The Advance-Titan

Asian student club seeks recognition

A dual focus of helping Asian students build a community and create awareness of Asian culture throughout the UW Oshkosh campus is what drives the Hmong Student Union/Asian Student Association, the organization’s adviser Mai Khou Xiong said during their weekly meetings on Tuesdays.

“There’s this misconception that this club is only for, y’know, Asian students,” Mai Khou Xiong said. “That’s not really the case. It really is for anyone interested in the Asian culture, and wants to immerse themselves and interact with individuals that also come from that culture. It is really focused on creating awareness, to really promote cultural diversity and inclusion on this campus.”

According to Mai Khou Xhong the organization, which consists of two separate clubs that meet collectively, is a group that allows Asian students, or students that are interested in different Asian cultures to get to know one another and learn about Asian culture.

“The organization’s main focus is really helping students build community and a sense of belonging on this campus,” faculty adviser for the organization, Mai Khou Xhong said.

Sophomore and secretary of the organization, PaHoua Xiong said they want to show that everyone in the group is welcoming and friendly.

“I wanted to show them that we’re all the same, that we’re a family here,” PaHoua Xiong said.

The group participates in campus wide events that seek to entertain and inform the student body, Group Treasure Sarah Phonisay said.

“We do host Asian Heritage month in the springtime,” Phonisay said. “It’s welcome for anyone. Members perform, we sing and dance and show and teach people about the Asian culture.”

Even as the group members share their heritage with others throughout the campus, Phonisay said the goal of the group is formalize its place on campus for future generations of Asian students.
The group aims to get recognized formally so students know there are diverse groups on campus.

“Recognition for this club would be amazing. Just to let people know that we do exist, and also as a minority group on campus is that we’re not marginalized, we’re not invisible, that we can show our voices and be heard in a way.” Phonisay said.

In the mean time, Mai Khou Xiong said the group is happy to exist to showcase the importance of Asian identity at UWO and bring students together around that idea.

“My hope is that this organization allows students to really feel that they have a voice on this campus,”” Mai Khou Xiong said. “”This organization also helps to create community, a community in which individuals can come together, to learn about whether it’s a culture, or a similar interest. The hope is that the group continues to thrive in those areas and to really give back to their community, and to educate the community.”

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Asian student club seeks recognition