Volume 27, Issue 2
Union of Vietnamese Student Associations
Back to School Time = Buying New Stuff Time Did you know…?
That Frank Tran doesn’t wear protection? Because there is no such thing as protection from Frank Tran. Save your babies. Lock your doors.
work and tests. *Sighs* Don’t
events we got coming up this
UVSA Internal PR
you miss those days? :P
Greetings fair ladies
We promise you won’t
and lads of UVSA Land! It’s that
regret it! UVSA is like the Foun-
time of year again! The last rem-
tain of Youth, I SWEAR it works.
nants of summer and the first
Just look at James Vu’s baby
stirrings of the brisk fall breeze
smooth skin, he doesn’t look a
always reminds me of Back to
day over 21! ;] Flip through
School season. It was one of my
our newsletter for a glance at
favorite times of the year be-
what’s going on in our commu-
cause it meant I would get to
nity or go straight to the back
see my friends again AND get
That UVSA is planning on giving the “U” a makeover?
new stuff for school. What can
Keep your eyes peeled for the new look! And contact us if you wanna help spruce the “U” up a bit! :]
was. Little did I think about the
beat that? Young and naïve, I fact that I was going back to SCHOOL, which means home-
for the Calendar of Events. Well you’re in luck! the past, because UVSA has the power to make you young at heart! So get out of that holey tshirt and sweatpants and check out all the AMAZING UVSA
Tết Trung Thu Em Rước Dèn Di Chơi! children; once the lantern is
Quoc Bao Tran
completed, parents will then
UVSA External VP
Inside this issue:
Hope to see you soon!
Those “good ole days” aren’t in
carefully place a candle inside of the lanterns and lit the candle
Back to School
Têt Trung Thu tt Trung Thu
VAHSA/UVSA Camp Recap
Camp Recap cont.
Meet our New IT/Media Coordinator!
Calendar of Events
Tết Trung Thu or the
up. Once the process is com-
Mid-Autumn Moon Festival just
plete, the child will then carry
passed us by and is one of the
the brightly lit lantern all over
most celebrated holidays in the Vietnamese Culture. This holi-
Tết Trung Thu is also a
day celebrates the appearance
time for kids to be kids because
of the full moon and in a Viet-
not only does this holiday help
namese folklore, parents were
families stabilize their ties but it
working so hard to prepare for
is also a perfect time for children
the harvest that they left the
to enjoy their childhood.
children playing by themselves. To make up for lost time, par-
In Vietnam it is a tradi-
ents would use the Mid-Autumn
tion for parents to help create
festival as an opportunity to
and work on lanterns with their
show their love and appreciation for their children.
town. Though today Vietnamese people all over the world are thousands of miles away from their homeland, they still carry on these cultural traditions to help maintain and pass on to their children and future generations to come.
Making It Happen, UVSA Style By An Nguyen Camp Registration Director With six years in the running, the new camp staff expected to approach year seven undaunted. Armed with experienced returning staff members and fresh faces hand -picked in a selective process, the camp staff geared up for what would be our seventh annual VAHSA (Vietnamese American High School Alliance) Camp, an outreach program aimed towards developing the leadership skills of our Vietnamese American youth. Following in sequence was UVSA Camp, its purpose being similar to that of VAHSA Camp's but for college students, in addition to training our UVSA staff for the upcoming year. By June, we had our team, we had the guidance, and we had the motivation. However, this year posed a new challenge: we had less than two weeks post-VAHSA Camp to prepare for its college counterpart. Eleven days, to be exact. This included gath-
The VAHSA Camp 2009 staff “bringing it in” at the conclusion of this summer's staff retreat
ering a new staff, processing registration applications, devising a new Tro Choi Lon theme, adjusting the program, and all else that entailed in the arrangement of VAHSA Camp, the difference being that for the preceding retreat, we had a preparation period of nearly an entire summer. The typical buffer zone between both camps is four weeks, meaning this year, we had only about half that time to pull everything together – or, to put it in the words of this year's camp theme – half the time to “make it happen”. August 28th came, and so did game time. 62 campers and 37 staff members started making our ways up to Camp Wasewagan at the crack of 8AM. Greeted at the campsite by echoes of “boom chicka boom-booms” and various barnyard animal calls, the staff could sense that it was going to be one energy-filled and high-spirited weekend, and we were right. Though it was our role to keep the attendees entertained throughout the program, the high schoolers delightedly returned the favor by actively participating in all the activities and responding enthusiastically. Throughout the “Super Trung Sisters” themed TCL (our Vietnamese spin-off of the classic Nintendo game), families strove to earn bonus “star points” by any means possible, including serenading station heads with boy band lyrics from the '90s. A hop, skip, and a jump later, we were back at the UVSA office, parting ways. After seeing off our last student, the VAHSA Camp staff shared one final meal together before heading into hibernation. Muscles aching and eyes squinting open again the next day, before any of us could fully ride out the post-camp high, it was time for Round 2.
