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Asian Night hosted for the first time at USD

Asian Night was hosted for the first time in the MUC Ballroom on March 27. The event had an attendance of over 50 people, which consisted of students, faculty and members of the community.

Pooja Modawel, the president of the Asian American Student Association (AASA), identified the gap in the events hosted at USD and the groups of students which are targeted.

“Honestly, we have seen the Asian American population on campus has been growing so much in recent years, and we have something such as African Night to celebrate African cultures. I think that it was important for us to bring to light that there is a lot of Asian representation here on campus,” Modawel said.

Asian Night is seen as a very important event by AASA, especially with the level of hate felt by the Asian community. The students need to know they are represented and the community needs to see there is more to Asia than they are ever made aware of, Modawel said.

“After being in the works for three years, we decided that 2022 was the year Asian Night must happen. We started planning the same as we would when we plan our other events and decided on performances and food orders,” Modawel said.

Emily Chov, the vice president of AASA, was thoroughly involved in ensuring that Asian Night would run accordingly and believes it to be an important event for the Asian community as well as various other cultures that make up USD’s student population. Asian Night encountered some difficulties, just like any other event that students get the chance to enjoy on campus, Chov said.

“I want to say that the budget and the representation gave us some difficulty in preparing for the event because even though there is a growing Asian-American community happening, it’s still hard to find the people as there is not really a way for people to come together and to reach out to them,” Chov said.

The event consisted of various performances, from a fashion show that presented all countries that comprise Asia to solos and duets of well-known songs. The food was originally supposed to be cooked by Modawel and Chov, but Royal Palace and Shahi Palace were chosen because of time constraints, Modawel said.

Grady Harrington, a freshman media and journalism major, enjoyed what the event had to offer along with his friends.

“I liked the food, and mostly the performances, especially the fashion show. The end performance was really good, it was something different. It is always nice to see different cultures from around the world while enjoying a good meal with your friends,” Harrington said.

Asian Night is expected to receive a lot of positive feedback and with that, it is hoped to become a tradition, Modawel said.

“We hope to be able to do this every year, and we think that it could become one of our big events after Diwali and Lunar Asian New Year,” Modawel said.

Individuals who wish to get involved with AASA can also do so through attending the monthly events and following the Instagram page, Modawel said.

“Our main idea is to have events every month, and that way we’re known even more to the community, so more people show up each time. This was also one of the ways in which we recruited more people into the executive board of the club. People usually email or talk to us about events and join our club,” Modawel said.