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Midwest Asian American Students Gather
Students from UMD's Asian Pacific American Association travel to the Midwest Asian American Students Union conference.
On April 7, 35 students from UMD's Asian Pacific American Association will head off to Ann Arbor, Michigan to represent UMD at the largest conference for Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) students in the Midwest.
Hosted by the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU), the conference is a one-day event that brings students and allies of the APIA community together from all over the region and serves to highlight topics and issues pertaining to the APIA community through workshops, discussion, keynote speakers, entertainment, and much more.
David Lee, a member of the student group says the event helps build community in Duluth. "The UMD students who attend this conference come back to UMD with a revitalized identity," he says. "MAASU helps students truly embrace and express their own identity with confidence. They are able to bring back a stronger sense of well-being and respect for their culture. This is especially valuable as there are limited resources and services dedicated towards learning about the APIA identity at UMD."
The conference is hosted yearly during the spring semester and rotates from campus to campus. Last year, the conference was held at the U of M Twin Cities, in which APAA had 33 attendees. Despite MAASU's existence for the past two decades, this year is significant for UMD and APAA as it is the first year that any Bulldog has served on MAASU's Executive Coordinating Committee. UMD students Jeff Vang, Thomas Thao, and David Lee are the three UMD members serving on the MAASU Executive Coordinating Committee, which consists of students from different college institutions across the Midwest.
"Members of APAA are excited to wear the maroon and gold letters "U-M-D" as they learn and discover more about the Asian American Pacific Islander identity and community," says David.