Student Forum: Yaswin Jay Jayawardhana, Pan Asian American Club founder and president

Yaswin Jay Jayawardhana has been in the Pan Asian American Club for one semester and is majoring in business administration.

What is the Pan Asian American Club?

It helps international students from Asia and the Pacific Islands to get a start in finding their way around and knowing where to go for the things they need when they come here for academic studies.

How long has the club been in existence?

I started the club this semester.

Why did you feel the need to establish the club?

I felt there was a lot of different club representation on campus that allowed the student body to join based on certain interests they may have, but when I was looking for a club to join, I realized there was nothing that

specifically represented Asian students even though they make up one of the largest populations on campus.

How did you become president of the club?

When I founded the club I actually wanted two of my friends to take the position. Unfortunately, after a while, their academic schedules did not allow them to fulfill the commitment, so I eventually had to take on the role as president.

What are some of your duties as president?

In our constitution, it states the president’s duties are to stimulate activities that go on and to oversee them, making sure everything runs smoothly. I also attend approximately three meetings a day with different clubs to help promote our club or to plan events with members of other clubs. Also, I have to come up with ideas and topics to discuss in our cabinet and club meetings.

How would non-Asian students benefit from joining the club?

Non-Asians are more than welcome to join the club. Actually three of my Latino friends are in the club and some students want to join because it would give them a chance to learn more about the Asian culture.

What events does the club sponsor on campus?

Right now, we are organizing fundraising events because we do not have the resources yet to actually promote any of the free events that we would like to do.

What other events would you like to do?

Once our financial situation evolves, we want to do more activites around campus that would be culturally based and it would be an open invitation to all the faculty and student body.

Is the club involved in other activities on campus?

We are also trying to be in the forefront of this year’s multicultural conference on campus. It is basically a workshop for faculty only, which allows them the opportunity to educate themselves about other cultures and how to close the gap between them and other students of different ethnicities.

What are your expectations for the growth of the club?

I hope that eventually the club will be part of an orientation for foreign students who come here for college Also for it to be a place where they can come to and not feel totally different, but will be welcomed with open arms.