KSA, CASA block party encourages diversity
Published: Sunday, April 22, 2012
Updated: Sunday, April 22, 2012 16:04
Students of all races, cultures and ethnicities came out Wednesday, April 18, to celebrate the fifth annual Asian American student associations’ Block Party.
The block party idea came about because members of the Korean Student Association and the Chinese American Student Association wanted to showcase Asian culture in a celebration that would also attract people of all backgrounds. The event uses booths to showcase different cultures represented at UCF.
Students passing by unaware of the Block Party were drawn in. Lines began to form at 4 p.m. for the various activities, such as free food, interactive games and raffle drawings. The DJ played a mix of pop hits to get the crowd dancing.
“One thing about the block party is that we promote Asian awareness while still incorporating modern culture,” junior emerging media major Kevin Cheng said. “It’s a fusion.”
In the midst of students enjoying their chicken and fried rice, performers began to take the stage. Performances included the Shimmy Knights belly dancing team, Chinese fan dancers, a traditional Filipino dance from the Filipino Student Association, Tae Kwon Do, the ninjas of Sus Hi and hip-hop routines by dance crew Fresh Off the Beat. There were musical acts as well, like a string of vocal performances by Alex Chou and David Galindo, an acoustic performance by Patrick Kyi, and special guest and YouTube artist Clara C, who performed a few hits from her channel.
As students started to flock to Memory Mall, KSA and CASA volunteers were in place to help the party run smoothly by handing out tickets, signing students in and staffing booths. For one KSA member, just being able to volunteer was a great experience.
“This is the fifth block party but it is my first year volunteering, so just giving a helping hand where I am needed in order to have the best event possible is awesome,” junior health sciences major Laura Jankiprasad said.
For first-year members like health sciences major Ryan Quintana, seeing the block party come to life felt rewarding.
“I’m a freshman, so up until now I had only heard about the block party,” Quintana said. “Volunteering with Ron Hon [CASA president] and Dany Son [KSA president] has been amazing. They have worked so hard for months so it’s surreal that it’s happening right now.”