Student Organization Spotlight: Asian American Student Union

Doxey Kamara, Intersections Editor

Image courtesy of Tulane’s Asian American Student Union.

In an interview with Aim Niamnud, the current president of Tulane University’s Asian American Student Union, Niamnud described the AASU as a big, close-knit family of individuals who love celebrating Asian culture. 

The organization’s purpose is to create a safe space for all individuals — particularly students who identify as members of the Asian-American community — and educate Tulanians about Asian culture while providing a safe space for like-minded people to build relationships. The AASU is open to any individual who wants to learn more about and celebrate Asian cultures.

When asked about the way which AASU handles creating and maintaining a sense of community, Niamnud said “During our events, the eboard always makes sure to go up to someone we have never met and introduce ourselves. This way we can create personal relationships with new members and make them feel like they’re part of our community.” 

Niamnud went on to say that “A lot of people find new friends through AASU and make great relationships that last for a long time.”

Niamnud hopes that AASU will leave members with the feeling that they have found a safe space to share their own culture as well as learn about other cultures in order to create a lasting impact. Niamnud says that “AASU truly acts like a big family, and we want our members to know that we are always there for them.”

As Tulane has a limited number of Asian-American individuals on-campus, Niamnud emphasized the importance of AASU’s existence on Tulane’s predominantly-white campus, calling it crucial “to have a space where you can celebrate Asian culture and meet other individuals from similar backgrounds.” 

A report released by Tulane indicates that, as of 2021, Asian students make up less than six percent of the undergraduate student body. For comparison, the same reports indicate that Caucasian students make up almost 80% of Tulane’s undergraduate population.

To help foster a sense of community, AASU holds several events throughout the school year. One of the most significant is CelebrAsian week, a series of events which include inviting speakers to campus, celebrating Asian culture and enjoying delicious food. Past speakers include Phil Wang, Jenn Lee and Justin Chon of Twilight fame. 

Interested students can follow AASU on Instagram, join the AASU GroupMe or find the organization on WaveSync in order to view upcoming events and join the organization. 

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