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Student Organizations

Student Organizations

SCSJI advocates for Diverse populations of students by intentionally advising and holistically supporting the needs and issues surrounding and affecting them. We advise the 23 organizations listed below:

President: David Ezana

Advisor: Damisi Fawole

Description:  We are a group of students interested in promoting cultural and general awareness of Africa and its history. Despite our diverse backgrounds, we all share an interest in Africa and its people. This group will help Vandy newcomers, current students, and community members to explore the variety of cultures present across the continent, and engage in discussion about current events from an African perspective.

Annual Event: Harambee The African Student Union’s annual cultural showcase is back this year on February 10th, 2018. We are here to bring you exciting dances, amazing guest performances, exquisite food, and an overall experience highlighting several African countries. Please join us for an amazing treat! Be prepared to laugh, learn, and celebrate with us!

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/AASA

President: Wesley Wei

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: Our purpose is to promote and provide a cultural and political awareness of Asian and Asian-American customs and diversity within the University and local community.

Annual Event: Lunar New Year Festival (LNYF) is the Asian American Student Association’s (AASA) biggest event! The New Year is one of the most honored and celebrated traditions in Asian cultures.  AASA celebrates Asian New Year with food, cultural dances, singing and theatrical performances by members of AASA, other student organizations, and even the local community. In addition to the show AASA provides dinner.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/AASA

Website: http://www.vandyaasa.com/

President: Laura Cardona

Advisors: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: Our mission is to provide a culturally diverse community that embraces the unique qualities of Latin American Countries.

Annual Events: Cafe con Leche – A cultural showcase sharing the experience of Latino and Hispanic heritage. We encourage and engage the Vanderbilt community to learn more about our culture through a collection of dance, music and food.

Sabor Latino-We wrap Hispanic Heritage Month with a bang! Sabor Latino is VAHS’ way to celebrate ourselves in the fall. We serve delicious catered food and social dance and the best part is that the entire campus is invited!

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/vanderbiltassociationofhispanicstudents

Website: https://studentorg.vanderbilt.edu/alas/

President: Karrie Raymond

Advisors: Damisi Fawole

Description: The goals of the Caribbean Students Association (CSA) are to promote pride and awareness of the Caribbean culture amongst its members and the Vanderbilt Community at large; to provide strong links among the Caribbean Students and the Faculty at Vanderbilt; and to keep the Vanderbilt Community informed on events and issues that affect the Caribbean. All of these goals shall be accomplished through a variety of extra-curricular activities aimed at fulfilling intellectual, social, and cultural exchange.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/caribbeanstudentsassociation

President: Yousef Abu-Salah

Advisor: Kauthar Gaber

Description: DSP, a chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine, is a secular, student-led human rights advocacy group comprised of students, faculty, and staff of various backgrounds. DSP is organized according to democratic principles in order to promote justice, human rights, liberation, and self-determination for the Palestinian people. DSP believes that while the Palestinian people must ultimately be able to decide their future in Palestine, certain key principles, grounded in international law, human rights, and basic standards of justice, are fundamental to a just resolution of the plight of the Palestinians.  Moreover, DSP believes that the occupation of Palestine and the systems of injustice present in the state of Israel can only end when citizens of conscious from all backgrounds come together to call on those in power to be held accountable. Therefore, DSP welcomes people of all races, religions, and sexual orientations. Since DSP is committed to ending racism in Israel and Palestine, it rejects and will not tolerate any form of hatred or discrimination towards any religious, ethnic, or racial groups.

DSP aims to uphold the Vanderbilt Community Creed through its solidarity with the oppressed by abiding by the following set of values: scholarship, honesty, civility, accountability, caring, discovery, and celebration.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/dsp

President: Bethlehem Daniel

Advisor: Damisi Fawole

Description:The Ethiopian and Eritrean Student Association has a mission to promote culture, community, education, and fun. We’ve done this in the past by hosting study events, hosting culturally educational events, and participating in one of Vanderbilt’s greatest cultural events: Harambee. While we had planned to host a mini week with our own grand event with performances, food, music, and a fashion showcase, the pandemic hit that same week and we had to cancel. Nevertheless, we’ve had great success this semester despite the pandemic. We have had several events including an in-person socially distanced event, virtual community bonding events, and a speaker series featuring Wubetu Shimelash (Filmmaker, Public Speaker, Humanitarian, and Co-Founder of Eco-Trek). We also plan to have many more events next semester and potentially another mini week with a cultural showcase. Our current goals are to be more civically aware and engaged in the social, political, and economic news of our countries back home. We are accomplishing this by inviting speakers from back home educate us virtually. Overall, we’ve had a great semester and we are very excited for the next. We ask you all to please join us in our journey of learning, tasting, listening, and generally enjoying the Ethiopian-Eritrean culture and community.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/ethiopianeritrean

President: Kevin Zhang

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia,

Description:

The objectives of GCC are to:

  1. Create business, networking or internship opportunities for students and their international counterparts to socialize, learn, and work together.
  2. Bring together GCC members for learning, networking, and developing future professional opportunities through on-campus events, educational seminars, telecommunications, and multimedia tools.
  3. Advance international trust and understanding within GCC members and alums personal and professional relationships.
  4. Promote high ethical standards for GCC members’ academic, professional, and personal lives along with a commitment to make the world a better place through this lifelong fellowship.
  5. Have fun together.

