Club beliefs sprout cultural diversity

Advocacy warranted for absent program

By Roxana Amparo, Associate Editor

The Filipino American Student Union continues to leave their mark in the community as they raise awareness about the different cultural and ethnicities on campus.

“The club is full of diverse backgrounds and other ethnicities,” Inter-Club Council president Safi Ward- Davis said.

Club adviser Edward Cruz said FASU is open to students of different backgrounds, not just Filipino. “They even bring Filipino food for everyone to try during some of the meetings,” he said. The meetings were held on Thursdays from 2-3 p.m. in LA-101.

Club president Janelle Knudson said FASU is trying to raise cultural awareness in the college setting.

Last October they created an event to share information about their culture during Filipino-American History Month. In California, Filipino-American History Month was added to the calendar in 2006 by the California Department of Education.

FASU started the event on campus to bring awareness about how other cultures interact, Knudson said.

During the celebration, three guest speakers were invited, each to cover a topic. Among them was Cruz. He shared Filipino music and dance during the event. The celebration is set to continue annually with the help of incoming members.

For next semester, Cruz will be on sabbatical. “I want to be there as their adviser. I try to find a balance because I have ideas for events. But I don’t want to do all the work though,” he said. “They are on their way to becoming a strong club.”

For many members of the club it is their last semester at the college. Knudson said she wants to ensure next semester goes easy for the incoming members. “We are just trying to transition,” she said.  “Our adviser suggested it would be easy for us to integrate it (a new president position).”

Since Knudson is transferring to UC Berkeley, Alain Ricoh Flores will take on the position as president. Flores was appointed by Janelle to work alongside her beginning April.

“As a club we saw her (Janelle) work hard for it. It’s amazing to know how she started and how far she has come. It’s an inspiration for club members,” he said.

Flores said he is excited and nervous to continue next semester with their president transferring.

“I was really surprised that people know us. Even if the numbers were low during the meetings, people knew about us. MCHS (Middle College High School) students asked if they could be involved,” he said. 

Ward-Davis said FASU was one of the most active clubs on campus.

FASU members’ participation allowed the club to win second place for best table for the second year during Club Rush.

Ward-Davis said, “They even met their ICC requirements.” The Inter Club Council meets once a week to distribute information and receive updates from other clubs.

Each club has an ICC representative who attends the weekly meetings in HS-101 to ensure their clubs remain active.

Ward-Davis said they have been a “good” group of club members and have remained active throughout the semester.

FASU volunteered with ICC to make care packages for Veterans Angels Inc., a nonprofit organization helping senior veterans and their families.

While staying active in the campus community, FASU and its 14 members continue to recruit more members, Knudson said. Cruz said they want to build connections with other clubs on campus. 

Flores said when the club started, they had about six or seven students, but continue to grow.

“I am excited and nervous for next semester,” Flores said.