The Asian Student Union (ASU) at Oakland Tech is a student-run club that aims to build a community and educate all students about Asian culture. ASU board members, elected Tech students, make most decisions regarding the club’s activities; however, regular members are allowed to give input on some issues. For instance, ASU members can pick designs for their club’s merchandise and choose organizations to donate funds to.
ASU members typically meet once a week to participate in a variety of activities. In the past, club members have played games, given presentations, made food, and taught/learned customs and languages during their meetings. Games, such as Heads Up!, were utilized to teach ASU members words from an Asian language, while presentations about regional cultures have been given to teach students about the diversity of ethnic groups and traditions across Asia. ASU has also partnered with Improving Wellness of Asian Youth (IWAY), an organization committed to engaging the Asian community about mental well-being, to hold presentations and provide opportunities to its members. Last year, members folded paper cranes to raise awareness on the imprisonment of migrants at a former Japanese American incarceration camp. Members were also given the opportunity to participate in other hands-on activities like making spring rolls, a popular finger food originated from the Asian community. They hope that, through food, they can share the customs and traditions of Asian culture. In addition to these fun activities, ASU participated in large-scale projects, like the Asian Cultural Assembly that was presented in early March. The current co-president of ASU, Christy Ko, says that “the assembly was to reach a larger audience to educate about Asian culture and the beauty of it through dances and skits.” By having a small-scale fashion show, dance performances ranging from Vietnamese fan dancing to Kpop dance covers, and skits, Tech students were given the opportunity to learn about traditions in the Asian culture in a fun and memorable way.
With on-site school being closed due to the ongoing pandemic, ASU meetings will temporarily be hosted virtually bi-weekly instead of in-person weekly during lunch. Though they will not be able to host some of the activities they originally planned, the ASU board members plan to continue giving presentations to teach traditions, languages, and customs to their members. Additionally, they will hold discussions about current events. Despite the change in circumstances, there is no doubt that ASU members will continue to engage in fun and meaningful activities.
The Asian Student Union meets every other Tuesday at 3 PM virtually. Join their next meeting on October 13 and follow their Instagram: @ot.asu for more information.