San Francisco State University
Most Outstanding VSA of the Year
Questions and Answers
What are the purpose and goal(s) of the VSA, and how has the VSA met or exceeded those goals?
Our biggest goal was to simply get formed this year. We were able to blast through these expectations. Within the first two months of forming, we were able to form a schedule for genereal meetings, have two socials, and hold literary workshops to boost Vietnamese classes on campus. In the first semester, we were able to run through our first round of the ACE program and have an event with DVAN, Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, founded by Viet Thanh Nguyen and Isabelle Paluad. We are also currently working with Cal State East Bay to help some of the Vietnamese American students form their own VSA so that they can come be apart of this wonderful communitty. After introducing our ICC into the program, we held a mixer with UC Davis and San Jose. The first two months of getting established, we were only working with 3 members on board and now we have 9, so we’ve come a long way. Right now, we have already held two fundraisers to raise over $1500 for different BLM organizations. We are working an gathering all the schools from NorCal and organizing a regionwide fundraiser to raise more awareness inside the Vietnamese community and money for more organizations that need our help. When the fall semester starts, we are starting an internship program to hold workshops to learn more about the culture, history, and self.
Address how the VSA was outstanding in the following areas: recruitment, marketing, outreach to campus community, use of resources (financial, etc.), officer training and event planning.
Our outreach goes beyond our own campus. We pair most often with the Japanese, Filipino, and Asian Student organizations with doing collaboration events. Because our president has close ties with the athletic department, we plan to work with the jiujitsu club to start self-defense classes. Moving outside, we worked with the SouthEast Asian community center in San Francisco and helped with their Tet event with planning, volunteers, materials, and performances. We will also continue this connection with them by giving our members job oppurtunites and volunteer/internship chances.Also, we must mentions DVAN again because many of our board members were interns for them. We also completely took over and planned the celebration at SFSU for the DVAN center opening on campus which will be used as our VSA’s headquarters. Our socials are never just “hang-outs”, our event planning team looks for the smallest of
details to make sure that everyone has an enjoyable time with games and activites. We also held a thrift shop pop-up as a fundraiser with a community partner.
How did the VSA work together? How did you maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses? How did the group work to establish responsibility and accountability among its members?
We started with just our 3 founders, so as we continued to grow, we made sure everyone on our board was carefully picked. We made sure to expand to every “type” of member we would get. We have a couple of extroverts that carry the social aspect but we also have many introverts who are more quiet so the members who were scared to talk in fromt of everyone would have someone to go to when they have a problem. We push transerancy with our members, so if board is having any problems, all the members know. This pushes accountability both ways, when our members have any problems, we know. Although we keep it casual with our members and each other, everyone knows that our level of professionalism cause shift quickly. After every meeting, our president has an “open-space” where we share our feelings with things outside of VSA so it creates a deeper connection between all of the board members. We create a safe space but we push a brave space to learn and talk about things that may be troubling.
Provide specific examples of how the student group demonstrated growth and development in the 2019-2020 academic year.
We started with 3 members, we currently have 9 board members, and over 50 general members. As we continue to push our organization on different platforms, we continue to gain traction and new members even when we aren’t on campus. From home, we still hold fundraisers, events, and general meetings when we can. We even had our debates for members that were running for board on zoom. It has been a tough time especially for our growing club, but we are still hitting the ground running.