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Building a Community with PASA: Exploring the Online Exhibit

by Library News on 2023-08-01T13:28:00-07:00 | 0 Comments

Student Takeover Blog by Joanne Cabanlit, Library Student Ambassador

Last year, October 2022, to celebrate Filipinx American History Month in the CORE library building the Pilipinx American Student Association (PASA) collaborated with the Library Ambassadors to create an exhibit celebrating the 51 years of its existence. This exhibit is now available online featuring audio interviews, student stories, and previously unseen photographs from PASA's founder. Check out the online exhibit, "Building Community: PASA, 1972-2023."

Hello, my name is Joanne Cabanlit, and one of the student ambassadors for the library! I have been in PASA for more than five years and have been an active member, even an officer for one term. Showcasing the work done from October 2023, members of PASA along with the founding president of PASA, Randy Sabado, came together in celebration of Filipino American History Month, and put together a physical exhibit to celebrate one of the longest-standing non-Greek student organizations on our campus, the Pilipinx American Student Association (PASA) of California State University, East Bay.

In order to prepare the online exhibit, I interviewed six current PASA members to include their voices alongside the digitized artifacts that were donated by Randy Sabado and PASA. This included things like the CORE jacket, a memory book, outreach pamphlets, and even PASA stickers which were presented alongside Randy's photographs from the early 1970s. These artifacts and the voices/stories from PASA members help to document, celebrate, and share the impact and history of PASA at CSUEB.

Working on this online exhibit taught me the importance of archiving. I was able to collect artifacts and interview CSUEB PASA members to discover unique first-hand accounts of club history and learn more about Filipino culture. I learned how to classify and preserve these artifacts, resulting in an engaging online exhibit that will remain available for years to come. This experience provided me with valuable insights into the perspectives and narratives of Filipino students that are part of PASA.

Dane Lopez says that he learned about PASA and fell in love with the club because this was the first time he had seen a large group of fellow Filipinos together, and how he currently shares the same passion that old members of PASA felt.

Through this project, I have discovered the importance of connecting with people on a deeper level. An example of this would be the program PASA hosts called Pilipinx Consciousness Night (PCN for short). This is a theatrical production that promotes Pilipinx culture. PASA members participate in the dances and acting while getting educated on the background of the music and dance moves. Creating this space helps educate the members and watchers to learn more about the culture. These cultural dances gave me new insights such as how certain dresses and music came from various provinces and islands across the Philippines.

Hearing about PASA members' experiences and perspectives has significantly influenced my perception of the organization (PASA). In my previous involvement with PASA, I experienced burnout and weariness from my officer position as one of the Cultural Directors from the responsibilities being time consuming and having to host the return of live performance. However, working on this project has given me a newfound appreciation for the club and the influence of Randy Sabado, the founder of PASA (1972). It has inspired me to do more for PASA and its history.

Last year (2022) was significant for Randy because PASA was celebrating its 50th anniversary. Our goal last year as Cultural Directors for PCN (Pilipinx Consciousness Night) was to highlight the memories of creating the club. It brings me joy that we are honoring the founder and celebrating as a club. We weren't doing it only for ourselves, we were trying to uplift the club, the founder, and the organization.

I'm glad to be helping in researching and sharing this information with the CSUEB community. Sometimes important information in the archives can be forgotten if not shared. By showcasing and discussing this information, it can inspire new ideas and bring people together. Through connecting with the club, we are working towards improving both the club and the East Bay student community. Displaying the exhibit and creating an online version not only promotes the club but also showcases the culture. As the saying goes, "People join to build a connection" and being part of the Filipino club serves as a reminder of this.

Explore the exhibit here: Building Community: PASA, 1972-2023

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