Most Outstanding Organization 2019 – University of Southern Mississippi Vietnamese Student Association (USMVSA)

MOST OUTSTANDING ORGANIZATION NOMINEE: USMVSA

What are the purpose and goal(s) of your organization, and how has it met or exceeded those goals?

USMVSA has always been very traditional, and we rarely venture out. However, USMVSA has marked new milestones!! Our original goal was to raise more money for CPP and make this year different, but we’ve done a lot more than our original goals. This year we have collaborated with other student organizations, danced for the first time ever at Date Auction, reached a PR for how much we raised for our CPP, and had more mini socials for our members! Normally, recruitment is hard for every VSA. That’s always constant. However, from interest meeting we recruited a whopping 67 members!!! We also had 56 people come to our first event, Welcome Back Bash! A lot of our members are very outgoing, so they approach randoms people on campus to talk about VSA. One of my personal goals was to be more connected within our community & campus. One of the ways we wanted to promote campus unity was collaborating with another student organization for an event. This year we collaborated the men of Sigma Nu Fraternity for a philanthropy event, VSA Sigma Noodles. This was the first time in USM’s history where a non-Greek and Greek organization come together to host such an event. We had live performances, delicious homemade phó, yummy desserts (pandan waffles), and even a vegan (mi xao)! We had such positive feedback from the campus community, and we hope to do it again! Another way where we tried to get involved within our campus was by participating in the community service event, Sweet Potato Drop. Every year student organizations come together to sort through sweet potatoes for families in need during Thanksgiving.

Address how your organization was outstanding in the following areas: recruitment, marketing, outreach to campus community, use of resources, officer training and event planning.

We also participated in the Big Event. The Big Event is when all of the student organizations go out and serve the Hattiesburg community! Not only did we try to be connected within our community, but we also tried to be involved within our GC Region. This year we’ve had a lot of members who go to other school’s events to support them. We also had the pleasure to host Egg Roll Bowl in Hattiesburg! We enjoyed working alongside OLEVASA and MSUVSA on such a great event!

How did the organization work together to maximize strengths and overcome weaknesses?

Since we are self-funded, fundraising is very important to us. This year we had the most fundraiser events we’ve ever had! In the fall, we had one fundraiser event every morning. In the spring, we had two fundraisers a month. We worked really hard for fundraiser so we can afford to have events such as laser tag, bowling, beach bash, etc. for our members. This year we reached our personal record for CPP as well! It may not be a large margin, but we are very proud of it nonetheless! When it comes to our events and USMVSA, eboard tries our best to provide what’s best for our members. We work really hard to make it a fun year for them. Eboard meets up every week to discuss events WEEKS in advance! When the time gets closer to our event, we sacrifice sleep to prep. We wake up early in the morning to personally cook all of our dishes as well! We hold monthly evaluations to communicate with each other about our personal growths and problems. This has helped us get closer to each other and grow! One of our strengths is our Southern hospitality! Everywhere our members go, we try to spread kindness and be outgoing! We have a lot of weaknesses such as videos, graphics, and t-shirt designs, but we still try our best to create the best content we can. We’ve never touched an editing software beforehand, but we learn everyday with new tricks and hacks!

Provide specific examples of how the student group demonstrated growth and development in the 2018-2019 academic year.

We haven’t had a specific moment where we showed significant growth. We grew the most throughout the year as a whole. Every event we learn something new, we learn things we need to improve on, and we learn things we shouldn’t have done. Every decision we make, we look back on the cons from the previous year and event to make our best choices. Our USMVSA went out of our comfort zones and tried a plethora of new things. For example, the date auction dance. We’ve never had a dance, but we tried to make one this year. Even though a lot of our dancers never danced, they still showed up to dance practices with the passion to learn.

Additional Comments (Optional)

We hope y’all learned a lot about our efforts and struggles from this year. And we hope y’all another great year in VSA!