53°
UMass Boston's independent, student-run newspaper

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

3-4-24 PDF
March 4, 2024
2-26-24 PDF
February 26, 2024
An inside look at Bobby B. Beacon’s insides. Illustrated by Bianca Oppedisano/ Mass Media Staff.
Bobby's Inside Story
February 26, 2024

What is the Asian Student Center?

Students+in+the+Asian+Student+Center.

Students in the Asian Student Center.

For almost 38 years, the Asian Student Center, or ASC, has been a resource for the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The ASC is as an umbrella organization for the considerable number of student-led associations that it serves.
Vietnamese Student Association. The VSA is one of the larger associations within the ASC, with a reputation for high energy discussions and vibrant members. They hold bi-weekly meetings which discuss goings on within the club and provide leadership opportunities for club members. Their goal is to promote awareness of Vietnamese culture and values across campus. They also have ties to charity organizations like VietAID. The VSA is a part of the larger New England Intercollegiate Vietnamese Student Association, which possesses a council across 10 public and private academic institutions. The VSA hosts a Lunar new year show which is slated to happen around next semester. They expect a large audience.
Hoy Pinoy! The Filipino student-run organization has been on campus for about three years. They host a good deal of events focused on Filipino culture such as boodle fights, which are feasts that originate from a military tradition intended to break hierarchical barriers through the act of eating all at the same time; Halo-Halo servings, which are a form of traditional Filipino dessert; and charity game nights. HP even has their own dance crew for off-campus events! Saul Piedad (president of Hoy Pinoy!) feels like the center is a good place for him to come and decompress after a difficult day. “Whenever I’m feeling too overwhelmed and stressed out, I’ll just go over there and hang out because I feel welcome over there.”
Khmer Student Association. The Khmer Student Association was created five years ago by a woman of Cambodian-American descent with the intention of creating a community in which people from a Cambodian-American ethnic background can feel supported and recognized. The KSA hosts events, free tutoring sessions, and occasional get-togethers for members to discuss lived experiences, class, and life in general. Channeit Som (president of the KCA) believes that the ASC is a good place to exchange resources and connections. “The ASC is basically backup for whatever we might need help with; Katie [Mai] has our backs.”
Nepal Student Club. A student club that has been recently activated, the NSC is eager to introduce Nepalese culture to UMass Boston. Prabin Tramang (president of the NSC), in addition to further establishing the presence of the club on campus, hopes to eventually host an event that incorporates all of the ASC’s different associations and clubs.
Japanese Language Club. The club is for people who enjoy learning new languages, as well as fans of Japanese culture in general.
Of all the student centers, the ASC boasts the largest number of student-led associations tied to a center on campus, all the while operating on their own terms. Separate from the ASC, they consult each other about festivities and resources. Katie Mai (the current coordinator for the center) says, “The ASC is like a medium to connect all of the smaller clubs together.”
Mai helps all of the centers with anything they may need in terms of organization or moral support. She mentions that the space has gotten a lot quieter in recent years due to many of the previous members graduating. She has noticed a shift in the mood within the space, making note that the center has opened up a lot more to other centers and their members. The ASC has a track record of facilitating collaborative events with other organizations such as the Black Student Center, with the Yellow Peril Supports Black Power event created with the intention of building solidarity between the AAPI and black communities during this past black history month—a collaboration that Mai says was long overdue. They also included a cross-cultural game show in which four ASC associations lent their own special flair in order to create an enriching experience for those who participated.
As of now, the event board for the ASC is pretty booked. On Oct. 12, the Desi Student Association hosted their first night of the semester. Hoy Pinoy! is serving Halo-Halo outside of the dining hall on Oct. 19 and a costume-themed karaoke event is on Oct. 25. The Vietnamese Student Association looks to host a Halloween-themed movie screening in the ballrooms the next day, Oct. 26. KCA, or Khmer Culture Association, is hosting a game night from 4–9 p.m. as well as a Daze of Justice screening on Oct. 31.