7 Reasons why I joined:
I wanted to be more involved in the Asian American community outside of Bryn Mawr College.
I wanted to meet people outside of the Tri-Co (Bryn Mawr, Haverford, Swarthmore).
I had fresh ideas of speakers, workshops, entertainers after networking with the Asian American community through my Asian Cinevision internship at the Asian American International Film Festival.
I have never attended a Pan-Asian American conference (other than UPenn APALSA).
I am having a positive experience as an ECAASU blogger, so I wanted to get more involved in ECAASU.
I wanted to challenge my creativity in designing a clear, yet visually attractive, template for the bid.
I truly believe Philadelphia is the perfect host city for the ECAASU conference.
Unfortunately, the Rutgers team won the 2016 bid. However, all was not lost. I am glad I was part of a productive team of students from Temple University, Drexel University, University of the Sciences, and 2 young professionals who already graduated. Admittedly, it is always nice to get out of my small suburban women’s college environment, which we refer to as the “Bryn Mawr Bubble.”
Our bid team members were assigned specific roles, but all had input on the overall direction of our bid. I was the graphics and web design manager. My main contribution to the team was to develop a graphics template for the bid proposal on Microsoft Word as well as Google Presentation. Had we won the bid, I would have moved on to creating the conference website appearance. Creating the bid proposal involved innovative minds and lots and lots of editing. Our bid team spent nearly 11 hours together in the Temple library, 4 hours preparing for the bid presentation, and countless hours working remotely on the proposal online via Google Drive and Hangout. By the time we finished, I had over 20 scrapped drafts of our proposal in my computer’s trash.
In hindsight, I would have liked to have University of Pennsylvania representation on the Philly 2016 bid team. None of the schools from which our bid team members hailed from had Asian American Studies Departments or Centers. University of Pennsylvania has both a renowned Asian American Studies Department and a wealth of resources (hello, IVY LEAGUE). I would have liked to see an Asian American Studies professor give a keynotes speech at ECAASU 2016 Philly. The chances of enticing a University of Pennsylvania student to join the ECAASU Philly bid team are low since he or she may not feel the need to contribute when things are already good on their campus. (UPenn has its own APA Heritage Week and Culture Shows.)
One of the friends I made on the bid team was our advisor and ECAASU Campus Tour Coordinator Melody Lam. Although she graduated college a couple years ago and works full time, she still finds time to be involved in the Asian American community. She was also able to give me a different perspective of life after college. I was relieved to learn that your college major does not limit your career options. (Melody was a biology major but is currently planning on going to law school.)
Perhaps the most important thing I learned from her is that Asian American activism is not just a college hobby; it’s a lifetime pursuit and network.
Maybe we’ll consider submitting another bid proposal for ECAASU Philly 2017..
In the meantime, after finals I am looking forward to my summer in Philly. Most of the ECAASU 2016 Philly Bid Team will also be in Philly, and it is highly likely we will reunite or bump into each other in our small city of brotherly (and sisterly) love.
You can view our 43-page bid proposal here
And our bid presentation here