They were founded in 2008 and had 58 chapters worldwide. For more information, please check http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_China_Connection.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/gccvanderbilt

President: Kaylin Davis

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: Spurring from a desire to highlight the experiences of students of color on Vanderbilt’s campus, the Hidden Dores Movement began in the spring of 2014 as a photo campaign to display instances of marginalization on campus. Now the organization has grown to encompass several committees that work to induce structural change in our university and stimulate conversations about the identities and marginalization of students of color at Vanderbilt.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/HiddenDores

Presidents: Gabby Guarna; Ana Stringer;

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: Formerly known as NATIVe, The Indigenous Scholars Organization (ISO) aspires to serve a critical role in promoting the cultural knowledge and community involvement of its members in a collaborative environment, as well as educating the broader Vanderbilt and Nashville community about Indigenous cultures.  By fostering an atmosphere that promotes social engagement and group support, we hope to cultivate a close-knit community with a collective vision at the institutional level, to increase Indigenous presence at Vanderbilt University. Additionally, we aim to serve the surrounding Indigenous communities and those without origins of Indigeneity to the Americas, in a State without formal American Indian/Alaska Native representation.  ISO embraces all Indigenous students, regardless of tribal enrollment, status, or blood quantum. This includes students from Native American, Alaska Native, First Nation, and Pacific Islander backgrounds. We welcome any student committed to learning about Indigenous cultures and their responsible representation at Vanderbilt University.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/iso

President:Stella Ngo Ha

Advisor: Kauthar Gaber

Description: Vanderbilt University International Student Council (ISC) is a non-political and non-profit student organization. The goal of ISC is to unite all the undergraduate and graduate international students on campus, and acts as a programming platform to promote cultural diversity to the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities. ISC dedicates to promote mutual cultural and intellectual sharing among international students and American students, to promote the welfare of international students, and to work as a liaison between ISSS and international students.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/iscouncil

President: Cameron Sheehy

Advisor: Kauthar Gaber

Description:The Japanese Cultural Foundation works closely with Vanderbilt’s Japanese community and the Asian Studies Department to promote interest and awareness of Japan and its culture. Our operations are centered around monthly events where students interact with each other in a Japanese cultural setting. Some of our representative events include Japanese Haunted House, Cherry Blossom Viewing, and an end of semester destress event. Japanese Cultural Foundation also collaborates with the MLC and AASA to engage with the larger student body in educational and recreational cultural events.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/jcf

President: Esther Park

Advisor: Kauthar Gaber

Description: Spurring from a desire to highlight the experiences of students of color on Vanderbilt’s campus, the Hidden Dores Movement began in the spring of 2014 as a photo campaign to display instances of marginalization on campus. Now the organization has grown to encompass several committees that work to induce structural change in our university and stimulate conversations about the identities and marginalization of students of color at Vanderbilt.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/kusa

President: Marcelo Galeano

Advisor: Kauthar Gaber

Description: LACS is a school-wide organization that aims to bring together people from the geographical and historical areas of Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, and South America, as well as those who are interested or passionate about the region. They are a pluralistic and inclusive organization seeking to build community and cultural awareness among Vanderbilt graduate students and Nashville at large. They aim to serve as a gathering point for people of Latin America and the Caribbean, to be a support for international students from the region who are already in Nashville or are coming next year, and to make ourselves present on the Vanderbilt campus and in Nashville in diverse ways.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/lacs

President: Sam Chavez-Salinas

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: The Mexican-American Student Association (MASA) is a new student organization that aims to create a space for Mexican American members of the Vanderbilt community to meet, relate to one another, create community, and discuss their triumphs and struggles while representing and sharing their Mexican culture with others.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/lacs

President: Aya Abou Jaoude

Advisor:   Kauthar Gaber

Description:

The Middle Eastern Student Association strives to promote Middle Eastern culture
within the Vanderbilt community and greater Nashville area. The Middle East is unique both in its culture (food, music, traditions…) and current events, as the political scene has been rapidly changing over the past few years. For these reasons, MESA hopes to educate the Vanderbilt community and encourage a true appreciation of everything the region has to offer. Throughout the year, MESA provides opportunities for both intellectual conversations and cultural celebrations to engage and integrate Vanderbilt students and the broader Nashville international community.

