African Student’s Association is now an official student group at ACU. Meetings begin this fall.
About 20 students met last April to elect officers and plan for the upcoming year.
Soo Hun Yoon, biochemistry major from Freetown, Sierra Leone (West Africa), was elected president of the ASA. He came up with the idea for the organization at the end of the fall 2012 semester.
“Our main goal is to help each other nourish our identity here on campus – to remember and celebrate our culture,” said Yoon. “We want to be a family, because our culture is centered around a family that’s there for each other.”
Yoon said the ASA also wants to share that family-centered culture with the greater student population.
“At the same time, we want to raise awareness of our cultures and the different things that are going on in Africa.”
Byron Martin, director of multicultural enrichment and support, said the ASA plans to extend its reach beyond ACU students.
“Abilene has a large African refugee population,” he said. “The ASA is in the process of partnering with some other institutions for some large-scale tutoring in the school districts.”
Yoon said membership is not exclusive to students from Africa. Anyone interested is welcome to join.
“If you’re just interested in the ASA, or you’re learning about the different cultures, or if you’re getting ready to go abroad and you want to know more of our culture, we’re open to that,” he said.
Upcoming events include the ASA chama, or barbecue, and an African Awareness Week scheduled for the end of November.
“It’s the events, it’s the awareness, it’s the community. It’s all that rolled into one,” Martin said.