The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

The Student News Site of Niles West High School

Niles West News

Say Xin Chào to Vietnamese Student Association!

Vy Tran
Students attend the first meeting of Vietnamese Student Association

In addition to the various cultural clubs Niles West offers, the Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) is joining in as a new trial club this year. Led by sponsor and social studies teacher, John Lee, as well as the president and founder junior Vy Tran, the club is very excited about what’s to come. Other student leaders include juniors Jonathan Nguyen and Aidan Jeske, as well as sophomore Ally Nguyen. Anyone who is interested in learning about Vietnamese culture and history can join VSA.

“This club is for anybody who’s interested in making a community for the increase of Vietnamese students here at West. We hope to plan many fun cultural events like playing games or making food. There will be at least one big event per semester and we are currently brainstorming for those events,” VSA leaders said in their mission statement.

Just because Niles West has many cultural clubs to join doesn’t mean they’re all the same. The Niles West Vietnamese community is huge and VSA serves as a place for this community to come together and celebrate their identity.

“There are some cultural clubs that operate differently but I would say for the most part, it’s just an opportunity for students to get to know each other, learn about Vietnamese culture, but also in particular, be a space for Vietnamese students. The defining feature is it’s for Vietnamese students,” Lee said.

Since the club is brand new, it’s still in the trial-and-error phase. Currently, they’re doing simple things like playing games and learning Vietnamese history, but they plan on hosting a school-wide function later this semester.

“The event we are planning on having for later in the school year is a surprise. There will be more events coming on in the upcoming school year. For example, for Tet, Vietnamese New Year, we want to have a big event to celebrate,” Tran said.

Being in such a diverse school, it can be hard for students to find people who go through the same exact experiences as them. West’s cultural clubs bring together students with like identities. It gives them a chance to not only share common experiences with each other but also opportunity to encounter these moments together.

“VSA offers an affinity space for our Vietnamese students to share stories, discuss common challenges and connect with others who share their cultural identity. It is similar to other cultural clubs that provide the same opportunity for other identities, but is specific to Vietnamese students and those who wish to learn and experience more about that culture,” Student Activities Director Caitlin Lucci said.

The club meets biweekly on Mondays after school in room 3115. Come check out Vietnamese Student Association!

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