KA President, API social activist says goodbye

Shanice Davis, Features Editor

After attending CSUSM for four years, Andrea Aduna, Kamalayan Alliance (KA) President, leaves a legacy of advocating for diversity on campus and spreading awareness about the Asian-Pacific Islander (API) culture.

Aduna first attended CSUSM in 2012 after graduating from high school. At the time of her arrival, there was a lack of resources for API students, which inspired Aduna to get involved.

“Given the fact that there wasn’t enough representation forced me to really assess what I’m actually doing with my major [literature and writing] and what I’m actually doing with my time on campus,” said Aduna. “Am I just going to be a commuter and a body on campus? Or am I actually going to try to make a difference and make the most of my education?”

Since her freshman year and the many different leaders that KA has had, Aduna said that the campus has experienced much growth as a whole.

“My initiative for this year was solidarity. I didn’t see any kind of initiative having all the cultural organizations come together and band together and be a representation on campus as people of color [like now]. Whereas before, there was no kind of initiative, I’d never seen tabling events where people of color were all together communicating and really bringing themselves and their cultures together,” she said.

Even though representation for the API community has increased, Aduna said that more change can be done.

“I think the campus really restricts students in representation and different facets… But from my freshman year up until now, I’ve seen a huge growth due to the fact that the cultural organizations banded together and made sure that we are a voice that wants to be heard… you see us together and we’re a united front.”

Creating a safe space for not only the API community, but also other students of color, Aduna said her position as president has really helped solidify her understanding of what it means to be a voice for her community.

“I feel like I grew more in understanding what social justice really meant and how that is applicable to me with the positions I’ve held in the organizations,” she said.

The legacy Aduna is leaving behind is one that she situated around breaking stereotypes and furthering education on the API culture.

“I hope the API leaders really stray away from the model minority and really embrace the differences within the API umbrella and actually hold free events on campus that allow students to really feel at home,” said Aduna, “so that there is an opportunity to educate those about API identity, culture and history, especially Asian American history, since history books don’t really talk about API involvement in American history at all.”

“I hope that I’ve made an impact on the campus by making sure that I’ve given my all in terms of my work in the literature and writing department and in terms of my work in KA.

Andrea Aduna has made a lasting impact on the diversity and solidarity present in the CSUSM student body.