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Monday, June 10, 2024

Asian American Association at UC Davis brings joy and community to students

This social club on campus welcomes undergraduates of all ethnicities and backgrounds to join in various bonding activities

 

By LYNN CHEN — features@theaggie.org 

 

The Asian American Association (AAA) at UC Davis organizes social, cultural and professional events to unify Asian American communities on campus.

Charlotte Chow, co-president of the AAA and a fourth-year science and technology, detailed the club’s purpose on campus. 

“The mission of [AAA] is to promote Asian cultural traditions and values, and to create a safe space for those looking to be in a community with other Asians,” Chow said.

Chow added that the club is not exclusive to just Asian students.

“You also don’t need to be Asian to join,” Chow said. “It’s a safe space for people in general.”

Typically, the club hosts general meetings on Thursdays and special team-bonding events on weekends. During meetings, members socialize with each other through activities such as mixers, study sessions and arts and crafts sessions. For weekend events, members get to know each other on a deeper level after picnics, bowling games and cabin trips to places outside of Davis.

A recent project the organization has been working on is a night market which will be open to the public on May 18 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Memorial Union tables.

“It’s more like an evening market, but we’re going to have vendors there who are also Asian students trying to sell their arts and crafts,” Chow said.

Maggie Lu, a third-year nutritional biology major and the secretary of AAA, stated that at this market, people will sell crocheted items and key chains and games will be hosted for attendees.

“We’ll also be selling some baked goods,” Lu said. “We’re still working on if we want to sell other drinks and food.”

Lu explained that the inspiration behind the night market is to mimic authentic Asian night markets.

“Obviously, we can’t replicate that here — it’s a little hard — but we’re just trying to find something similar [to Asian culture] to bring to Davis,” Lu said.

Chow believes what makes AAA unique is its openness to different cultural backgrounds. 

“With this club, we’re open to everyone and like having all the different cultures and people meet together,” Chow said.“If people don’t feel comfortable going to a club specifically for them, I think AAA is a way for them to also find community with [people from] other [ethnicities].”

Claire Ng, a first-year cognitive science major, agreed with this sentiment. She describes how AAA’s strong sense of community led her to commit to the organization as a freshman.

“I got to meet AAA as they were tabling at the MU,” Ng said. “They were really nice and welcoming, and I got a really good vibe off of them.”

Based on her experience with the organization thus far, Ng believes that AAA has continued to meet her expectations as a social club.

“Every time I’m with [AAA members] and present in their meetings, it brings me a lot of joy,” Ng said. “[The club] helps me relax for an hour each week, and I have a lot of fun with them.”

The organization also focuses on educating its members about various Asian cultures. For instance, Ng describes that every week, the club spotlights a significant Asian American person from history to discuss at its meetings. On its Instagram account, @aaa.davis, the club has a series called “Word of the Day,” which showcases different cultural terms from various Asian languages.

“[AAA] really helps [members] deepen their knowledge of Asian cultures,” Ng said. “It’s also really nice to be able to connect with other Asian cultures and see how different we all are, but also how similar we all are.”

Written by: Lynn Chen — features@theaggie.org 

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