By: Arakel A. Arisian
“Car Wash! Come help support the Armenian Students Organization.” This is just an example of the many activities the Armenian students at Fresno State take part in. The Armenian Students Organization (ASO) continually tries to find new and interesting activities it can offer to its members. Last semester the ASO worked to build a strong foundation of interest in both Armenian issues and in the ASO itself. College life is very busy and that makes it difficult for students to be as involved as they would like. Still, the members of the ASO do a great job of staying involved and helping out. To those students, the ASO executive thanks you.
This semester the ASO executive is trying to achieve a balance between educational, cultural, and social events. As far as educational events, the ASO will to have a series of lectures and discussions about Armenian issues that students face. Many students donít know as much as they could about the issues that Armenians have to deal with. That is why ASO supports the Armenian Studies curriculum and tries to supplement it with discussion and debate. Some topics that the ASO hopes to cover include the Presidential situation, Nogorno Karabagh, and the Armenian Genocide.
The issue of the Armenian Genocide is probably our central theme this semester as far as cultural activities. The month of April is going to be, for the most part, dedicated to commemorating the Genocide. The ASO, in conjunction with other youth organizations in the valley, will educate the campus and the community on the Armenian Question. In addition, our goal is to remember the tragic event in the most special way possible. Some events includes a library exhibit, speakers, panel discussions, film showing, and a candle-light vigil downtown. Plans also include the building of a replica of the Armenian Genocide monument in Armenia. Please look at the schedule of events and keep an eye out for future activities.
The social function of ASO is probably the easiest to organize. Most of the ASO members are good friends anyway so it is just a matter of getting together and having a good time. Intramural sports is one the ways we get together. Right now ASOís intramural basketball team is 1-1 and hopes to make it into the playoffs with a victory next week. After basketball season ASO will participate in coed softball and coed soccer. In addition to intramurals, ASO also has other fun social get togethers. For example, the ASO did a number of things with a group of Ag students from Armenia. We went bowling twice, to pizza, and also to Laser Tag. It was interesting spending time with these students since we could share our stories with each other. What made it even better was that they had never gone bowling or to play Laser Tag. These are just some of the social gatherings that the ASO does. When the weather gets a little nicer ASO plans to have Shish Kebab Sales, Car Washes, and BBQ parties.
Besides all those things that the ASO hopes to do this semester it has many great ideas for the summer and next fall. Work on a statewide or nationwide Armenian Students Conference next October will begin soon. There also is much interest in visiting Armenia and some of the ASO members are thinking about planning a trip. The executive has also decided to have a ASO shirt made for all members. If anyone has any ideas or designs let us know.
The ASO has come a long way and hopes that it can improve itself and make it even better. If the balance of education, culture, and fun can be achieved then the ASO can truly be a place for all students with Armenian interest to come and belong.