First Asian Culture Showcase held to increase representation on campus


Hana Cadena performs a traditional hula dance Sept. 14 at the Asian Culture Showcase. Photo credit: Rebecca Harrell

Abby Gutierrez

Texas State’s Asian culture clubs—Vietnamese Student Association (VSA), Filipino Student Association (FSA) and Korean Culture Club (KCC)—hosted the first Asian Culture Showcase in hopes of making a larger cultural footprint on the university’s community.

The showcase took place 6-9 p.m. Sept. 14 in the LBJ Ballroom. The event was coordinated by the club presidents of each organization, who came together to celebrate a variety of Asian cultures.

Destiny Phanyanouvong, president of FSA and an event coordinator, said she and the other leaders have been working since May to make the showcase a reality. The clubs’ main goal for the showcase was to increase Asian representation around campus.

“We don’t have much (Asian representation) on campus,” Phanyanouvong said. “Last year, (events like this) were held in a classroom, which really downsized and made it seem less significant.”

Corey Benbow, student body president, said he saw the importance in increasing Asian awareness around the Texas State community.

“I think it’s very important we celebrate and showcase all identities,” Benbow said. “If you ask me, it’s been a long time in the making and has taken too long.”

Inspired by the traditional Asian Mid-Autumn Festival, the showcase featured a variety of multicultural dances and fashion shows, a lantern walk and a surplus of food.

Hana Cadena, interdisciplinary junior and member of FSA and KCC, and she performed a Hula dance at the showcase.

“I’ve been dancing for over 12 years and I never get to showcase it at school, so I thought this was a great opportunity,” Cadena said. “I’m really glad all three of Texas State’s Asian organizations were able to combine and create something this authentic.”

Lindsey Burns, communication design sophomore, is the webmaster for FSA. She intends to celebrate Asian culture and all Texas State students at the showcase and around campus in any way she can.

“We just want to make sure everyone at Texas State feels welcome if they are a part of the Asian culture,” Burns said. “We want to celebrate them.”

Shafinaz Orthy, electrical engineering graduate student, is from Bangladesh. She was eager to spend time with people who share her culture and grateful for the showcase for providing good food and a much-needed break from schoolwork.

“Lots of people from my country are going (to the showcase) to meet up,” Orthy said. “With all the studying and pressure, there isn’t usually time for us to hang out and this program is a very good place to do these things.”

Brianna Yescas, music studies freshman, is a member of KCC and attended the showcase to enjoy the food, music, fashion shows and opportunity to relax.

“I love fashion, so I’m really excited about (the modeling),” Yescas said. “I’m just trying to have fun. I think (the showcase) is great because you get to meet more people and explore different cultures.”

Phanyanouvong said FSA, VSA and KCC members have grown closer through this experience. Following the showcase, the individual clubs are determined to continue working together and hope to plan similar events that will increase Asian representation and cultural awareness on campus for years to come.

“Hopefully in the future, we can grow to have something called Asian Leadership Council, where we’ll have all the Asian leaders of each organization come together,” Phanyanouvong said. “(The showcase) is our first trial, and we plan for it to become an annual event.”

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