Most Outstanding VSA of the Year: University of Maryland, College Park Vietnamese Student Association
What are the purpose and goal(s) of the VSA, and how has the VSA met or exceeded those goals?
UMCP VSA strives to be an educational and social voice for the Vietnamese American community on campus and in the D.C. area. Our success derives from the strength of our friendships and expansiveness of our alumni network. Recently awarded Mid-Atlantic’s VSA of the Year, UMCP VSA is repeatedly recognized for its innovation and accomplishments.
Address how the VSA was outstanding in the following areas: recruitment, marketing, outreach to campus community, use of resources (financial, etc.), officer training and event planning.
UMCP VSA saw a 68% increase in membership, raised $3,000 for the Catalyst Foundation (an 83% increase from the previous year), obtained $7,568.55 from various University funds for cultural programming, incorporated a new cultural event, VietVenture, and introduced directly responsible individuals (DRIs) and detailed excel sheets for event planning.
How did the group work to establish responsibility and accountability among its members?
UMCP VSA introduced DRIs, who are responsible for initiating the planning of their assigned event, presenting their plans to the rest of the executive board for feedback and changes, and recording all event logistics onto a compiled google sheet. To assist with larger-scale events, DRIs were put in charge of general member volunteers.
How did the VSA work together to maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses?
UMCP VSA remained adaptable and cooperative in finding alternative solutions to achieving their goals. When our usual phở restaurant canceled a fundraiser last minute, we planned a more successful bánh mì & Thai tea fundraiser. After our website got hacked, we redesigned a site that even better showcases the spirit of our VSA. Aside from staying focused on providing exceptional programming, the executive board valued bonding time outside of meetings via weekly eboard dates along with hang outs, study sessions and intramural sports with the rest of the general body.
Provide specific examples of how the student group demonstrated growth and development in the 2016-2017 academic year.
UMCP VSA transformed its annual magazine into a cherished memento by highlighting achievements through statistics and representing more members than previous editions have. We had the largest school representation (77 members) at MAUVSA Advance Conference 6 and had a full house at our culture show, setting a record for more than 350 individuals in attendance. Demonstrating reach expansion, one of our events even became an extra credit assignment for an Asian American Studies class.