Viewing entries in
Member Organization Events

USC Traditional Chinese Dance 11th Annual Showcase: Interwoven

On Saturday, March 26, 2016, USC Traditional Chinese Dance held their showcase of the year. This year the group took a more traditional approachable with their dances. USC APASA intern Aimee Xu writes more about the show.  This past Saturday, USC Traditional Chinese Dance provided the USC community with a delightful conclusion to the first week back of spring break with their 11th annual showcase, ‘Interwoven.’ The theme of TCD’s 2016 showcase focuses on their encounters with those whom have profoundly changed their lives.


The show opened with color, as the dancers in ‘Springtime’ showcased vibrant green scarves and pink and purple fans. The first half of ‘Interwoven’ featured a variety of dances, many of which incorporated both Eastern and Western elements. In ‘Against All Odds,’ the dramatic choreography by Jessica Koe bridged Chinese and Western cultures through traditional Chinese dance elements and music by Lorde. ‘Jade Dolls,’ also incorporated multiple cultures, as traditional Chinese dance met traditional Korean percussion, as performed by USC Haneulsori.



The second of half of the show featured the dramatic plot of the ancient Chinese tale, “The Cowherd and the Weaving Maiden.” The Cowherd, Thinh Nguyen, and the Weaving Maiden, Jessica Koe, fall in love, but the Ruler of Heaven, Jade Shi, forbids the two from being with one another. In ‘Battle in the Heavens,’ a dramatic fight scene featuring members of Wushu Nation ultimately concludes in the separation of the two lovers, as the Ruler of Heaven forges a river between earth and heaven. In ‘Celestial Ties,’ birds flock together to create a bridge and reunite the lovers as a romantic conclusion to ‘Interwoven.’



Thank you to all the TCD performers and USC Haneulsori and Wushu Nation! The performance was done with such grace and beauty! We look forward to your showcase next year!



Aimee Xu


Nikkei's 2016 Culture Show: Anywhere Door

On March 242016 USC Nikkei Student Union hosted it’s 9th Annual Culture Night: Anywhere Door. The organization puts on this show every year to “showcase aspects of traditional and modern Japanese culture….and to bring awareness to certain issues in the Japanese American community” according to Kyle Kurihara, Nikkei’s President of 2015-2016. This year they focused on the issue of post-graduation uncertainty that affects many college students. 12915209_983635565004928_411225161_o

The story followed Alex Okada, a pre-med senior who was hesitant to go to medical school because medicine was never his passion. In the midst of deciding what to do, he stumbled upon a pink door that could take him anywhere and change him into anyone. His skepticism quickly turned to amazement as he traveled to Japan and experienced what it was like to serve in the military, be a part of an idol group, and serve as a monk. He returned with a renewed sense of passion and respect for the Japanese culture.



The show also incorporated USC Kazan Taiko, USC Shinkendo, and KDB Hip-hop troupe.



Thank you to all the performers from USC Nikkei, USC Kazan Taiko, USC Shinkendo, and KDB Hip-Hop Troupe! All photos are credited to USC NSU Kyle Kurihara.

Sarah Kim

APASA Finance Director

SCAPE's InspirASIAN 5.0!

On Thursday, February 25th SCAPE held InspirASIAN 5.0! InspirASIAN is an annual event hosted by SCAPE to feature a panel of Asian American artists in the community. InspirASIAN is one of my favorite events of the year, and I love seeing how much SCAPE has grown as an organization throughout my four years at USC. I remember planning and running InspirASIAN 2.0 and 3.0. Shout out to my fellow SCAPE alums who came to support: Kat, Tracy, Nelson, and especially my co-president Andy. The night started off with Haneulsori hosting a pre-InspirASIAN mixer at the APASS office with free boba and banh mi. It was a delicious event, 10/10 would recommend them doing it again next year!

The event started with student performances by all stars Hannah Nguyen and Leo Xia. The two of them sounded amazing and I especially loved their cover of PillowTalk by Zayn. Leo's original music resonated with the audience, as he sang about APA identity in his song to his future son about growing up Asian American. Leo performed "Shaky Arms" at APASA's Got Talent the following night as well so I was fortunate enough to hear it twice this week.