"Glowing origami boats lit up the night as they prepared to set sail in a demonstration of culture"
With nearly one hundred applications to process and a Tro Choi Lon to revamp, there wasn't a moment to waste. The camp chairs (better known as MTV + Michael) assembled their team, and immediately every staff member kicked it into high gear. With just one staff meeting and eleven sleepless nights later, it was, once again, Friday morning checkin time. Volunteering as a staff member for these camps is truly a labor of love. We witness incredible bonds between strangers developing overnight, families working together to overcome obstacles as a team, explosions of laughter at Love Box messages that could Continued on Page 3
Volume 27, Issue 2
only be understood by a select few, shy individuals who in no time become camp celebrities... and we are content. This year, we worked double as hard and twice the pace in order to pull through, and we succeeded. Together, we made camp happen, and this intangible sense of accomplishment is greater than any material compensation that could be given. VAHSA & UVSA Camps 2009 – we made it happen!
There's only ONE real Love Box. Always imitated, never emulated.
Action Alert: Internet Freedom, Support Bloggers in Vietnam Background: Since September last year, the Vietnamese government has unleashed a massive campaign of arrests and harassment upon bloggers with charges of “propaganda against the state” and “undermining national security”, but in reality these bloggers were simply posting their writings critical of the government’s handling of the land sovereignty disputes with China over the Spratley and Paracel islands and the controversial bauxite mining proposal in Tây Nguyên. The crackdown escalated in late August 2009 as bloggers got arrested one by one. Here are their names and date of arrest: Nguyen Xuan Nghia, Nguyen Van Tuc, Ngo Quynh, Nguyen Van Tinh, Nguyen Kim Nhan, Nguyen Manh Son and Pham Thanh Nghien (September 2008). Blogger Dieu Cay (December 2008), Tran Huynh Duy Thuc, alias blogger ChangeWeNeed (May 2009), Bui Thanh Hieu, alias blogger Wind Trader (August 27), Huy Duc alias blogger Osin dismissed by the state-owned newspaper, Sai Gon Tiep Thi (August 27), journalist Pham Doan Trang (August 28), Blogger Sphinx (August 31) Nguyen Ngoc Nhu Quynh, alias blogger Me Nam (September 1). How you can help:
If you live in America, send a pre-written letter to your Representative and urge him/her to support internet freedom in Vietnam by co-sponsoring HR 672. Go to: http:// www.democracyforvietnam.net and click on “Take Action”
Spread the word and urge others to follow your great example When: Now Why: Because the 25 million internet users and hundreds of thousands of bloggers in Vietnam deserve freedom of expression and internet freedom.
Meet UVSA’s New IT/Media Coordinator! Full Name: Vuong Nguyen Position: IT/Media Coordinator at UVSA Nicknames: V Birthday: October 3 School: University of Central Florida Undergraduate 2003-2007, UCLA Anderson School of Management (postponed a year for residency) Major/Minor: Marketing, Management/IT Hobbies: Photography, Filmmaking, Flying kites, Jetskiing, Creative memorable dates, Video games with good stories, Adventure, Web development, Sailing, Making someone smile Past UVSA/VSA/VSU positions held: In FL: APAC Media/IT Chair, VASA Media/IT Chair, ASA Media/IT Chair, FSA Dance crew, also member of KSA and CASA Favorite UVSA Memory: When you smiled and I took a picture If you had to live without one of your five senses for the rest of your life, which would you choose to live without and why? Probably smell. Taste, I’d be missing too much. Sight because that’s my favorite. Touch/Hear not sure. Smell… because I have no choice.. I like the other ones more.
Calendar of Events
October 2009 Sun
1 CSUSB/UCR/ 2
Sat 3 Tet Trung Thu
UCI 1st General Meeting
7 UCLA/ USC 1st 8 Mt. Sac/ UCSB 9
10 UVSA Beach
1st General Meeting CSULA 1st General Hangout
11 UCI Capture
12 UCSB All You 13 CPP Boba/
14 CPP Movie
15 CPP Game
Can Eat Pho Night
17 UVSA Gala
24 UCSD Semi-
CPP Bowling Night
18 Tet Press Con- 19 ference
Formal Dance CSUSB Carwash
25 UVSA College 26 Fair
30 UCSB Hallow- 31 een Party