UI South Asian multicultural clubs collaborate with national association

The University of Iowa South Asian Student Alliance and the North American Association of Indian Students are collaborating to create events on campus.



Orion Little, News Reporter

South Asian multicultural clubs are making efforts to collaborate on more events on campus.

Alongside the North American Association of Indian Students director Sudhanshu Kaushik, the University of Iowa’s South Asian multicultural clubs participated in their first event together in the aftermath of COVID-19 on Oct. 8.

Kaushik said he is traveling to college campuses all around the U.S to host networking events for multicultural clubs. He said the workshop tour is a joint collaborative effort with ZEE5, the world’s largest streaming service for South Asian content.

“We need to make sure we lift the stories of Indian students, as they make up the second-largest minority group on college campuses,” Kaushik said. “There is often a narrative being pushed, and we want to make sure that the students are heard on these campuses and bring their stories together. All of the multicultural groups are all so varied, but they are all important.”

The North American Association of Indian Students is a nonprofit organization which aims to improve the well-being of Indian American and international Indian students.

Kaushik stressed that all the experiences of South Asian and international students vary, but they are all under a common banner. Although the immense stress of COVID-19 has affected everyone, it has been especially hard on international students with the travel restrictions placed upon the U.S.

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“One of the most crucial things is the outreach to these students. We need to help lift their voices, especially in the aftermath of COVID-19,” he said.

Mastura Ibnat, president of the UI South Asian Student Alliance, said there was a great turnout with a little over 100 students at the event. She said the South Asian Student Alliance was just one of the various South Asian student organizations that got involved with the networking event.

“This was something like what I hoped to do since I first became president of the South Asian Student Alliance, but every time I wanted to bring it together, the fact of time and effort was brought back up. Of course, I wanted to accept and bring this event here,” Ibnat said.

Ibnat said the UI South Asian Student Alliance plans to host more events in the future.

“We want to have a similar networking event, but one that stretches for South Asian Students all across Iowa instead of just here, and I hope people from all departments and cultural backgrounds can come and experience it as well,” she said.

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