Xavier University of Louisiana Vietnamese Association

Most Outstanding Cultural Program - Tet Night

Describe the cultural program and how it meets the mission and goals of the organization. Details MUST include: Date of event, number of participants, program purpose (i.e. goals and objectives), member involvement, use of resources, and marketing techniques. 

On February 9th, XULAVA hosted its annual Tet Night at Xavier’s auditorium. Our main goal of the event was to provide cultural awareness to the Xavier community as well as showcase our cultural traditions. Going to XULA, it is a HBCU or Historically Black Catholic University. We wanted to show our peers our Vietnamese New Years traditions and expose them to our culture in terms of music, food, games, and more. For Tet Night, we had over 100 people come. Most of the people there were Xavier students as well as members from different VSAs, who came to support XULAVA. We had over 10 volunteers, who were XULAVA members and other VSA members. We also had around 10 acts with a total of over 20 performers. Our XULAVA members were very involved and dedicated in setting up decorations for Tet Night and even helped out during the event for conducting the games or serving food. We had many games at Tet Night, such as pin the tail on the dog, fishing game, and Bầu cua. For entertainment, we had singers, Golden Lotus, and dancers perform at Tet Night.
For Tet Night, we submitted a budget for Tet Night in the beginning of January to Xavier’s Student Government Association and had these funds approved for the event. As an EBoard, we were able to secure a lot of food sponsorships from different restaurants to ensure that we had more than enough food for the people at Tet Night. These food sponsorships included Namese, Manchu, Pho Bang, Star Wok, Panda King, Cajun’s Seafood, Nine Roses, 3 Happiness, and Little Korea BBQ. In terms of marketing, we created the Hat Voi Toi Challenge, which means sing with me in Vietnamese. We challenged our members and other VSA members to sing a song in Vietnamese, English, or any language of their choice. The winner of the Hat Voi Toi Challenge would receive an extravagant gift basket at Tet Night. We promoted Tet Night on our Instagram but having each EBoard member participate in the Hat Voi Challenge and posting the challenge on XULAVA’s instagram in order to encourage our members to both participate in the challenge and go to the event. We would also showcase our food sponsors on social media, which also motivated our members to come to Tet Night to try the amazing and free food from the different restaurants. We wanted more Xavier students to come to our event, so we posted multiple flyers across campus. We would even talk to staff members individually to get them to come to Tet Night.

How did this cultural program serve the campus and/or community?

XULAVA’s Tet Night serves many purposes on Xavier’s campus. Although this event is re-created every year, we wanted to make sure that this event was special and unique from previous years. The ultimate goal for this cultural program was to promote cultural awareness, diversity, and inclusion within Xavier University. Due to underrepresentation of Asian-American students on campus, we wanted to create an event where it would provide a welcoming environment for all students of different backgrounds to come together for a special night. This created an opportunity for all students to learn from each other and become more culturally aware that our university is diverse. Our university has this ongoing issue of having a racial/ethnic divide between African American and Asian American students. We wanted this event to be an opportunity to lessen that division and promote unity between the students since we are all one student body at Xavier University. This event definitely garnered positive responses within the students and university.

How did the organization overcome any challenges that arose while planning and implementing the cultural program/event?

Initially, we started planning for XULAVA’s Tet Night a month or two ahead of time so that we would have a sufficient amount of time to get things done. However, we did have some difficulties with communication within the committees, which was eventually cleared out. It was also difficult getting certain things done especially since the event was during midterm week. However, we managed to get everything together at the end. In addition, we also had a hard time finding different types of entertainment performances, so we reached out to many of our friends. We also had an issue of finding food sponsors because we wanted XULAVA’s Tet Night to be a free event and didn’t want to drain our treasury. With the help of our EBoard and our interns, who went out to multiple restaurants asking if they would be interested in sponsoring XULAVA’s Tet Night, we were able to have an abundant amount of food for everybody at the event. Despite our challenges for this event, we all work together to ensure that we had everything that we needed for this event. This event required us to be more adaptable to many of our changes and persevere through all the obstacles that we had to encounter.