This year's panel featured Paul Tran, Jason Chu, Francis Cullado, Sal Tran, and Chris Lam! Paul Tran is a Vietnamese American historian and spoken word poet. He performed a few pieces that spoke of his experiences with intergenerational trauma and sexual violence. His perspective was enlightening for the audience. Jason Chu is a hip-hop artist that performed his song, "Marvels". I remember seeing him before at Tuesday Night Cafe two years ago so I was excited to see him perform again and be on the panel!

Francis Cullado is the director of Operations at Visual Communications and the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival. He showed us a great short film, "My Name is Asiroh", about a young girl being bullied about her unique name and her father tells her the story and importance of her name. Sal Tran is a queer Vietnamese American artist who does mental health social advocacy work within queer communities of color and promotes the power of art and storytelling through film. They showed us a documentary on their experiences with depression and therapy. Chris Lam is a content producer at BuzzFeed Video and is passionate about content regarding race, gender, and LGBT issues. He showed us a video he made about Native Americans and the cultural appropriation of Halloween Costumes. Chris was also a guest at APASA's Community Dinner event in January!


Then the panel spoke for an hour answering questions about API issues, such as how they explore intersectionalities and how people can support community artists like themselves. One rememberable point was that we cannot continue to do anything out of spite, but must do it out of love or it is not sustainable. I thought the panel discussion was very thoughtful and refreshing.

Congrats to SCAPE for hosting another successful InspirASIAN! InspirASIAN is a part of our Asian American Heritage Festival, which continues until mid-April, so check out our other member org events coming up these next few weeks!

Vivian Tsai

Internal Community Chair



CASA Culture Show

  Hi readers! One of our lovely APASA interns Tiffany Chen attended our CASA member org's culture show last Saturday. Read to find out what the show was about. 


A refreshing break from studies and classes, CASA’s 17th annual culture show, directed by Emily Levin and Jason Chen, played during the midst of midterm season on March 5, 2016. Starring Jon Lau and Holly Liu, this year’s culture show, ‘Triads and Tribulations’, was a sequel to last year’s show, ‘Triad and Tested’.


In ‘Triads and Tribulations’, audience members follow the life of Jon, the son of Andy Lau, who left his life behind with the Triad gang. Originally unaware of his lineage as Triad boss, Jon balances his school life as a pre-med and pre-law student with his love life.  His love interest, Nicole, is an aggressive dancer chick who really knows how to pack a punch. Jon and Nicole have instant chemistry, and when Jon is kidnapped by the Triads, it is Nicole, along with her friends, who ultimately saves him.


With a script full of humor and league references, ‘Triads and Tribulations’ had audience members laughing out loud. The show’s song choices between scenes also had more than a few spectators dancing in their seats. There were memorable performances by Trogons Acapella and the dance crew Chaotic 3. The show was so popular that even CASA partner organizations from other schools, such as UC Irvine and UCLA, came out in support. CASA’s 17th annual culture show was a success and a fun time was had by all who attended.


Tiffany Chen

APASA Intern

Deconstructing the Model Minority Myth

“While many people may be familiar with the Model Minority Myth, we rarely consider how the Model Minority Myth creates barriers to educational access for many different communities within the APA umbrella. Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander students in particular face high school dropout rates that reach up to 40%, but they are often made invisible under the Model Minority Myth.” - Sophia Li, USC APASA Diversity USG Delegate DeconstructED: Breaking Down the Model Minority Myth was a special collaboration event that was part of USC APASA’s Asian Pacific American Heritage Festival and the Academic Culture Assembly’s EdMonth. DeconstructED was a panel event moderated by our very own Sophia Li, APASA’s USG Diversity Delegate, and featured three incredible panelists who offered their unique insights regarding a prevalent issue in the Asian American Pacific Islander Community.



Calvin Chang is the Policy Director for Empowering Pacific Islander Communities, a national organization whose mission is to promote social justice by engaging Native Hawaiian & Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities through culturally relevant advocacy, research, and development.

Mike Hoa Nguyen is a Research Associate with the National Commission on AAPI Research in Education and a doctoral student in the Division of Higher Education and Organizational Change at UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies. His research is primarily concerned with issues of diversity, Minority Serving Institutions, AAPIs in education, and federal/state policy.

