RSO spotlight

Learn more about the Asian Student Organization

The lanterns held by Becca Barkley (left) and Maddie Stevens (right) represents family coming together and rejoicing. Photo by: Kylah Robinson | Torch Reporter

The Asian Student Organization celebrated the Mid Autumn Festival on Sept. 7 in the Robinson Quad.

The Mid Autumn Festival is traditionally celebrated in Asian culture at the end of the rice harvest and fruit harvest. The festival is a time for families to come together to worship the moon and thank it for the harvest it has given people.

ASO President Nicole Ly recreated this event to teach people about the festival. They also passed out mooncakes because they are sweet, round and look like the moon, plus they made lanterns that represent family coming together and rejoicing.

The event had a good turnout. Many students engaged in decorating their lanterns and ate different flavors of mooncakes. People also reached out to Ly, stating that they loved the event and would like ASO to do more events like it.

Ly joined the ASO when she first came to Ferris and noticed that there weren’t a lot of Asian Pacific Islander Desi American students. Ly felt lonely and isolated on campus, especially with COVID restrictions in place at the time.

“I found out that there was an Asian Student Organization, and I immediately was interested,” Ly said. “I wanted to join the girls [in ASO] at the time, and they were very warm… I just loved the atmosphere that they gave, and I really wanted to carry the impression that they gave me for other APIDA students who want to join ASO.”

Ly has seen the growth the ASO and other student organizations have experienced in the past two years. This year has given her time to reflect on herself as an Asian student in a predominantly white institution. Her experience has also given her many perspectives on other APIDA identifying cultures.

One thing that Ly and the rest of the ASO want to make clear is that you do not have to be from an Asian background to be a part of the organization or attend their events. People from all backgrounds are welcomed and encouraged to take part.

“We want to keep ASO a safe place that people feel comfortable coming to and expressing themselves… I feel like that’s really important… because [people can feel] so easily silenced or overshadowed by other opinions…, but it’s really important that everyone [is respectful] of other people’s opinions,” Ly said.

The ASO will be having a lot more upcoming events that focus on the cultural aspect of ASO, rather than only the social aspect of it.

If you would like to join the ASO, or get to know more about the organization, they will be having their first bi-weekly meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 14 in the IRC at 7 p.m.