Enriching campus with clubs and orgs for minority groups

Marisa Nelson

WSU has over 27,000 students, each with their own unique traits that make them who they are. WSU Clubs and Organizations has over 100 clubs to choose from, and many of them are specific to students of color, nontraditional students and minority groups on campus.

Black Scholars United Logo
Black Scholars United brings together Black students to get them involved in the campus community. (WSU Archives).

Some of these clubs include the Asian Student Involvement Association, Latinos in Action, Black Scholars United and The Ohana Association. WSU Clubs and Organization Coordinator Heather Cimino stated that, of the 100 clubs, 13 clubs are specific to students of color and minorities.

Latinos In Acttion Logo.
Latinos in Action promotes diversity and academic achievement for Latinx WSU students. (WSU Archives).

These clubs all have mission statements and values that aim to help students feel connected to their peers as well as advance academically. Cimino and Lulu S. Faumui-Latu-Peters, the advisor for ASIA and TOA, said that students who get involved in clubs and interact with their peers are more likely to graduate.

ASIA and TOA work to celebrate the culture of Asian community as well as Pacific Islanders, according to Faumui-Latu-Peters. One example was the 2019 Intercollegiate luau. Colleges from across the state were assigned an island, and participants then performed cultural dances and showed their personality through their culture. This event not only helped students in the club but also impacted the community.

Joining a club on campus allows students to find a place where others look like them and have similar perspectives. It can provide opportunities to serve people in the community as well as bring awareness to others about ideas that differ from theirs.

Faumui-Latu-Peters added that these clubs are open to anyone who is willing to learn about Asian or Pacific Islander culture. Cimino stated students can create their own club if one does not fit their needs.

Another club that focuses on culture and academic excellence is the Multicultural Advancements in Science club, which is overseen by Jon Marshall.

In a blog post written by Sara Naveed on the MAS website she says, “It was the first time I saw people of color and women truly celebrated for their contributions to science, math and engineering.”

Naveed also praised a diversity conference, which she said made diversity actually matter, not just feature as a buzzword.

The risks of joining a club can seem daunting to some students, especially adding something more to a jam-packed schedule during an already busy semesters. However, advisors can help students plan around busy schedules.

“Just reach out to the club president or advisor,” Marhsall said. You will not be sorry you did. What do you have to lose?”

He also stated that students who join a club can have a space to share their voices with others who have similar experiences.

Cimino stated that WSUSA also works to include diversity in its work. The student senate and vice presidential positions are held by students and are elected by the student body annually.