APACC: Annual Report 2021-22
APACC provides a safe and welcoming space for Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, Southwest Asian, North African, Middle Eastern. Southeast Asian, and Desi students, staff, faculty, and the community. We are multiracial. We are transnational adoptees. We are queer and trans. We are survivors. We have disabilities. We are allies. Collectively, our experiences contribute to the enrichment of CSU. APACC provides educational opportunities to learn, to build community, and to find joy. We honor generations of stories and histories; learning from the past as we transform our futures together.
In the 2021-2022 academic year, there were 2,040 visits to the center. Visits may be for any reason, including to study, be social, relax, meet with a professional staff member, check out a prayer rug, or use the shared kitchen area. Visitors are asked to record their visit once a day no matter how many times they return. Of these 2,040 visits, visitors represented over 26 different Asian Pacific Islander Desi American (APIDA) and Southwest Asian North African (SWANA) ethnicities.
In order to keep APACC's visitors and team safe and to ensure that the work that APACC does is intersectional, two points of pride include that all professional staff are Safe Zone and Victim Assistance Team (VAT) trained.
Staffing, funding and COVID-19 are areas of importance that APACC navigated this year. The need to support marginalized staff, reduce the labor of staff voluntarily serving on searches and the large numbers of marginalized staff leaving recently emphasized the need to develop strategies to support and hire from within.
Careful navigation and support of professional staff and student staff to reopen for in-person events was important as shown by event attendance numbers this year.
Hiring loomed large on the list of needs for AAPAC this year. New hires included a Student Success Specialist, who then transitioned directly to the open Assistant Director position.
Forecast for the Future
Continued Programs and Initiatives
- APACC remains committed to sustaining and expanding existing programs, including Ram Welcome activities such as Ram Ohana Welcome, Open House, Welcome Bag delivery to all new first year students living in the residence halls, and Community Welcome.
- The center will continue to facilitate Chai to Understand, a discussion forum that promotes dialogue and understanding of APIDA and SWANA experiences.
- The Peer Mentor program will persist in providing valuable guidance and support to both first year and new transfer students as mentees and returning students as mentors.
- Community Development Programs will be ongoing to foster a sense of belonging and engagement within the APIDA and SWANA communities.
- APIDA and SWANA graduate students, staff, and faculty gatherings will continue to provide opportunities for networking, collaboration, and community building.
- APACC will actively engage in organizing APIDA and SWANA Heritage Month activities in partnership with RamEvents, Aspen Grill, and Housing and Dining Services, and other partners across campus and in the community showcasing the richness and diversity of APIDA and SWANA cultures.
- The center will hold an annual Awards Ceremony to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of our students, staff, and faculty in addition to celebrating graduating members of the APACC community.
- APACC remains dedicated to supporting student organizations and advocating for students throughout the year.
- Throughout the year, APACC organized 71 events that attracted a diverse audience, reaching nearly 4,000+ attendees in total.
Improving Data Collection and Support
- APACC understands the importance of collecting and improving visitor data. APACC has established a norm of visitors checking in, by training student staff to emphasize the importance of data collection. This allows for better assessment of the diverse needs of communities we serve.
- A request for additional funding has been made to support post-pandemic changes, implement new programs, sustain partnerships with other SDPS offices, create spaces to meet the needs of SWANA, develop alumni engagement initiatives, and facilitate participation in the Colorado Dragon Boat Festival held annually in July in Denver.
- APACC is committed to advancing pronouns and Gender Identity work, supporting survivors on campus, and access through fostering a supportive and inclusive environment in the office and across campus with campus and community partnerships.
- Continued partnership with the Native American Cultural Center (NACC) for a collaborative leadership retreat.
- APACC continues to work on increasing the visibility of the Southwest Asian North African (SWANA) communities through engaging in intentional conversations, providing programs, and presenting at conferences (locally, regionally, and nationally).
- APACC is exploring the possibility of continuing to provide a Breakthrough Burnout type of event for students in both fall and spring semesters.
- APACC hopes to revitalize Story Circle, a supportive space for discussions about identities and experiences within a predominantly white institution. This space centers APIDA and SWANA identified undergraduate and graduate students, staff and faculty.
- Continue to develop programs and opportunities to engage alumni throughout the state and elsewhere, especially in preparation for celebrating APACC’s 40th anniversary in 2024.
2021-22 APACC Programs
Feeling the burnout of students and staff returning to being in-person after working and being remote for so long, the Assistant Director coordinated the first Breakthrough Burnout program. Working with campus partners, the program incorporated painting, plants, yoga, a rage room, massages, counseling support, and food. Participants had different ways to destress and learned how to cope with stress through tactile and low sensory options.
Collaboration with RamEvents to visit the Meow Wolf Museum in Denver to meet artist Eriko Tsogo, a Mongolian American DACA artist who has artwork featured in Meow Wolf. Tsogo also visited campus to engage in a workshop called the Green Mask Project where students created artwork that was connected to cultural identity from recycled products which were showcased in APACC.
The Director continues to serve as a co-chair for the university-wide Disaggregated Identity Data Subcommittee with Marianna Walsh (Registrar’s Office). The subcommittee’s initial work centered around pronouns and name pronunciation using the NameCoach app and with pronouns and gender identity work happening in the Banner system. Marianna worked with the Pride Resource Center and with CSU-Pueblo for an agreed-upon list of both pronouns and gender identity and works with the Banner system. Work is underway to create a page in RamWeb for students to be able to add/update data. Next phase is to include collecting more specific disaggregated demographic data into the Banner system.
The network continues to grow, and we continue to find ways to build community on campus and find joy in togetherness.
Based on one student's desire to host a Ramadan Iftar event on campus, this joyous event came to life. With student leadership and support from a variety of partners, APACC and Black/African American Cultural Center (B/AACC) staff, consultation from Hiba Abdeljalil in Residence Life, the Muslim Student Association, Residence Hall Association, and the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, this event was held on April 8, 2022 with more than 300 people attending, including past CSU President McConnell, and other executive level administrative staff. APACC and B/AACC continue to provide spaces to support our growing Southwest Asian North African (SWANA) communities. We hope to be able to find ways to continue this new tradition and support the CSU and Fort Collins Muslim community.
Story Circle is a supportive space for discussions about identities and experiences within a predominantly white institution. The co-facilitators are staff from the CSU Health Network. This space centers APIDA and SWANA identified undergraduate and graduate students. Story Circle happened weekly in the fall and into the first several weeks of the spring. Story Circle does not collect attendance numbers because this is a private space.
APACC was able to submit and secure funding through student success initiatives with Ryan Barone to pay mentors for 2022-2023 year. This was an exciting opportunity for APACC to develop and revitalize the APACC Peer Mentor program.
With support from the Division of Student Affairs, Parent and Family Programs, Office of Admissions, Alumni Association, and University Advancement, the Director of APACC was able to reengage alumni in Hawaii and hosted a Meet and Greet for all new incoming and continuing students and their friends/families on the Big Island at the end of June 2021 and on Oahu in July 2022.