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Asian Students Association Records

Identifier: MA.00395

Scope and Contents

This collection includes the founding constitution, meeting minutes, scrapbooks, event flyers, newsletters, catalogs, publications, and correspondence between the ASA and the administration. It also contains material from other Amherst clubs like the Korean Student Association and material from college contacts nationwide.

Material of particular interest may include proposals for the Asian and Asian American Resource Center and 5-College Asian American Studies conference, letters from the ASA to Presidents Ward and Gibbs, and material from the funeral of Maurita Tam.


  • Creation: 1972-2018


Conditions Governing Access

In general, there is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted.

Conditions Governing Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights prior to publication.

Biographical / Historical

The Asian Students Association (ASA) was established in 1972 with the primary goal to increase the self-awareness, self-expression, and representation of Asian and Asian American students at Amherst. Over the decades, this mission has taken the form of lectures, film screenings, cultural performances, and other celebrations. Some events, such as the Asian Heritage Festival or Asian Night Market, occurred on an annual basis, hosting guests such as Yuri Kochiyama. The ASA has also advocated for the creation of Asian-centered spaces on campus, such as the ASA office, the Asian Cultural House, and the Asian and Asian American Resource Center.

In addition to the ASA’s social activities, the group has advocated for the creation of an Asian American / Asian Pacific American Studies department at Amherst College since the 1970s. This movement brought the ASA into contact with advocacy groups outside of campus, leading them to host Asian American Studies conferences for the 5-Colleges and East Coast Asian Student Union. It also included advocating for the appointment of Amherst’s first Asian American administrator, Dean Rebecca (Bekki) Lee, whose records hold further information on this issue.


3 Linear feet (2 record boxes, 2 oversize flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Minutes, correspondence, publications, and posters related to the activities of the Asian Students Association.

Processing Information

As received from the ASA, these records lacked a clear original order. The collection was reorganized in 2022 by Gabrielle Avena (AC 2025) and was arranged by subject matter. Where possible, original file names were retained.

Gabrielle Avena (AC 2025), Archives Student Assistant
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299