On Thursday Dec. 1 in room C103 the Asian Pacific Islander Student Association held a Christmas event from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. The meeting was the last get-together of fall quarter, so they celebrated with festive games to kick off the holiday season as well as to get to know everyone who attended.
APISA welcomes students of any nationality to join. The all-inclusive group was founded in 2012, joining people of all different cultures and diverse backgrounds. Festivals, field trips, parties, weekly events and more are often held by the members of the association.
The event started out with saying goodbye to members who were going back home after staying in Washington for a short amount of time, as well as electing new people to lead the club. APISA president Van Kong discussed additions to next quarter’s club calendar including Indonesian day, Korean day, a tour of Asia, a mud run and an ESL program.
To start off the holiday festivities, everyone played a game of egg, human, superhero, a variation to rock, paper, scissors, to get people talking. While playing, each person said what their name was and where they were from to get everyone acquainted. The purpose of the game was to bring students closer together. Most members were from other countries such as Cambodia, China and Japan, while some were born and raised in the United States.
Afterwards, there was a white elephant gift exchange. The presents were donated by the soldiers of Joint Base Lewis-McChord. In a white elephant gift exchange, each player attempts to end up with the best gift by “stealing gifts” from other players or opening a new one. Each person received a gift from the game, and introduced themselves to the group. Through this game, the students bonded over the friendly competition.
Many of the students were new to the group and just joined this fall quarter. “What made me want to be involved was the people, which I think it really important,” said Karen Bosshardt, an APISA member who joined fall quarter. “I’ve met a lot of great people here.”
“It’s really amazing community of people,” said Joao Maria Tapel, a group member who returned to East Timor when fall quarter ended. Tapel had been in the association for two years.
Kong ended the party with closing words about the importance of community. “I feel like we’re all representing something or somewhere or someone. It’s our opportunity as people to get to know other people so I hope to challenge everybody to do so.”
The APISA is always welcoming new members to the group, and hold weekly meetings every Thursday from 12:30 p.m to 1:30 p.m. in room C103. Members of the association take part in new activities every week like rock climbing, calligraphy and contests. Additionally, members can apply to travel to places like San Francisco. The APISA recently won the 2015-2016 Exceptional Program Award for their dedicated involvement and service to Student Programs.