The UO Vietnamese Student Association is a student-led program that aims to raise awareness about Vietnamese and Vietnamese-American cultures throughout campus and the Pacific Northwest.
VSA is an ongoing project of the Vietnamese community here at the University of Oregon. Its mission is to inform our peers about our transnational heritage and the diverse experiences of being Vietnamese, as well as to deepen our own understanding of it by facilitating dialogues between members and visitors. We aim to do this through implementing interactive educational events designed by our executive team with the consideration of pertinent social issues. When attending VSA gatherings one should expect to enter a diverse community that is respectful of everyone’s individual experiences and backgrounds.
VSA is a nonpartisan organization, but we fully recognize our role in the collective effort to challenge oppressive institutions. Our mission statement is in alignment with groups that strive to address the relationship between identity and community; to promote individual agency and personal growth; and to thereby develop a vision of a sustainable society going forward.
Through collaborating with other groups on campus, we hope to contribute to the UO community and expand it as one that is pluralistic, respecting one another’s differences and commonalities, regardless of race, gender, age, and class.
VSA hosts a variety of events throughout the year. Our annual events include Phở Night, Lunar New Year Celebration, and Vietnamese Culture Night. We endeavor to create interactive, educational, yet fun events that we hope will be memorable for our guests.
Weekly general meetings are a convergence point for UO community members, where they can socialize and learn about a topic of the week. Our topics are staff-picked, self-researched, and finally, are also presented by members of our team. With each topic we hope to spark critical discussion about identity in relation to broader cultural contexts, and together perhaps redefine what it means to be Vietnamese today.
VSA’s biggest event of the year, Culture Night, serves to illuminate the richness and complexities of our heritage through narratives and performances. With this event, we hope to advance the understanding of Vietnamese culture on campus and in the Eugene community as a whole. Watch our Culture Night recaps on YouTube.
VSA is open to everyone and anyone who is interested in learning more about the Vietnamese experience. From intimate workshops to community assemblies, our organization seeks to create a second home for our members and welcome them to the extended family of NW VSA. There is no formal membership process – one can simply attend any of our meetings and/or connect with the group on social media to become part of VSA.
Over the course of the year one is bound to learn something new about Vietnam, its people, and most importantly – oneself. Many alumni look back at VSA as one of the most memorable parts of their experience at the UO. We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing community of people who believes in and supports our purpose!
The UO Chapter of UNAVSA is honored to participate in annual leadership conferences and galas with others to recognize our collective achievements throughout the Northwest region and as well to collaborate on intercollegiate events.
UO Multicultural Center
We are privileged to have our own office space inside the Multicultural Center, which affords us opportunities to work with other student groups on multicultural events and stand in solidarity with one another.
ASUO Funded Program
On the 17th day of May 1990, the Vietnamese Student Association was formally recognized by the Associated Student of the University of Oregon (ASUO).
One of VSA’s main goals is to advocate for marginalized voices through philanthropy. We fundraise year-round for a charity of our choice. All profits from Phở Night and our other food fundraisers go toward the cause.
VSA4Kids is a program designed to teach children of Vietnamese descent about their culture and history through language lessons and game play. The children in VSA4Kids range from preschoolers to early teens. Meetings are held biweekly and children are encouraged to participate in our major events such as the Moon Festival, Lunar New Year and Culture Night.