MAASU Invades IU

Imagine walking down the street and suddenly being faced with a huge pack of Asian Americans students. If you can imagine this scene, you might have some idea what some 36,000 IU students saw when MASSU took place here in Bloomington in the Spring of 1996.

What is MASSU? It stands for Midwest Asian American Students Union and it hosts a spring conference every year at a chosen college. The conference is designed so that Asian American students can learn more about their heritage, but also have the time of their lives hanging out with friends and going to such events as concerts and ice cream social.

With great speakers and famous acts, IU really provided for the sixth annual MASSU conference. Such people as Frank Chin, a highly controversial Asian American writer, Nobuko Miyamoto, who performs her famous show “Grains of Sand,” which was a multimedia feast for the eyes and ears, and even Star Trek: Voyager’s own Garrett Wang made an appearance. All these speakers and performers held workshops in which students could go to learn more on Asian American topics and culture such as the asian generation gap, asian sexuality, and they even snuck in a workshop on politics.

Wait, MASSU was not without the good times either. There were many fun events to attend such as the ice cream social and the Asian American Bandstand (a concert). But the largest social event by far was the last formal dance, in which students dressed up in their best, ate elegant cuisine, and danced through the night.

MASSU was also not without it’s purposes and truths. Many events were held in order to honor those Asian Americans who had struggled to gain the first Asian American rights and also to honor those who passed on before their time. A candle Light Vigil was held at Showalter fountain to read such exciting and sorrowing points in Asian American heritage. And of course the Solidarity March. This march united all of the Asian American students in an effort to bring attention to our needs and our causes. A huge pack of students marched throughout campus and chanted “Asian united! We’ll never be defeated!!!” There was a power emmited from each and every member as he or she screamed for their needs and concerns.

MASSU 1996 was a big success and it showed in the faces of all participants. Many groups and individuals contributed to the success of this great conference and on behalf of everyone we thank you for the memories.

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