Join: Asian Student Organization

Published on Nov 18, 2013
Photo by Kendall KlitziePhoto by Kendall Klitzie

There are many reasons a student could choose, and fall in love with, Columbia. Your career takes shape, your skills are fine-tuned, and you meet people you’ll connect with for a lifetime. According to DJ Valera, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, the Asian Student Organization is a perfect representation of these aspects on campus. As president of ASO, he explains what students can expect from joining the org, or attending an ASO event.

What is the goal, of ASO?

To create a network for our members while we're attending Columbia and after we graduate. We all came to Columbia for a reason, you know, to hone our skills and talents in whatever discipline we decide to pursue professionally. Especially for the majors at Columbia, we need to collaborate to create things beyond our potential. So I like to encourage everyone to get to know one another. That way we can grow with each other in our art forms.

Who is involved and who is welcome to join?

We may be the Asian Student Organization, but that doesn't mean you have to be of Asian descent to join. Columbia students from all backgrounds (race, gender preference, religious beliefs, economic status, etc.) are in this group.

What is a typical meeting like? When and where are they?

We meet in the Multipurpose Studio of the Multicultural Affairs Office, which is at 618 S. Michigan on the 4th floor. Sometimes we'll have interactive workshops, which could be led by a member or guest, or celebrate a cultural holiday or have an open critique where members bring in their work to get input.

What events do you host/participate in on campus?

On-campus our biggest slew of events is during April, which is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. We bring in a ton of outside guests, performers, and then we end the month with “A-Squared”, an art exhibition and showcase for our members to show everyone what they're about.

What do you personally get out of being involved?

ASO was my first family at Columbia. I've learned so much about myself through the discussions and talks I've had with the people I've met through the organization that it's hard for me to imagine what my experience here would be like without it.