestern.asa.

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