By Leah Terry
This semester, The South Asian Student Association (SASA), has commenced as a new club on campus. The purpose of SASA is to promote diversity within the Sewanee community, and to increase awareness about various South Asian cultures and religions. SASA is inclusive, meaning membership is not restricted only to students of South Asian origin.
The club officers are Roshni Walia (C’14), president; Georgia Skerman (C’15), vice president; Harry Yadav (C’16), secretary; and Jinni Tran (C’16), event planner. The faculty adviser is Rohan Kalyan.
“We’re trying to promote diversity and knowledge on campus,” Walia said. “We’re trying to get everyone together to learn about the culture.” She brought up examples of the things the club would be informing people about, such as Sikhism – a religion recently brought to the public eye when a shooting occurred at a Sikh temple.
The club plans to host small information events to help promote cultural knowledge of different regions in South Asia. These are intended to be small, informal meetings. Bigger events – such as festivals, where students can sample the food of a different society and can experience different traditions – are also being planned. SASA hopes to co-sponsor events with other clubs as well.
“I have high hopes for this club,” Skerman commented. “South Asia is fascinating region. There are innumerable opportunities for celebrations that we can hold in Sewanee such as Diwali (the festival of lights), and Holi (the festival of colors). Aside from celebrations, we hope to show movies, give talks, and cook South Asian food. I hope that this club gives everyone a chance to have great times while opening them up to new experiences, new cultures, and hopefully new interests.”
Meetings are normally held Tuesday evenings at 7 p.m. upstairs in McClurg Dining Hall and will be held bi-monthly, with additional meetings being scheduled as necessary. Anyone interested in SASA could simply attend meetings, or officially join the club. SASA currently has about 20 members, but is looking to increase its member base. If you are interested, contact Roshni Walia at firstname.lastname@example.org