UWEC campus celebrates AAPI Heritage Month

Multicultural Student Services hosts numerous events throughout the month

Cade Fisher

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Photo by Cade Fisher

The Multicultural Student Services office, or MSS, at UW-Eau Claire, hosts multiple events to celebrate Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.

Violet Craddock, a UW-Eau Claire student and member of the heritage month planning committee, said the process for planning the events began in the fall of 2022.

“We have been working since November on these events. We did biweekly meetings and then separate subcommittee meetings to plan events,” Craddock said.

According to Integrated Marketing and Communications (IMC), from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 27, MSS hosted a craft night as the first event for AAPI Heritage Month. The event was held in the MSS resource center in Centennial Hall.

MSS is hosting a movie night from 5-7 p.m. on May 1, MSS in Woodland Theatre in Davies Student Center, according to the same IMC article.

Xia Xiong, the student services coordinator at MSS, said that creating the events for this heritage month is a time-consuming process.

“There are also a lot of little moving parts like a puzzle piece. In order to see the bigger picture at the end, we must strategically place certain pieces in the correct order so that things will work together at the end,” Xiong said.

The movie being shown is “Everything Everywhere All At Once,” about a Chinese immigrant who goes on an adventure through other universes and lives. The movie won seven Oscars according to the IMDb page.

From 5-7 p.m. on May 3 in the Cabin in Davies, MSS is hosting an open mic night. Finally, from 5-7 p.m. on May 11 in the Ojibwe Ballroom in Davies, MSS will be hosting an AAPI banquet. 

Xiong said campus events are important because they dedicate a place to promoting diversity and celebrating members of the AAPI community.

“AAPI Heritage Month is very important to celebrate because we have so many students, staff and faculty members that are from Asian American Pacific Islander backgrounds and we want these individuals to know that we value them,” Xiong said.

According to the U.S. Senate website, Asian American Pacific Islander Heritage Month was established during May in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush. The month is dedicated to honoring the contributions and accomplishments of Asian Americans, Pacific Islander Americans and Native Hawaiians.

The entire month was dedicated to being the heritage month from the Asian Pacific Heritage Week that was established in 1979 by President Jimmy Carter.

According to Xiong, MSS wants to create safe spaces and environments for students to feel valued. The organization specifically wants to make sure that people with AAPI identities feel honored and supported.

“I hope that students and the community will learn more about other cultures that they never knew about and also appreciate the different races and ethnicities in the world,” Xiong said. “I hope that the students and community will take advantage of the events that MSS has to offer because it really is a perfect opportunity to be engulfed in different cultures during that time”

To keep up to date with what MSS is doing on campus and what events are going on to celebrate each heritage month, follow MSS on the website and social media pages.

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].