Founded in the early 2000s, the primary goal of Asian Culture Society (ACS) is to provide a place for students to share and learn about history, art and culture of Asian countries. 

President and Vice President

Avani Higuchi, a third year digital design major from California, stepped up to take on the role of president this year.

Higuchi has been a member of ACS since her freshman year at RIT. 

“[During the Covid pandemic] I was looking on CampusGroups for different clubs,” Higuchi explained. “I came across Asian Culture Society and I fit the description, so I was like, okay, might as well join.”

During her sophomore year, she joined the club's e-board as secretary. Once elections came around again, she decided to run for president. 

While ACS has multiple e-board positions, a lot of responsibility falls onto the president. Being ACS president means helping lead general meetings and event planning.

“[We all work together as a team but], there also are instances where me and the [vice president] are doing a little bit more background planning and discussing,” Higuchi explained. “Our team is very open to a lot of different suggestions, it makes planning events easier. People are very excited, or very dedicated to the club and making our events work out, so I think that's really nice.”

People are very excited, or very dedicated to the club and making our events work out

The role of vice president is currently held by Jonathan Leung, a third year film production major.

As vice president, his role is to help provide assistance to the president and be a bridge of communication for everyone. 

Leung joined ACS when he first came to RIT in 2020. Since this was during the start of the pandemic, in 2020, he found the group through an online club fair.

“[I] always knew I wanted to be a part of the e-board,” Leung stated. “I never knew exactly what I wanted to do, I just wanted to help and be a part of it.”

Leung started out as treasurer before moving to his current role as vice president. 

Events and Fundraising

In addition to general meetings and other activities, ACS has two big events each year. One of these is "Running Man," which is based on a South Korean TV game show.

“At this event, members participate by forming teams of 5 and playing many types of games to compete for a prize,” Leung explained. “These games might include lawn games, rallies, bracket style competitions and more.”

The other is a larger collaboration event called the Night Market. Through this event, ACS brings a Night Market, commonly found in Asian countries like China and Taiwan, to RIT. 

ACS pairs up with other culture clubs and sets up booths around fountain park, allowing them to showcase their cultures through food, crafts and games.

“[We] tried to emulate [night markets], we had food or craft stalls,” Higuchi explained. “After, we had a larger performance from club members.”

During the performance section, the clubs showcased their culture either through dance or song. Some of the performers from Spring 2022’s lineup included performances from the Latin Rhythm Dance Club, Black Awareness Coordinating Committee and Vietnamese Student Association among many others.

“I think it was really nice at the end to see the performance and things like that, I would say [the experience is] rewarding,” Higuchi said. “It was nice to see everyone come together and feel very passionate.” 

 “It was nice to see everyone come together and feel very passionate.” 

There are other events that are held as well, like the club’s maid café that takes place during Tora-Con.

Outside of culture events, ACS does a handful of fundraising. This includes selling stickers or stationery to help raise money for club outings or other causes. 

“We donate a lot of our proceeds,”  Leung explained. 

The club has donated to causes that focus on Asian mental health or organizations that help victims of hate crimes.

Mentor Mentee

Members of ACS can become affiliated with a mentor through the club’s "Mentor Mentee" program.

The goal of this program is to match underclassmen with upperclassmen to receive support for various things, whether it be academically, socially or finding job opportunities. 

The process is similar to speed dating, where a mentee can meet potential mentors and see if they are a good fit.

 “We do activities and events [so] mentees [can] get to know different mentors,” Leung explained. 

After this, the mentee will fill out a form of their top five choices for a mentor. From there, the ACS e-board will assign the pairs. 

What Makes The Club Special?

E-board members help make the environment of an ACS meeting welcoming for everyone.

At their first meeting of the 2022-2023 school year, e-board members allowed every new member a chance to speak through a bag toss game, where everyone got to introduce themselves.

After each introduction, every member of the club would cheer.

Existing e-board members create a passionate environment to assure everyone feels welcome and has an escape from the stresses of college. 

“There's a reason I like putting so much time towards ACS,” Leung stated. “[Despite being busy] I still always find time to provide for ACS just because I find it fun. It's the people I've met, the experiences and trying new things. It's all that while being around people that you like to hang out with.”

I still always find time to provide for ACS just because I find it fun.

As president, Higuchi hopes that the club continues to grow and bring in more people. 

“I just want to meet new people and make new friends or connections,” she said. 

Those who are interested in joining can find out more about the club on CampusGroups or attend the ACS general meetings that take place every Friday from 4:00-5:00 p.m, at the Reading Room (1829) located in the Student Alumni Union.

During these meetings, members can socialize and meet new people. There are also a variety of crafts and activities that are put together based on different Asian cultures. You do not have to be Asian to join the club; meetings are open to everyone.