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University of Houston

Most Resilient VSA

Questions and Answers

What were the biggest challenges to your VSA as a result of the novel Coronavirus pandemic and how did your VSA overcome them?

The biggest challenge we faced this semester was the cancellation of our 11th annual charity date auction: Vietnamese Extravaganza (VEX). Officers put more than three months of planning to secure the venue, sponsors, and date auctionees from other organizations on campus and across the UVSA region. The cultural dance team prepared a new spectacular showcase rehearsing every single evening for three months. Hundreds of people from across the UVSA region purchased tickets to go to the date auction. 

The week leading to VEX, the city of Houston as well as the University of Houston had to shut down due to COVID-19 putting everything to a halt. As sad as it was given we were less than a week to deliver our biggest event of the year, we had to comply and cancel for the safety of our community. Refunds were issued and the cancellation notice was sent out. 

However, that will not stop us. We are now moving towards planning for VEX 2021 in hopes we resume to normalcy by the end of the year. Everything that was set for this year will go towards next year since we have most of the plan set in stone and ready for execution. Hoping to improve and better the program to raise money for the CPP as well as provide a beautiful Vietnamese culture night for the UH and UVSA community. 

What new or innovative ideas did your VSA create in order to maintain member activity or serve your members during the end of the Spring semester? What was the outcome of the innovations in terms of goals met, successes, and failures?

We still continued with our monthly scheduled meetings with our members keeping them informed on any updates and to check-in on how everyone is doing. In addition, we planned for some e-sport tournaments for members to participate in complying with social distancing. On occasion, we would hold game nights or movie nights as an organization playing Jackbox or binging something together. Goals were met as we had a consistent number of active members show up continuously.

What lessons and solutions are your VSA taking away from this experience in order to prepare for the next school term and move forward during uncertain times?

We definitely will have to start planning for the next school year over Summer or as soon as possible even in case of emergencies or future outbreaks again. With the new officer board, we plan to hash out plans for the entire school year before going into school with an alternative plan to move all programming, events, and activities virtually in case the school shuts down again. It will be tedious however the work must be done to keep the organization alive. We will carry on as usual in order to calm our members and reduce panic. If something comes up, we will move towards the prepared alternative plan of execution. We plan for alternatives to fundraise for our CPP perhaps hosting a virtual fundraiser, etc. in case we once again are not able to host our annual physical charity event.

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