University to host Asian American cultural convention

by Megan Boldt

This weekend proved successful for members of the Asian American Student Cultural Center in their bid to host a convention of more than 1,000 Asian American students at the University in the beginning of April 2000.
Members from the center met with members from the Midwest Asian American Student Union at the University of Chicago on Saturday and Sunday to hammer out financial details for the spring convention.
MAASU will split the cost of the convention with the Asian American Student Cultural Center. The host school coordinates the programming which is then submitted for approval by the MAASU; no specifics have been made by the group as of yet.
The convention will include keynote speakers, theatre groups and workshops, among other things. The University received the bid to hold the convention last spring.
Of the University’s 39,595 students for the 1998-99 school year, 2,804 were of Asian descent — about 7 percent.
Jenny Chiang, MAASU representative for the University, said the convention will be important to Minnesota.
“This is the first convention of this sort has ever been held in Minnesota,” Chiang said. “This is very important to Asian American students in Minnesota and also to the Asian American community.”
Sherman Ho, board member of the Asian American Student Cultural Center, said the weekend in Chicago allowed members to get to know each other better.
“Also, MAASU and the University could ask each other questions about the upcoming convention,” Ho said. “I feel we will be well prepared. We have had numerous meetings to prepare us for this weekend.”
C.J. Wong, president of MAASU, said the purpose of the organization is to keep Midwestern schools on the same page with regard to Asian American issues.
“We want to start a networking system so we can promote Asian awareness,” Wong said. “Also, MAASU is here to help other schools who need help to start a strong organization on their campus. Big schools like Ohio (State), Minnesota and Michigan can always offer advice.”
Overall, members from the University felt the meeting was successful.
“Basically, everything went as expected. We got the financial situation and time schedule worked out. All in all, it was a good trip for all of us,” said Ho.