Asian-American Association to host Midwest conference

By Sandra Masibay

The Asian-American Association (AAA) will be hosting the Midwest Asian American Student Union (MAASU) leadership conference Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Holmes Student Center.

MAASU is an organization of students across the Midwest intent on addressing issues concerning Asian-Americans.

Representatives will be coming from schools like University of Michigan, Notre Dame, University of Indiana, University of Minnesota and University of Illinois. AAA is expecting 25 to 30 different schools at the conference.

NIU has 13 students registered to attend the conference because it is the host school. Usually attendance is limited to 5 students per school.

“This is an excellent opportunity to network with fellow students while sharing ideas about Asian-American issues,” said Jim Trentadue, AAA president.

“At the leadership retreat, there is a lot of student input. It is very intense,” he said.

Many of the students registered also are involved in other organizations on campus. Students can take the leadership skills they learn from the conference back to their clubs, he said.

“Sunday at 1 p.m., we are going to take part in a ‘Stop Sign’ display all over campus, especially in the (King Memorial) Commons. On each sign there will be printed different messages, messages against racism, etc. I encourage everyone to come,” Trentadue said.

“Stop Sign,” is the only part of the conference open to the general public and will be located centrally in the commons at 1 p.m.

A conference this size has never taken place for the Asian-American population on campus, Trentadue said.

“It is important because an event like this gives AAA recognition and puts DeKalb on the map. I’ve had a lot of students from Michigan, Minnesota call up and ask how to get here,” he said.

Many other issues will be discussed at the conference, including racism.

“I feel great about the conference. I want to meet new people and hear their different opinions, especially on racism in America,” said Syed Mansoor, a sophomore pre-engineering major.