San Francisco State University
Outstanding VSA of the Year
Question and Answers
What are the purpose and goal(s) of the VSA, and how has the VSA met or exceeded those goals?
Our mission is to take the initiative to provide academic and social support to our general members by educating members about Vietnamese and Vietnamese- American culture. We promote the preservation of Vietnamese culture while offering a safe and inclusive space for all is the role that VSA plays. With a plethora of connections in academics and arts, members can feel free to express themselves while being educated on the bigger picture. We have exceeded this by hosting numerous events during Spring 2020 despite it being only on campus for 2 months. We had done a thrift pop-up fundraiser, ACE program, a collaborative panel discussion with DVAN, and doing numerous fundraisers online through our instagram. Though we do focus on teaching and promoting Vietnamese culture and history, we know the importance of keeping close ties with other cultures. Therefore, during this time, we educate our followers on BLM, social issues, and how to tackle it with family/friends who only speak Vietnamese.
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.
Recruitment: As we are a newly established club on campus (est. Sept 2019), it was difficult for us to recruit in the first semester but we gained more attention in Spring. We tabled, did word-of-mouth marketing, and fully utilized our Instagram.
Marketing: With Instagram and Canva, it was seamless in creating a marketing plan to promote our club and to gain more members as well as the attention of other schools.
Outreach to campus community: We hosted a thrift-pop up that did AMAZING and drew in so many students which helped build the campus community through clothes. With our panel-event, we had to work closely with the school in order to pull off this 100+ person event which was also our very first official one.
Use of Resources: Again, as we are a new club, our funds were very very limited and we were able to ask for favors from our peers and friends. By giving them a platform, we were able to raise money for our club and raising their awareness.
Officer Training: Once again, we are a new club and we were all new to this process.
We learned together and communicated thoroughly in order to make sure everything was going well in a timely manner.
Event Planning: For our DVAN event, it was a huge effort of our entire board and this was while we were preparing for ACE. We delegated tasks to each board member where they were the strongest. During the event, we made sure to assign everyone a job to keep it running smoothly.
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?
Our biggest strength that I am so proud of is our communication skills. Whenever we had something going on (which seemed like every day during that 2 month period), we made sure to text each other, call, FaceTime, or meet up if we could. We would spend hours together going over every detail in order to ensure that the event or program would succeed. We established responsibility and accountability by basically saying that “we gave you this position because we know you are capable.”. We do not baby sit; we do not want to patronize anyone. We trust our board to do their job and if they need help, they ask.
Our biggest weakness would be inexperience. Since the last VSA collapsed without leaving any structure for us, we had to start from the bottom up. Therefore, we did not know how to do many things. Asking to use venues, asking for resources, and recruiting were difficult as we did not have any reputation. However, we overcame these by actively seeking help and looking to our peers who were board members of their own clubs.
Provide specific examples of how the student group demonstrated growth and development in the 2019-2020 academic year.
In August 2019, there was no VSA. By October 2019, we had hosted a meeting with 40 people in attendance and people already asking to be board members. We started with 3 board members and now we have 9. We had no idea how to do anything (we even messed up our first bonding) but by March 2020, we had done 3 events and the ACE program. We literally started from nothing and now other VSAs look to us for help. We pride ourselves in being a very open-minded and forward-thinking group and we show it through our actions and online presence. This has attracted other organizations and artists which has made us more confident in that we are doing what we have always set out to do. With the current events, we have used our platform to boost the voices of the Black community. We have done what we can to raise money for these organizations ($1200+) while being a very small club. We have raised awareness for our community and provided resources in how to help our community
learn about other communities. We have grown to be an extremely inclusive club that welcomes all who look to learn, grow, and prosper.