At a meeting yesterday, representatives of the member groups of the Asian American Association (AAA) brainstormed over how to improve interaction among their organizations.
"The AAA is recognized as one voice, but there are tremendous disparities within the group itself," said AAA Co-President Haewon Hwang '95.
Leaders of the various AAA "sister" groups agreed that they need to cooperate more in organizing and scheduling their groups' events.
And Uday N. Kumar '94, co-president of the South Asian Association (SAA) said that AAA has sometimes seemed not to represent the interests of South Asians.
"The AAA has been insensitive in the past to small details regarding the SAA," Kumar said.
"When it brought out its T-shirts, it didn't include all the South Asian countries on it, and its 'yellow power' phrase excludes South Asians," Kumar said.
"Although these may seem minor details, they alienate people [from the AAA]," he said.
One suggestion made at the meeting was that AAA presidents attend one meeting of each of the "sister" groups, to gain a first-hand sense of other groups' proceedings.
"In the past, people have expected the AAA to handle everything involving the other organizations, and that is why we need a feedback and return process," Hwang said.
AAA leaders complained about the lack of coordination among the various groups. This year, for example, the SAA's cultural show "Ghungroo" and the Korean Cultural night were held at the same time.
"We need to be more active as a more cooperative association," said AAA Co-President Joan Cheng '95. "[Otherwise,] it is impossible for us to be the central political voice."
Cheng urged member groups to keep the AAA informed of their individual plans, so that scheduling of events could be carried out more effectively.
"Communication lines [among members] have been poor in the past," said Hwang, "but we are hoping this will be the beginning of increased ties."
The AAA serves as an umbrella organization for Asian ethnic groups, which include the Alliance of Radcliffe Asians, the Chinese Students Association, the Hong Kong Club, the Harvard Vietnamese Association, the Japan Society, the Korean Students Association, the SAA and the Taiwanese Cultural Society.
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