Asian Student Alliance Profile: Steven Kim

In light of this week's Diversity Summit, HCDU will be celebrating the diversity within our own student population. Steven Kim, president of Asian Student Alliance, comes to us with his take on campus diversity.

In your own words, what is ASA?

ASA is an alliance that is focused around the identity umbrella of Asian/Asian-American and the many other identities that fall under the umbrella. ASA is a platform for Asians to have their voices and opinions heard, as well as a place to find people who you can relate to. What I mean by relating to can be as simple as how most Asian households do not allow shoes in the house. On many occasions, Asian-related (social) issues are not brought up in the media and are usually put in the back or are deemed as insignificant. As president, I hope to be a voice to ensures that the adversity we face as Asians are heard and valued. I also hope to provide a form of representation that is not seen as much on campus. ASA also hopes to teach and allow for people to embrace Asian culture(s). ASA is not an exclusive club and hopes to also help others understand and appreciate the many cultures that are celebrated within it.

Taken from the Asian Studen Alliance Facebook Page

What does Diversity mean to you?

Diversity means to have all walks of life come together. Having diversity means having every possible representation included.

How do you think diversity is perceived on campus? 

Diversity, outside of the minority populations on campus, is not perceived well. I personally feel many students on this campus, most of whom are white and privileged, do not care about diversity. Many of those students don't understand what it means to have someone of color or someone who looks like you be successful since many of them don't encounter barriers to success.

What appeals to you about ASA? 

This question is a bit hard for me to answer since I have been working the “behind-the-scenes” my entire involvement with the club. Some things I have heard from members is that they appreciate the topics we discuss. Some have also told me that ASA has really helped them embrace their Asian identity after suppressing it for their whole life.

Is there anything about ASA or diversity you would like to let the campus know? 

I hope that people come to ASA and want to learn more about Asian cultures! I hope that we are also able to bring up issues that many are not aware of that need to be discussed. I also hope that we continue to be able to work with other groups to ensure that we can give volume to voices that are not normally heard. In terms of diversity, I hope this campus becomes more aware of the little amount of diversity there is here and why that is an issue.

Steven Kim, photograph by Marcos Elias