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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 ten organizations listed below:

President: Risper Ochieng

Advisor: ReChard Peel, 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!


President: Iris Kim

Advisor: Melody PabonBrianna 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: Asian New Year Festival (ANYF) 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.



President: Ana Torres

Advisors: Brianna Antonella Valdivia Melody Pabon

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!



President: Dannielle Richardson

Advisors: Melody Pabon

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.


President: Ember Tharpe

Advisor: Brianna Antonella Valdivia, Greg Fontus

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.


President: Aya Abou Jaoude

Advisor:   ReChard Peel


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.


President: Olivia Dominguez

Advisor: Greg Fontus,

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.


President: Tamee Livermont

Advisor: Greg FontusBrianna Antonella Valdivia

Description:We have collected a small community of Natives at Vandy as part of our active membership, with many other AI/AN from around Nashville in our associate membership. Basically, our goal is form a social collective aimed at representing the least represented minority group on campus (that’s us!) and connect them with other Natives who might feel slightly isolated without federal- or state-recognized tribes nearby.



President: Adrian Lapasaran

Advisors: ReChard Peel,

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!


President: Sadhana Durbha

Advisors: ReChard PeelDamisi Fawole

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.


President: Viola Zhou

Advisors: Greg Fontus,

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.


Student Spotlight

Student Organization FAQs and Procedures