PAA plans events for Asian American Heritage Month

A map of Asia.  Courtesy of Google Images.

A map of Asia. Courtesy of Google Images.

This semester at Southwestern University, April is Asian American Heritage Month. Previously ASIA Club (Association for Students Interested in Asia), Pan Asian Association is revamping its mission and activities along with its name.

“We changed at the end of last semester,” said sophomore Simon Tian, president of the organization. “We felt that the name ASIA wasn’t accurate for where we were going any more. We are less of a student interest group for entertainment purposes, aiming more towards social awareness and social justice.” Pan Asian Association hopes to have activities that reflect this change. “It’s not just about entertainment any more,” Tian said. “[We want] to educate people about the Asian-American community and make people more aware of the issues that affect the Asian-American community.”

The Pan Asian Association hopes that the name change will encourage new membership and activism on our campus. “We needed a term that was more inclusive, because some people did not identify with our previous name,” said Tian. “Pan Asia can be perceived as all of Asia – the whole continent of Asia. This name just fit in more with the new direction we’re moving in, and we hoped this could be a catalyst for change within the SU community regarding these social justice issues.”

Each Thursday of this month, Pan Asian Association is hosting an event to bring awareness to these social justice issues.

Guest Speaker: Smita Ruzicka

When: Thurday, April 15th

Where: Olin 105

Time: noon

Smita Ruzicka is a woman from South Asia, and will be speaking about issues pertaining to South asians.

Movie Showing: Vincent Who?

When: Thursday, April 22nd

Where: Olin 105

Time: 5 p.m.

Vincent Who? is a documentary about the murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin. In 1982, Chin was murdered in Detroit by two white autoworkers at the height of anti-Japanese sentiments. Following his assassination, Asian Americans around the country joined forces to form a true community in America. This documentary is based on a series of town hall meetings organized by Asian Pacific Americans for Progress on the 25th anniversary of the murder, features interviews, and presents a perhaps little known history of civil work in the Asian-American community.

Guest Speaker & Stress Reduction Workshop

When: Thursday, April 29th

Where: TBA

Time: TBA

The guest speaker is a professor from UT who will likely be speaking in the evening, and the lecture will be titled, “Asian-Americans 101.” The stress relief workshop will likely be occurring during lunch hours. “SU Peer Health Services does a stress reduction workshop, and starting last semester we collaborated,” said Tian. “We’re continuing with that this semester. We’ll have some stress reduction tips, some brain food, and a message therapist.” Yes, you heard me correctly, folks: a message therapist. What better way to go into finals week than with some helpful stress reduction tips and a free message? Come on. Awesome.

Keep an eye out for times and places of events this month through campus notices and advertisements. For more information about Pan Asian Association, contact Simon Tian at

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