On Feb. 14, members of Pacific University’s Undergraduate Student Senate voted to approve the Asian Pacific Islander Student Union (APISU) as a recognized club on campus. According to APISU President Vicki Lee, the club will be open to all Asian Pacific Islanders and will work to build community and connections on campus each year.
“We want to become more united, find each other and be visible on campus,” Lee said.
The APISU’s mission statement is to empower students to help them become leaders, reinforce students with a sense of belonging on campus, prepare students for their futures and cultivate a community that can sustain itself.
According to Lee, the APISU will distinguish itself from the Nā Haumāna O Hawai‘i (NHOH) club by shifting more of a focus on the identities of club members.
“One thing we wanted to do is really get people to think about their identities, and do more than just celebrate the culture and holidays with food,” Lee said. “Like focusing on who we are as Asian Americans, and where we come from, and how that affects how we live our lives and how we are perceived in society.”
The APISU eventually hopes to provide students with an open space where they can have a chance to freely discuss their cultural narratives with other people. Lee said the APISU recognizes their members come from different backgrounds and heritages and wants to provide a space for their stories can be heard.
During club meeting this year, the APISU plans to be taking on topics such as queer Asian Pacific Islanders (API), API adoptees and different generations of API families. Lee hopes by having discussions about these diverse subject matters, club members will be able to come together through shared experiences.
The APISU will also be involved in helping to organize an Asian Pacific Islander Conference at the University of Puget Sound on April 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Students interested in registering for the event, or learning more, can contact Vicki Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.