Pan-Asian Student Association (PASA) Preview 2019

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Pan-Asian Student Association (PASA) Preview 2019

PASA members meeting after school on a Thursday.

PASA members meeting after school on a Thursday.

Katie Hsio

PASA members meeting after school on a Thursday.

Katie Hsio

Katie Hsio

PASA members meeting after school on a Thursday.

By Eiman Navaid, Staff Writer

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Students with an interest in learning about Asian-Americans, their culture, and the issues that impact them can find in a place in West’s Pan-Asian Association, commonly known as PASA, sponsored by special education teacher Sean DeFelice.

DeFelice says that PASA is also about discussions, activism, and fundraising. It’s the first year for the club, so they are looking to add more members and start real conversations about issues impacting students.
“We want all students to feel included and to be a part of our discussions,” DeFelice stated. “We are trying to bring awareness to the entire student community about issues impacting Asian American communities.”
DeFelice said that students who join PASA can gain a chance to really learn about other students in the building and the issues that impact them, along with how to better understand one’s own opinions and become a more informed student.
As the president of PASA, senior Kristine Hwang believes she has gained leadership experience by helping to make the agenda along with the other board members.
“I created PASA because I wanted a club in order to bring more exposure to Asian cultures,” Hwang said.
Secretary senior Kaitlin Almalbis believes that PASA is a safe place for students to openly discuss their opinions.
“It’s pretty close-knit in a way that everyone’s open to the experience. We gain a lot of insight,” Almalbis said.
Almalbis stated that in PASA, members usually discuss the representation and social justice they experience, and the problems they have from both other communities and their own community as well.
PASA mostly does discussions and fundraising in support of the pan-Asian community, like the Asian American scholarship. As it is their first year, they hope to expand their activities in cultural games and many other things.
PASA meets every Thursday after school in room 3195.