The A³C builds a community of Asian and Asian American students, faculty, staff and alumni that fosters greater understanding and awareness of the Asian experience in America. It offers many resources for the community. The A³C is home to over thirty student organizations that hold weekly meetings and rehearsals in the center and also use the office as workspace for planning events.
The center houses the Asian American Resource Library which contains Asian American literature, reference texts, hard-to find-periodicals, university documents, newspaper clippings and videos. Located in the center for student use are a computer cluster, fax machine, TV, VCR, DVD and stereo.
Students come to the A³C for information on campus resources and community service opportunities; for meetings; for cultural and educational programs and workshops; for research materials; for organizational and personal advising; for relaxing between classes; and to study. In the evenings, student organizations utilize the space for group meetings and events. Staff come to the A³C to attend events, meet as staff and connect with and mentor students. Faculty come to the A³C for resources, help with research projects and to speak at workshops and on panels. Alumni come to the A³C to meet students and to host meetings and events. Campus partners come to the A³C for advice, collaborations and to connect with students.
The Asian American Activities Center, A³C, is a department under the Vice Provost of Student Affairs and serves as Stanford’s primary resource for Asian and Asian American student affairs and community development. The A³C contributes to the academic mission of the University through its partnerships and collaborative work with faculty, departments and academic programs. Through programming and advising, the center facilitates the multicultural education of all students and the development of leaders who are able to negotiate an increasingly diverse and complex workplace and global environment.
The Asian American Activities Center has a long history at Stanford as a student-initiated space that has transformed over the years to meet the current needs of the Stanford student body. The first iteration of the center, the Asian American Resource Center, began in 1972 after a group of students involved in the newly formed Asian American Students Alliance (AASA) advocated for and received an office space in the Old Fire Truck House. For the first decade of its existence, the center was staffed entirely by five student volunteer interns. In 1977, the name of the center was changed to the Asian American Activities Center.
In 1987, the Dean of Students approved funding for a half-time director/dean position in response to a set of demands proposed by the Rainbow Agenda (including students from AASA, MEChA, SAIO and BSU). Julian Low served in this inaugural role and was supported by Elsa Tsutaoka as the Office Manager. In 1989, the Dean of Student Affairs formally institutionalized the A³C by hiring Richard Yuen as the first full-time director. Soon after in 1991, Cindy Ng was hired as the first program coordinator, from which she was first promoted to assistant director and then promoted to her current position as associate dean and director. Shelley Tadaki, who received both her BA and MA from Stanford, served as the associate director of the center from 2004-2012. In spring 2012, Jerald Adamos was hired in that role and the position was reclassified in 2015 to assistant dean and associate director.