Jonathan Wang serves as the Director for USC Asian Pacific American Student Services. Jonathan graduated in 2012, with a Master’s in Education in Post-secondary Administration and Student Affairs from the USC Rossier School of Education. He is currently pursuing his Doctor of Education from Rossier.



The term “Model Minority”, we learned, was first coined by President Ronald Reagan following the dark era of Japanese Internment, and has consistently been used by many individuals-- primarily the white community-- as a means of comparison in order to drive a wedge between the AAPI community and other underprivileged minority groups. Despite the attraction of being considered a “model minority”, this unfounded stereotype does more to damage both the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in different ways.

Often, the idea of the Model Minority is attributed as an umbrella term to the entire AAPI community. Just as the term “Asian American” encompasses a wide variety of ethnic groups from one large continent, those who buy-in to the Model Minority stereotype fail to acknowledge that the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities are actually very different in terms of their culture, history, and current challenges. The Pacific Islander community is among the most underrepresented in terms of education and often have lower socioeconomic statuses than many of the groups found within the Asian American umbrella; therefore, by being included under the AAPI umbrella, the struggles faced by the Pacific Islander community are largely forgotten, as the metrics reported to the government and aid organizations fail to demonstrate the reality of this underrepresented group.

The Model Minority Myth affects the Asian American Community in a different way. With many Asian Americans, there is a belief that being a model minority somehow legitimizes your identity as an American; as a result, this provides a sort of incentive for those who benefit from the myth to perpetuate this wedge between them and other minority groups. Many Asian Americans who buy-in to the idea of the model minority are as a result placated by those in power by this “honorary white” label; however, what they don’t understand is that, by accepting this stereotype placed upon us, we as a community lose the opportunity to choose when we ourselves have privilege.



Several organizations have begun working to repair the damage done by the Model Minority Myth by working to disaggregate census data to distinguish between Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in order to demonstrate the differences between the two communities. Other organizations are attempting to reframe affirmative action to base admissions not necessarily on race, but on other characteristics as well, such as low income, population of foster children, and number of ESL students.

Even for those of us who are not a part of these organizations, we can contribute to the cause as well. By advocating for our classmates, friends, and family members and explaining to them the importance of data disaggregation and of rejecting the idea of the model minority, we can help to minimize the negative effects of the myth. 

Amy Chau External Community Chair


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!! And some updates!

Hi All! This week there won't be any APASA events considering it's Thanksgiving break, so enjoy the time off with your friends and family! But if you are around campus tonight, and are looking for plans, the 19th Annual USC KASA's Freshman DanceOff will be going on TONIGHT at 7 PM at  Club 333! Click on the picture for FB event details!


Tickets will be $20 presale and $25 at the door. To buy tickets at the door, please text RSVP at 2132812395.

Our two APASA interns Stefanie and Thanya will be competing as a part of the USC team. So if you have no plans this Wednesday night then head out and cheer on SC! There will also be clubbing after.

Reminder that the APASA Assembly will be having a potluck next Monday, Nov. 30th so get EXCITED for yummy food after you've had your stuffing this week! Don't forget to bring your share!

Happy break/Thanksgiving to all!


Natalie Zhang

APASA Historian


Member Org Event Spotlight: Troy Phi's Friendship Games

Below is a spotlight on an event one of our member orgs, USC Troy Philippines, attended. Heidi Carreon, USC Troy Philippines Co-APASA Representative, writes about the Friendship Games event. Before I begin about Friendship Games, you should probably check out what the President of USC Troy Philippines has to say about it:




Saturday mornings are usually when college students try to catch up on sleep, but Troy Phi managed to get to the Cal State Fullerton by 7 a.m. We might have looked odd as makeshift ninjas clad in different shades of black and strips of red and gold cloth, but we were in good company. As we made our way to the center of CSUF, we walked past a group of people dressed like mimes, another dressed like Starbucks baristas and another dressed in tie-die shirts singing, "Happy Birthday."

And so we entered the 30th Annual Friendship Games.