Annual Events:

Mesa Festival – “Mahrajan MESA” is MESA’s largest celebration of the year, dedicated to
celebrating Middle Eastern culture and raising awareness about a current issue affecting the
region. Through a shared traditional meal, cultural performances, and visiting speakers, MESA is
able to engage the Vanderbilt and Nashville community to raise funds for an urgent humanitarian crisis
Dabke Night – “Dabke Night” is MESA’s main fall event, where Nashville’s Middle Eastern
community and Vanderbilt’s student body dance the night away and learn the Dabke, a traditional
Levantine dance.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/MESA

President: Olivia Dominguez

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: Growing from a desire to increase cooperation and communication among the existing multicultural student organizations and to establish a dedicated body to advocate for and to address issues facing the student community, LDIA, Vanderbilt Student Government, and other cultural organizations collaborated to initiate the formation of the Multicultural Leadership Council (MLC). The council is comprised of over 25 student organizations. It serves as a steering committee for the student organizations under its umbrella by implementing programs and addressing needs of the cultural minority students, as well as educating the Vanderbilt community on issues of diversity and cultural awareness.

Annual Event: InVUsion, the MLC’s cornerstone event, is a great opportunity to experience the vibrancy of Vanderbilt’s diversity. It’s an incredible day filled with singing, dancing, awesome food, and incredible people.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/mlc

President: Virginia Georgiev

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: The Vanderbilt NAACP Chapter works diligently to implement programs and events that cater to our organization’s national initiatives in order to seek justice and awareness of issues that affect communities of color. They are organized into three committees in addition to the executive board: Political Activism, Social Justice, and Community Service that each address issues relevant to the campus community and the greater Nashville area.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/vanderbiltnaacp

President: Ammar Zulqarnain

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description: The purpose of the PSA shall be to educate the Vanderbilt community about Pakistan through cultural showcases, social events, and educational seminars. The PSA’s ultimate goal is to highlight the different facets of Pakistani heritage and identity with its various nuances to eliminate stereotypes and promote harmony. The PSA aims to contribute to the intellectual diversity of the Vanderbilt community and create an atmosphere of acceptance at Vanderbilt.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/psa

President: Adrian Lapasaran

Advisors: Damisi Fawole

Description: PISO serves the undergraduate community at Vanderbilt University by providing opportunities for students to observe, participate, and share authentic aspects of Filipino culture. These include cuisine, couture, performing arts aesthetics, music, etc.

Annual Event: Kamayan Feast – Kamayan, in Tagalog, means “with your hands”, which is exactly what we’re going to eat with! A Kamayan dinner is a Filipino feast in which you eat unimaginable amounts of delicious food off of banana leaves at a communal table with just your hands. Don’t worry–we’ll give you instructions (and provide utensils if you want them). Join us for great Filipino food, to meet new people, and to experience a taste of traditional culture!

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/PISO

President: Sadhana Durbha

Advisors: Kauthar Gaber

Description: SACE is an organization made up of over 200 Vanderbilt undergraduates dedicated to representing, celebrating, and sharing South Asian culture at Vanderbilt and in the greater Nashville area.

Annual Events: Diwali-An exhibition of South Asian culture, Diwali is the festival of lights, a symbolic triumph of light and knowledge over ignorance and darkness. At Vanderbilt University, the Diwali program is a well established performance attracting around 1500 people from the Vanderbilt community and the greater Nashville area to watch as the members of Masala-SACE (South Asian Cultural Exchange) perform various cultural acts ranging from dances to musical performances to drama.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/sace

President: Nafis Ahmed

Advisor: B. Antonella Valdivia

Description:To educate the Vanderbilt community about the rich Bengali culture – a culture with which over 250 million people all over the world identify.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/vbs

President: Sophia Buzanis

Advisor: Damisi Fawole

Description: Formally the Vanderbilt Hellenic* Students’ Association, Greek Club strives to be a space that not only connects us by our heritage but our love of strangers and friends. We strive for a space welcome to all those who enjoy Greek culture, the mediterranean lifestyle, food, festivals, dancing, and the occasional breaking of a plate, so come hang out with us! Show up to a GBM or hop on the list-serv to be kept in the loop about all things Greek club that you can show up to outside a GBM –  volunteering, Greek dancing, grabbing a gyro. The mission of the Vanderbilt Hellenic Students’ Association (VHSA) is to foster community, thought, and connection amongst Commodores of Hellenic descent and all members of the Vanderbilt community interested in Hellenic culture, language, and history.

*Hellenic: the original word for a person of Greek origin is actually “Hellene,” which means child of the sun.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/vandygreekclub

President: Etta Wang

Advisors: Kauthar Gaber

Description: Founded in 2007, the mission of VUCA is to promote Chinese culture and facilitate Chinese language learning across Vanderbilt undergraduate and graduate populations. VUCA welcomes everyone who is curious about, interested in, or in love with Chinese language or culture. Our organization is truly cultural, recreational, and educational. We host events with a mission to welcome students to the Chinese culture and engage them through meaningful, fun activities. Our events are a great opportunity for participants to not only enjoy the culture, but also each other’s company. Needless to say, participants at our meetings and Chinese Corners learn something new about the country, the language, or the culture each time before they leave.

Anchorlink: https://anchorlink.vanderbilt.edu/organization/vuca

 

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