John Cho, famous for his work on films such as the Harold and Kumar series and 2009’s Star Trek, spoke at Boston College on Feb. 1 as part of the Asian Caucus Cabinet Speaker Initiative. He spoke about his life and work in the film industry as well as addressed issues of importance for the Asian-American community.
This is the second example of the Asian Caucus successfully bringing an influential Asian speaker to campus—the first being George Takei last January. Through the success of these events, it is clear that the Asian Caucus has developed a strategy for securing speakers that should be emulated. By pooling funds from the eight cultural clubs that make it up, the Caucus is able to bring interesting and noteworthy speakers to campus that not only attract attention for the event itself, but also bring positive recognition to the Caucus.
As an organization whose mission is to “creat[e] a unified voice that is necessary to create awareness of issues that affect the Asian-American community,” the Asian Caucus has successfully used these notable speakers to bring those who might normally be uninterested in hearing a talk about Asian-American issues to their events. With fast-paced and tightly-scheduled college students as the main audience, one of the only ways to attract them to events and bring their awareness to causes is to grab attention with a name that draws people’s attention, just as John Cho did this past Monday.
Other student organizations and initiatives would do well to notice this. By focusing a great deal of the funds on one event, the Caucus is able to generate interest and success in a more meaningful way than if it had dispersed the funds among several lesser events. BC students, and people in general, are drawn to these larger and more notable events over small, underpublicized events. By focusing the majority of funds on large events, groups are better represented and develop a name for themselves that is synonymous with high-quality speakers and occasions. This, in turn, brings in more members and generates more interest, allowing the group to continue producing and supporting successful events.
Over this year the Asian Caucus has demonstrated skill and commitment in bringing two big-name Asian speakers to campus. Its skillful use of funds to support one event is something other student organizations should take note of, especially when trying to generate interest for their own specific causes.
Featured Image by Francisco Ruela