To celebrate Asian American week there will be a variety of activities displaying what being an Asian American means here at Oklahoma State University.
OSU’s Asian American Student Association has 64 members and the Vietnamese American Student Association has about 30 members, said the president of AASA and the treasurer of VASA.
These two groups will spread awareness of some of the racial issues they face and cultural aspects to our university. Today, there will be a hate crime panel discussion with four panelists to voice their opinions per case.
Tony Sourignavong, president of the Asian American Student Association, emphasizes the importance of Asian American issues such as the Neng Yang case and many other hate crimes Asian Americans face.
“The Neng Yang case involves Mr. Yang who was brutally beaten up for accidentally running over his neighbor’s dog,” Sourignavong said. “Yang’s neighbor states it was for self-defense and that he only punched Yang once but Yang suffers from shattered bones to his face, two broken ribs and bruises to his legs. This case is to ensure Yang that justice is served. This was in Vinita, Okla. on March 8, 2011.”
Revenue created from this week’s events will be donated to Mr. Yang’s case, Sourignavong said.
“Currently there is a petition to get the case heard in front of a jury,” Sourignavong said. “This will be decided on April 2.”
Jessica Szeto, the treasurer of the Vietnamese American Student Association, tells of the philanthropy the organization is taking on.
“Proceeds from all events this week will be donated to his (Yang) cause and also the children of Vietnamese philanthropy,” Szeto said.
The panel discussion will be in the Edmon Low Library Browsing room from 6 to 7 p.m. On Tuesday, there will be a movie night showing of The Rebel at Student Union 270 from 7 to 9 p.m.
On Wednesday, the organization will host a karaoke night at the Wesley Foundation from 6 to 8 p.m. Raffle tickets for $1 for prizes will also be donated the Yang case from the karaoke night. Thursday will have a Pho dinner at St. John Parish from 6 to 9 p.m.
“Pho is a traditional Vietnamese dish that consists of broth that has been cooked for four to six hours, noodles, meatballs, tripe and anything else you might like,” Szeto said. “Kind of like Ramen but about 50 times better.”
Tickets for Pho night are $5 prior to the event and $7 at the door.
“AASA gives students the opportunity to learn more about Asian American cultures and learn about diversity not just as a race but as an individual,” Sourignavong said. “We have discussions on a variety of topics, attend conferences, volunteer experiences and have fun.”
The importance of this week centers on the awareness of the diversity OSU offers.
“I believe it’s important to have Asian American week because Oklahoma State University isn’t just a Caucasian campus filled with ‘Cowboys’,” Szeto said. “Our campus is very diverse.”