The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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African Student Association highlights diversity and unity

Photo by Photo by Eric Miller

The African Student Association held an event for their members to kick off the new school year.

Founded in 1984 by a group of Nigerian graduate students at Texas A&M, the African Student Association (ASA) has grown from consisting of a few members into a larger, student run socio-cultural organization.
ASA’s mission is to foster a culturally diverse environment and increase unity among all students. Members accomplish this by sharing their cultural heritage at Texas A&M and accepting others’ heritage, as well as doing community service benefiting the Bryan/College Station area.
Vice-President of ASA and allied health senior Rita Uwe said that ASA has a very welcoming environment for people of African heritage to come and share their experiences with others.
“ASA gives a different perspective and allows African immigrants or students of African origin a place where there are people who have similar experiences to their own when considering language, food, and culture,” Uwe said.
Community Service Chair for ASA and mechanical engineering sophomore Chibuike Imo said the impacts of this club is not only African culture and heritage but acceptance and helping the surrounding communities no matter the cultural background.
“Our impact is to help people feel included whether African or not, on the community we reach out to do a lot of community service,” Imo said.
 To involve members of similar organizations from across the state and country, ASA is hosting ASA Weekend in November where members meet with other African Student Associations in Texas. Throughout the year, ASA also has Bible studies, bake sales and dance events for students to participate in.
Biomedical sciences junior Asia Ataghauman said that since she joined she has seen how the events have changed from just being events to being events with meaning behind them.
“ASA exists to stimulate interest in African affairs among Africans, as well as non-Africans at TAMU and its surrounding communities,” Ataghauman said. “I believe ASA exists to create a more secure environment of solidarity for the Africans in College Station and promote as well as uphold the legitimate interest of Africans at TAMU.”
However, according to Uwe, while the association does stimulate interest in African affairs, most members join to get in touch with their ancestors.
“I feel as if ASA lets [members] feel connected to their family or distant ancestors,” Uwe said. “It allows the members to know that there are people who care about every part of you, whether you’re African and want to be around Africans or if you’re not African and just want to learn more about the numerous cultures.”
ASA also holds various cultural events through the year such as speakers from Africa, African dance groups and food from all over the continent.
“Africa is the second biggest continent and being in ASA makes it feel like Africa takes number one in size,” Ataghauman said. “The objectives of ASA project the association as a social and cultural organization in which is one of the major cords that enhance diversity at Texas A&M University.”

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