By Natalie Orozco
CHP: When was this organization established and how?
APISA: APISA is communally based. There are no [officer] positions; instead it’s based on those who are experienced to guide those who are new.
During the 1970s when there was a big uproar — people in the community began to recognize the term Asian when it came out, and people began saying “what does that mean?” APISA formed in order to bring community together and bring up issues like racial discrimination and identity exploration.
CHP: What does APISA do?
APISA: We’re always trying to have a theme. Last year our theme was Asian-American Studies. We haven’t focused on a theme yet for this year, but generally we try to promote Asian-American awareness so people know our struggles. We also talk about our language barriers — things we don’t really talk about in everyday conversations or classrooms.
CHP: What upcoming events can we expect from you this year?
APISA: Every year we put on an event called Lyrical Union. It’s a big event we have with different aspects of hip-hop like dancing and singing. The reason for the event is to get people aware of certain issues to work towards and to educate. We also have a retention program — we support each other to graduate and on time. It’s geared towards the API community.
CHP: How often do you meet?
APISA: Once a week, every Wednesday at 8 p.m. at the SOAR office.
CHP: How many members do you have this quarter?
APISA: Within Core [APISA], we have 10 or 11 of us. Core plans events and retreats and publicizes. Core goes back to our purpose to build solidarity within APISA and the rest of our general body. We are a small org, there are probably 20 to 30 members
CHP: What is a fun tradition APISA does?
APISA: We have retreats. We try and have quarterly retreats where we can get to know each other more and talk about our relations to APISA.
CHP: What is a memorable moment you have with APISA?
APISA: There’s an event called Talkstory, its really memorable to me. It’s a space where we keep everything very confidential because we talk about deep shit. It was the most memorable moment for me because I got to see everyone else [in APISA] open up, so it encouraged me to open up. My first experience with [Talkstory] was my freshman year — so since then, APISA has changed my whole perspective on what I am and who I want to be.
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