Friendship Games is a day-long competition of picnic games hosted by CSUF's Filipino organization, PASA Kaibigan. It is the largest gathering of Filipino students run by Filipino students in the country, and this year 37 collegiate Filipino organizations hailing from California, Nevada, Arizona and even Oregon attended.

People who played picnic games before (*cough* APASA Tournament of Champions *cough*) would be surprised at the rules and regulations for the different heats, but competition is part of the culture. Some schools begin training in the summer so they can win the honor of taking home an 8 foot tall trophy.

But beyond actual competition, Friendship Games has a creed called "SPUF," which stands for "Spirit, Pride, Unity and Friendship." As one of the CSUF coordinators told me, it's the idea of having spirit and pride in one's school and in one's identity (Filipino or otherwise) and to share that spirit with other organizations. In doing so, lines of communication (unity and friendship, if you will) open between different schools.

This is also where the weird costumes come into play, and since SPUF-ing can be tricky to explain….just watch the video below haha:

Considering that two years ago Troy Phi didn't know the rules for the games, we did remarkably well. We placed in three heats: Alpine Ski (3rd Place), Conveyor Belt (2nd Place) and Thread the Needle (a very debated 2nd Place). For that we have to thank our coordinators Joel Gutierrez (External Vice President) and Joseph Lacson (Social Chair) as well as Anthony Militante (President) for months of planning practices, costumes and chants.

I interviewed people from other schools for an article, and it was obvious from the first person I interviewed that Friendship Games is extremely special to collegiate Fil-Ams. I mean, some schools spend thousands of dollars to make the trip to Fullerton.

Even though Filipinos compose the second-largest immigrant population in the U.S., most communities are concentrated in the West Coast. Many of Troy Phi's members came from cities where there were few Filipinos, and so seeing hundreds of people who have shared heritage and similar experiences was a new--and welcome--experience.

But the most touching part of Friendship Games was seeing other people find old friends, classmates and family members. Troy Phi has strong connections with students from other Southern California schools via our umbrella organization SCPASA (it's like APASA for SoCal Filipino groups), and it was great to see some people we haven't seen in a while. But I also saw people look for their friends from UC Santa Barbara, from schools like San Francisco State. Throughout the day I saw friends reconnect with a scream of joy and hugs because Friendship Games allowed them to be in the same space.

The importance of Friendship Games was underlined by the fact that October is Filipino American Heritage Month and it occurred the day before Larry Itilong Day was observed in California for the first time.

"Just the visibility and awareness of the unification of collegiate Filipinos is really important to show that we are actively bridging together and communicating with each other for the purpose of uniting ourselves," Zach Chaco, SCPASA chair and former Troy Phi president told me for my article, "We may not be doing it for specific [social] issues, but just the fact those bridges of communication are open is a great step ahead."

But Friendship Games, even though it's the largest gathering of Filipino organizations, welcomes non-Filipinos to participate with their schools. Outside the many motifs of the Philippines flag and the hundreds of Fil-Am students, Friendship Games isn't in-your-face Filipino, so that people who are not of Filipino descent are not only welcomed but also encouraged to feel like they're with family.

Any person in APASA knows what I mean when I say that an org feels like a family, and it seemed especially true for Troy Phi at Friendship Games. As we cheered, competed and hung out with one another, we bonded over the experience of representing ourselves and our school to other groups.

We have an old saying in Troy Phi, "for the love," that's actually shortened from "for the love of Troy Phi."

The saying reiterates that everything we do in Troy Phi, we do to help one another grow, discover themselves, and celebrate not only Filipino culture but also other cultures. And we do it because we are a family of friends whom we can call in an emergency or when we want to just grab lunch. Friendship Games made us closer, and thus made us stronger as an organization.

So thank you once again to our awesome Eboard, particularly Joel, Joseph and Anthony. Thank you to Hallie Jose for choreographing our performance for the opening ceremony. Thank you to the many members who came out to Friendship Games and kept fighting on through the heat and exhaustion to SPUF. Without all of you, Troy Phi wouldn't have had such a successful Friendship Games in recent history.

And thank you APASA, for allowing me to share one of the most important events in the Filipino American collegiate community and the highlight of Troy Phi's fall semester.

For the love,

Heidi Carreon

USC Troy Philippines Co-APASA Representative