Filipino American Student Association

Filipinx Americans at University of Michigan have a long history with the campus due to the University’s complex history with the colonization of the Philippines. Their involvement dates back to 1887, when Dean C. Worcester was part of a zoological expedition to the Philippines to investigate the wildlife in the country. He later would become Secretary of the Interior of the Philippines and was a staunch opponent of the Philippine independence from colonial rule. As a result of the Pensionado Act in 1903, Filipino/a students came to the U.S. in pursuit of a higher education to later serve as civil servants in their colonial government.  Filipina/a students first came to the University in 1900 and subsequently developed multiple organizations for international students on campus as their population grew. Here, the most prominent and recent organization for Filipino/a Americans is discussed. 

 

The Filipino American Student Association (FASA) at the University of Michigan was founded in 1987. It celebrates Filipino culture and identity and connects students to the Filipino community in Ann Arbor. The organization seeks to educate others about Filipino heritage and to show its importance of the increasing diversity in America. As one of the largest groups of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans in this country, FASA works to be sensitive and familiar with the numerous issues concerning the larger Asian/Pacific Islander/American community.

Today, FASA comprises Filipino American students, faculty and international students. It sponsors multiple cultural events pertaining to Filipinx culture each year and has more than 40 active members. They push to have a strong cultural awareness in their events and atmosphere and facilitate discussions of current events in the Philippines and the diaspora. It is also associated with the Midwest Association for Filipino Americans and the UAAO.

 

References

“Filipino American Student Association (University of Michigan) Records.” Mixed Material, 1993.

Filipinos in School. Michigan Daily. September 29, 1900. Volume 11, Issue 6. https://digital.bentley.umich.edu/midaily/mdp.39015071730803/35