Angela Huang '17 on Being President of the Asian Students Association

November 04, 2016

Angela Huang

Angela filled us in on the ASA!

What program are you in at Simmons? What drew you to your program?

I'm in the social work 3+1 program. Social work allows me to help others while thinking critically about different influences that may impact individuals or groups.  

I was particularly drawn to Simmons’ Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) program because it offered an advanced track where I could earn my BA in three years and MA in one year. 

Tell us about Asian Students Association.

The Asian Students Association (ASA) is an affinity organization that works to increase awareness on issues related to the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities. Moreover, we aim to provide an inclusive and social space for those interested in celebrating API identity.

What's it like being president of the ASA?

As long as there are students who are committed to our organization and believe in our mission, being the president of ASA is extremely rewarding to me. There are more implicit responsibilities in the title than I realized. I was prepared for tasks such as early preparation for events, creating clear goals for the organization and having a decisive mind. I never realized the importance of visibility until I assumed the position. Since I'm a quiet person, this was a shock to me. As the president, you are the most literal representation of the organization come to life. Therefore, networking and public speaking as the ASA representative is an expectation that one must be prepared for.

What are the goals of the ASA?

The general goal of the ASA is to cater to our members’ needs and wants. This can be in the form of a space to discuss API issues, opportunities to have fun, or finding someone to talk to. This year specifically, our goal is to rebuild the ASA through recruiting and retaining members old and new. Furthermore, we aim to improve our relations with other organizations so a prosperous relationship can continue in the future.

If an anonymous donor gave Simmons funds for Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, how would you use that money?

I would suggest using that money to improve the Counseling Center so it can increase its presence on campus. I think both students of color and the Counseling Center would benefit from working together with affinity organizations on presenting workshops, improving services and strengthening relations to the point where organizations know they can recommend the Center to its members. Students of color might experience incidents like fear due to racism, demeaning microaggressions and the feeling of not belonging due to structural bias. These are unique experiences that demand specialized services from the Counseling Center.

What's your Simmons moment?

The aftermath of the protest regarding the Ten Demands. I liked how discussions on race were more open and frequent. The administration of Simmons were receptive to the demands, whereas some other school administrations were dismissive to demands presented at their institutions. The discussions also brought issues of structural racism and microaggressions in the Simmons community, which created an opportunity for students and faculty to learn more about the issues present in greater society.