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Armenian Students Organization Strengthens Sense of Community

Diana Gasparyan

Staff Writer

ASO at the Annual Christmas Party in December. Photo: ASP Archive
ASO at the Annual Christmas Party in December.
Photo: ASP Archive

In the past several months, ASO members have volunteered in the Armenian community and attended socials that have helped the student organization grow and strengthen their sense of community.

Since its establishment in 1974, the ASO has attracted many passionate members each year, who are always excited to help better the Armenian community. “The importance of the ASO is keeping a sense of Armenian community and culture alive,” said President Lucie Ekezyan. “If there is no effort to preserve and advance it, then it will slowly fade. With ASO, we prevent that.”

On November 14, 2015, ASO members volunteered at the Charlie Keyan Armenian Community School 38th An-nual Banquet. ASO treasurer Aramayis Orkusyan commented, “I’m always excited when an opportunity arises to help out in the community. We not only get to keep the culture alive in ourselves, but we also get to play a role, no matter how minor, in an event that will keep the culture alive in the younger generations.”

Another key way in which the ASO brings the community together is through social events. One of the main socials of the year is the Annual Christmas party held at Holy Trinity Armenian Apostolic Church. On December 18, 2015, friends and family gathered to enjoy a night full of joyful celebration.

“My favorite event is our Christmas party,” said sophomore Rosie Terpogosyan. “We all had a great time with each other. There was a lot of dancing, a photo booth, and delicious food!” Social events are always important to strengthen bonds and build a better sense of unity within the ASO.

More recently, the ASO attended a soccer match between Fresno Fuego and the FC Ararat Yerevan team from Armenia. The match took place on Thursday, February 18 and a crowd of more than three thousand attended. Junior Hourig Attarian was one of the many ASO members present cheering on FC Ararat Yerevan. “The soccer game was so great because there were a lot of Armenians coming together and supporting the team,” Attarian stated. The encouragement was apparent, with dozens of Armenian flags being waved throughout the stadium.

ASO members are eager to partake in many more events coming up in the Spring 2016 semester such as a Woodward Park social, a trip to Shaver Lake during Spring break, and the Armenian Genocide commemoration week.

Everyone is eager to see how the organization will grow with its new members and new ideas. The warmth and spirit of the Armenian people has been alive for centuries, and ASO brings it to our small Fresno community.