As last semester’s Paw Points leader and the 2012 winner of the “Organization of the Year Award”, VSA has a lot to brag about! 434 takes a look at what makes this student group unique, how to get involved, and gets some advice on how to run a successful student organization!
1. How can interested students get involved with your student organization this semester?
The Northeastern University Vietnamese Student Association (NUVSA) is a student group that promotes Vietnamese culture within the diverse community at Northeastern. Our mission is to establish a rich and healthy connection between individuals and preserve Vietnamese heritage through healthy interactions at group meetings and events. The events that we hold try to touch upon a part of Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American culture, bring those who attend closer, and to increase their understanding of the rich diversity that exists. NUVSA hopes to reach out to all students and provide a ‘home’ to our members.
Since our mission is to promote cultural awareness among students, you do NOT have to be Vietnamese to join the Vietnamese Student Association. All that is necessary is an interest in, and an appreciation for, learning about and promoting Vietnamese culture.
We meet every other Thursday in 410 Ell Hall from 6:00 to 7:30 pm.
To join our emailing list for the weekly e-newsletter or to send us questions and comments please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also check out our website at www.vsa.neu.edu and our facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/NUVSA/.
We have a few upcoming events this weekend. Please come check us out!
2. What are you most proud of this year?
We are very proud this year to maintain active involvement in many events on campus. We organize, co-organize, co-sponsor, and participate in various cultural, social, educational, and community service events throughout the year outside our general meetings such as Karaoke Night, A Night in Asia (with ASU), Dance for Me (with UTSAV, LASO, RSA, KASA), VSA Annual Culture Show (with AAC), VSA Potluck, Lunar New Year Celebration (with ISSI, PDP, ASU), Celebr(Asian) (with PAAC), Asian American Heritage Week (with AAC), VSA Tournament, Tet in Boston Festival, ISSI Carnevale, Husky Hunt, Relay for Life (with DPO), Kidney Walk, VSA Walk Against Hunger, AIDS Walk Boston (Soul Mates Team), etc. Everyone should be able to find something to partake in with us, whether it be volunteering, performing, planning, or just attending and supporting!
Out of all the various programs that we have listed above, some of which explore community building, while others tour the hidden charms of Vietnamese life, we feel the most proud of our annual culture show. It is the one and only event that wonderfully combines all of the multiple facets of the Vietnamese culture into a cohesive, exceptional and entertaining whole, showcasing music, dances, folk tales, cuisine, costumes, traditions, and the people.
We chose the name for our culture show series to be “Que Huong”, meaning “motherland” in English, because we believe that no matter where we are, “que huong” is always the place we yearn to return and proudly say that this is where I’m from, this is where my parents are from, this is where my grandparents are from. It is a place we hold dearest to our heart.
In our first show, “Que Huong – Hello Vietnam”, we took our audience to explore Vietnam as if they have never been there before. In the second year, “Que Huong – The Journey”, we all returned to the motherland and toured the three regions of Vietnam – The North, the Central, and the South to learn more about the differences in these regions. And this past weekend, on 2/2/13, at our 3rd show, “Que Huong – A Love Story”, we introduced the audience to our people, our stories.
3. How has SOAR helped your student group?
VSA has been to almost all of the SOAR workshops and we definitely think that they are very helpful in providing us the resources that we need to successfully plan for our events – event management, fundraising, advertising. In addition, there are also workshops on group conflicts and team dynamics which we think are essential in all of the teamwork and collaborations that VSA does. SOAR workshops also work well because different student organizations in attendance get to share and learn best practices from each other.
4. As the “Organization of the Year 2012” winner, what advice would you give a student group seeking the title in 2013?
We think that every student organization should strive to organize events that not only fulfill the mission of the organization but also benefit the Northeastern community as a whole. One of the very unique things about VSA is that we have a diverse membership base from all different backgrounds who are willing to share and to learn about our culture. We actively reach out and find collaboration
opportunities with other groups on campus such as PAAC groups and off campus such as the VSA in other universities and colleges. To accommodate different interests, we organize a variety of events including social, educational and community services, not just limited to cultural programs.
We strongly encourage other organizations to try new ideas and initiatives to make your programs interesting. We hosted our first culture show two years ago and continue to organize it annually. Last year, we started a point-based system called Map Diem (which means “Fat Point” in English) to establish interactions between our members.
Remember to always keep a positive attitude, be passionate and motivated. Things might get rough, but in the end it’s all about the experiences. Whatever your groups have done, it is making a difference in the Northeastern community.
Editor’s note: We are incredibly proud of the work of all of our student groups. For more information about Paw Points, check out our website: http://neu.orgsync.com/trainings_workshops. For more info about Student Life Awards, please contact Desiree Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your student group would like to be featured, contact email@example.com for more information.