Most Outstanding VSA of the Year: University of Texas at Arlington Vietnamese Student Association
What are the purpose and goal(s) of the VSA, and how has the VSA met or exceeded those goals?
VSA is a student ran social organization that celebrates Vietnamese culture through means of dance, sports and other events. The goals of our local VSA was to support these purposes while also presenting them in a welcoming and fun way. Our VSA is not usually big when it comes to member participation but members not only had fun but also felt welcome and wanted to engaged in future events. Every way to celebrate our Vietnamese culture while also doing it in a fun way was ran successfully and smoothly. Both Dance and sports were organized while also seeing its most member participation ever yet. Our events were also organized in a way that would be memorable and members loved how efficient it ran.
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.
This year member recruitment was its biggest yet. Usually Freshmen would be the bulk of new recruits but this year was a mix of all ages and of different backgrounds. No matter what belief or culture they belonged to, members have actively come out to all our events. Members grew a passion for VSA and always returned for more. Our social media was used more in our Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. This year was the first that all our major events had a special photo shoot that included all the officers. Because of it we seen the most contact by other organizations and events. The University offers various events to participate in and this year we participated in its major events including One Night in Asia where we performed with a traditional dance. We won 2nd place in that even and the dance was so popular that other events have contacted us to perform for them as well. We also sold Vietnamese cuisine during that event where it was popular among students. With big events like Asian Olympics and Date Auction lots of financial resources were used in planning and executing those events. Budget planning plays a big part in preparing for those events and while we seen the most resources used for those events, they were ran successfully and efficiently. Officers is important in running VSA and this year we saw it important that officers can communicate and feel comfortable with each other. The officers have created a bond unlike any other and because of it issues were resolved smoothly while also keeping a special friendship with each other.
How did the group work to establish responsibility and accountability among its members?
Of course the officers cannot make members do anything to support the organization but they can successfully promote and gain the love from them. VSA was ran in a way so that members can enjoy the organization while also gaining their trust. Like for road trips we made sure that members were safe and had fun during events. Then for local events we made sure that we were organized and made it easy for members to participate. Events were ran so smoothly that members look forward to more events and even wanted to actively support us.
How did the VSA work together to maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses?
Since our VSA has gained so much member recruitment and the organization had gain the trust and love of the members, they actively wanted to support in any way they can. Team work played a role and with the organization running efficiently, it made it easier to spread the work load. Of course no matter how prepared the organization may be there will always be stress. But with so many members supporting us and all the officers dedicated to put in the work, there was sympathy among everyone to make sure that events ran smoothly. Each person no matter if they were an officer, member or just a friend, had something to support the organization.
Provide specific examples of how the student group demonstrated growth and development in the 2016-2017 academic year.
Member recruitment seen its biggest yet this year and with families also seeing its most active year yet. Members take an active role to participate in all events and put in effort to socialized with other members. Events like Secret Santa and other socials had its biggest member participation yet while also keeping the event friendly, fun and engaging. Date Auction gained more popularity and had ran smoothly including more diverse performances, more memorable moments and a special guest JR Aquino performing for the members and visiting schools. All of which is an big improvement from last year or wasn’t included until this year. Asian Olympics our biggest event that sees participation from players from all over the country. The event costed a lot of resources and planning yet the event still ran smoothly thanks to careful planning and profit was made for the organization. Also players praised how smooth and fun the event was and promised to come back when UTA VSA host Asian Olympics again. Then at our End of the Year Banquet, it was emotional for all members and officers. The event was ran by the new interns which haven’t been done before. Yet even with new interns the banquet was memorable and fun that ended the year with a good finish. This year our VSA has never been this active nor have created so many memories that all members will cherish forever.