Photo courtesy of Latin American Student Association

This past weekend, the Latin American Student Association (LASA), South Asian Student Association (SASA) and African Student Association (ASA) partnered with one another to host a dance party in Hoogenboom Gym.

Priscilla Paul, current president of SASA, commented on the importance of a multicultural event like this one.

“The purpose of this event was to combine all three cultures and find something in common, and that was dance,” said Paul. “We thought this would be a new way to share each of our cultures to Calvin and showcase dance styles as well.”

Erasmia Mpano, current president of ASA, talked about the process of making the dance into a reality. She said that all three student organizations had been planning this event before the summer of 2018. They spent a month planning the event, focusing especially on advertising — making a music video, refreshments and more.”

Mpano spoke about the purpose of the dance as well.

“This was also a pathway to make our events open to all,” said Mpano. “Many times students think that ASA is exclusively for Africans or LASA just for Latinas and so on and so forth. But the message we wanted to give is that everyone is welcome.”

Yena Kim, current president of LASA, gave insight about what LASA means to her as an international student at Calvin.

“As a freshman, LASA was home. It was a place where I could freely speak Spanish and build community with those of similar cultures and upbringings,” said Kim. “And as president, I want to make sure that freshmen feel the same way. That they know that that there is a group of students that is looking out for them, that cares for them and that are excited to welcome them to the family that is LASA.”  

LASA, SASA and ASA may be different in many ways, but all

Kim added, “I personally loved seeing people from different cultures trying to dance to African music, or trying out a new move and having fun with it. It was fun and showed how music and dance unites everyone.”