Filipino club aims to create cross cultural unity

FASU starts ‘family’ during Club Rush

By Roxana Amparo, News Editor

Bringing awareness and exposure to an underrepresented group on campus was the Filipino-American Student Union’s (FASU) plan when beginning the club last fall.

The club has its meetings every other Wednesday from 2-3 p.m. in AA-103 and welcomes anyone interested in taking part of it.

“We want unity,” club President Janelle Knudson said.

“Although the club aims to bring unity among other Filipinos, members do not have to be Filipino to join,” Knudson said.

All are welcome to join the club if they are searching for a new opportunity to get involved. Club Vice President Jeilo Gauna  said that students fresh out of high school looking to get involved with a club should seek out the FASU.

There are people in the club who are of mixed races. Having people who come from diverse backgrounds offers members who have never branched outside of their comfort zone an opportunity to view life from a different perspective.

Club adviser, mathematics professor Edward Cruz, said, “It helps create a voice to a community that is underrepresented outside of campus. FASU helps develop that voice.”

The idea of creating the club first started among current members during last fall’s Club Rush while standing at the Psychology Club’s table.

Knudson, Gauna and psychology major Gerald Macadangdang decided that it was needed.

Knudson said FASU has fulfilled the goals that were set during at beginning of this semester.

Not only have they invested in creating a community for an underrepresented group, Knudson said, but FASU has brought fun and Filipino cuisine to campus while selling lumpia during Club Rush. Macadangdang said they want to expose students to the fun they can bring as a club.

“We became a little family within Contra Costa College, even with our adviser,” he said.

Cruz said this semester was spent establishing themselves and creating a presence on campus.

“We went from not existing to winning second place at Club Rush for best table,” Cruz said.

He said through the club they will offer support for transferring students in semesters to come.

FASU has connected with Pilipino Academic Student Services (PASS), a student-led organization focused on addressing concerns of Pilipino students in pursuit of higher education, at UC Berkeley while participating in Shadow Day back in March.

Gauna said that newly enrolled students at CCC should get involved with clubs on campus and reach out to the FASU.

Gauna said they had the right people to help reach out and bring awareness to the club but there would be more outreach to gain more student involvement if they had more “manpower.”

Club members have plans on taking a trip to Great America during the summer to get to know each other better.

FASU is focused on contributing to society as a whole while opening the eyes of local community members of the contributions Filipino-Americans have made in America and throughout the world, Cruz said.

Some of the plans for next semester include participating in Club Rush to promote the club and bring in more members. The club also plans to travel to UC Berkeley to connect with members of PASS.    

The Berkeley group has personal statement workshops and fundraising events to be able to fund scholarships for members.