Dear Member of the Wonderful Class of 2021,
Welcome to Stanford! My name is Vanuyen Pham ‘18, and I am the 2017 Community Coordinator for the Asian American New Student Orientation Committee (AANSOC). I am so excited to welcome you to the vibrant Asian American community here at Stanford. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised to be here today. I came from a predominantly Caucasian high school, and as a frosh, did not go to AANSOC events and had no intentions of being part of the Asian & Pacific Islander (API) community here. Flash forward three years later, and I am a co-chair of Stanford Vietnamese Student Association, and a member of Sigma Psi Zeta, a sorority founded by Asian American women.
Although I started off not being very involved in the API community, it was by a stroke of luck that I happened to join certain organizations and meet people who became my friends, mentors, and role models. I went on an alternative spring break trip on Asian American issues and was amazed to learn about the rich history of Asian American activism that I never knew existed. Living in Okada House, the Asian American theme dorm on campus, I was surrounded by both people who embraced their Asian American identity and were activists, and also by people who were not as comfortable with their identity, but were open to learning. There is a space for everyone here, at whatever stage you are at, whether you are thinking of majoring in Asian American studies, or just looking for a community to hang out with. You can be like me and decide to perform in a Culture Night with a history of stage fright and zero experience with acting and dancing! Even better, try exploring and learning more about other cultures as well as your own- I am Vietnamese, but have been a part of Pilipino Culture Night every year and have tried to support other student groups as well.
I would now like to invite you to our AANSOC events that will be taking place during your New Student Orientation and the beginning of Fall Quarter! These events, such as Community Welcome and We Are Family, are meant to showcase the diversity of experiences within the Stanford Asian American community. A calendar of these events, along with descriptions, are included in this packet. AANSOC events are free and open to all students, so please do join us and invite anyone else you know! At We Are Family, the AASIB program will also be doing their big SibFam reveal. Joining a SibFam is a great opportunity to meet upperclass students who can be a support system for you here, and these bonds can last beyond graduation. I regret not being part of a SibFam as a frosh, so don’t miss out! If you are interested in being part of a SibFam, Dee Dee Thao, this year’s AASIB coordinator, has attached her letter to this packet with more information on how to sign up!
If you’d like to learn more about the Asian American community before arriving, there are plenty of ways to do so. You can explore our A3C website , “like” our Facebook page, and follow our Instagram account. I would also like to invite you to join our “Stanford API Class of 2021” Facebook Group (will be started soon!), where we will be highlighting resources provided by the A3C and you can hear from student voices about their experiences in our community even before coming to campus. Hopefully you will all get a chance to connect with each other as well!
It seems like just yesterday I was in your shoes. I know it can be overwhelming, but enjoy and take advantage of everything. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any thoughts or questions at firstname.lastname@example.org! Enjoy the rest of your summer, and I can’t wait to meet you!
See you soon,
B.A. Candidate 2018 | History
Asian American New Student Orientation Committee (AANSOC) Chair