New student organization represents AAPI community

Asian Student Alliance welcomes everyone to get to know about Asian culture.


Elanna Su and Sarisha Hettiarachchi standing next to each other. Behind Hannah Sim. Photos provided by ASA’s executive members

Last week, BW’s Center of Inclusion announced the new cultural organization on campus, Asian Student Alliance. The rise of anti-Asian sentiment during the Covid-19 pandemic inspired ASA’s president, Elanna Su, a history major student, to create a safe place where Asian students feel comfortable and represented. In addition, ASA aims to teach the student body about the different cultures among the Asian community.  

“When I got to BW, there’s a defined space for cultural organizations and there isn’t an Asian student [group],” Su said.   

Su is a first-year student from Pennsylvania. She graduated from her high school as the only Asian student in a heavily populated white class.  

“I’ve never had, like, horrific instances of discrimination, but coming from a community where there’s a distinct lack of Asian-American or Asian presence made me want to search for that sense of belonging,” Su said.  

ASA executive members applied to become an organization in October 2022. It took them several months to be officially approved.  

“The rest of the time was spent refining the charter, getting plans being approved, that kind of thing, we were approved almost two weeks ago,” Su said.   

Su said organizations on campus, such as SALSA, Rotaract and Active Minds helped ASA with everything related to applying to be an organization, such as planning events, reserve places on campus and gain awareness via word of mouth or social media.  

“The presidents of those organizations were pointing me in the right direction, telling me who to talk to. I liked it, it was great,” Su said.  

ASA attended this Spring 2023 Involvement Fair and scheduled their first general meeting on Thursday Feb. 23 at 5 p.m. in Sandstone 3, which is located in the basement of the Union. During the meeting, participants are expected to learn about ASA’s purpose and executive board as well as watch a Zoom conference presented by the First Amendment Museum.   

“BW doesn’t have the highest diversity ratings. I feel like it’s especially important to raise up the voices here,” Su said. “ASA is a place where everyone can learn [about] the Asian American experience and just coming together as a community.”