Get to Know SASA: The South Asian Student Association

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Published September 11, 2019
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The Montclarion
Rocky joins SASA to celebrate a successful event run by the club. Photo courtesy of Jasmine Thomas

For students who long to be a part of a student-run organization that brings a community and diversity on Montclair State’s campus, while forging a family one meeting a time, meet SASA, the South Asian Student Association.

Junior information technology major Jasmine Thomas is SASA’s president. She explained that the organization was renamed to welcome more members of Montclair State’s community to their organization.

“We were previously known as ICC, which represents Indian Culture Club,” Thomas said. “But we changed our name so the organization can be more broad and diverse and not only relating to India.”

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The Holi Celebration event left a lasting impression on students and their white T-shirts, which were covered in stunning patterns of color.
Olivia Kearns | The Montclarion

The main purpose of SASA is to spread cultural awareness by hosting events, preparing traditional South Asian meals and celebrating holidays. General meetings are held every Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in University Hall, room 2004.

Rohan Gandhi is a sophomore business administration major and vice president of the organization. He emphasized the value of inclusion and diversity on Montclair State’s campus.

“SASA promotes the South Asian culture around [Montclair State],” Gandhi said.

The treasurer of SASA is Samadur Rahman, a junior computer science major, and the secretary is Shahil Patel, a sophomore business administration major. There are still two positions available: cultural chair and internal public relations.

 

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Members of SASA pose together before sharing a meal.
Photo courtesy of Jasmine Thomas

“I’d like to believe that SASA has helped [Montclair State] become more of a diverse campus,” Thomas said. “Our organization is not limited to only South Asian students, we welcome any student that is interested in learning more about South Asian culture and what we advocate.”

During the fall semester, SASA will host numerous events occurring on campus, such as the Diwali festival, a haunted hunt, an event celebrating the Eid festival and even a lip-sync battle.

Last semester’s Holi celebration was a huge success as students from all walks of life threw colored powder into the air to celebrate the beginning of spring.

All of SASA’s events are promoted through social media, word of mouth and co-sponsoring with other organizations on campus.

“There is a group called Asian Pacific Islander Heritage,” Gandhi said. “We co-sponsor events together and promote our clubs and the clubs’ main purposes.”

Through these shared events, the groups bring their members together to enjoy the festivities among new friends.

Khusbu Rana, a senior computer science major, joined the club during her sophomore year and enjoys the variety of events that SASA organizes throughout the semester.

“My friend told me about it and I found it interesting because they have lots of food and games,” Rana said.

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Students gathered around participating in SASA’s “Chat and Chai” event.
Photo courtesy of SASA’s Instagram @sasamsu2

Thomas agrees that there is something special about SASA and its mission to contribute to new understandings of South Asian heritage.

“SASA is not similar to any other clubs or organizations on campus because this is the only organization on campus as of right now that promotes South Asian culture and awareness,” Thomas said.

For more details about SASA, contact Jasmine Thomas by email athomasj39@montclair.edu or follow SASA’s Instagram and Facebook pages.

Students can also look at SASA’s Hawk Sync page for more information about the club.

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