ASA vies for program status

Chris Toomey/The Watchdog
Chris Toomey/The Watchdog

The Asian Student Association, currently a club, is on the road to hopefully becoming a program at Bellevue College. As of right now, it is solely operated and coordinated by Chunggyo Lee, who hopes to see support from Student Programs in the form of the club becoming a program.

The difference between a club and a program at BC is that a club is merely a gathering of students who share the same passion for something and want to raise more awareness for it. With the advancement of a club turning into a program, they’ll be able to be funded by BC and will have more resources at their hands.

As well as being able to access funds for the hopeful future program, Lee said, “Clubs die faster. They’ll come together for a little bit, and then just disappear but we’ll have so much more of a platform.”

The drive for ASA to become a program, Lee said, is “We have no platform for Asian students in Student Programs. We want to be able to provide a place for the Asian students like [the] Black Student Union is able to provide a place for African-American students.”

As for what would change if ASA upgrades to a program would be that the club would now be a program, of course, and that they would have a space in Student Programs. The program would be supplied with more resources and the Asian students would have a place to come together. Additionally, the name would no longer be the Asian Student Association, but would be called the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association to open its doors to more branches of the Asian culture.

In order for the club to become a program, the Asian Student Association has to submit an application and wait to see if they will be approved or not.

With awaiting the decision, Lee hopes that the result will be positive. “We want to become a program because we want to have a platform. Our voice hasn’t been heard by Bellevue College yet. We would be here to be the voice, we would be here to help Asian students with school issues, and we could help direct them to resources they need for help or we could help them directly,” Lee said.

Kazuki Yonebayashi, a member of the ASA, had a say in ASA hopefully becoming a program as well.

“They say Bellevue College is a diverse campus, but there’s no place for the Asian students. There’s no platform. Asian students tend to stay with other Asian students and we just want a place where we can come together. Resources and space needs to be shared with us as well,” said Yonebayashi.

ASG Staff Adviser Brandon Lueken said, “Frankly, I don’t know if it’ll become a program. Most programs that are here started as clubs. It depends on the budget and it depends on if they have a sustainable amount of participants and if they’re really involved. Ultimately, it depends on Faisal and his approval.”

For the future decision on whether or not it’ll become a program, consult Chunggyo Lee or visit Student Programs in C-205 above the cafeteria.