Southeast Asians Furthering Education

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safe04_05.jpgThe 04-05 SAFE logo graces the year's t-shirt.
Location
1100 Student Community Center (SCC)
Office Contact
530.754.6835
Listserv
<safe.staff AT ucdavis DOT edu>
Website
[WWW]http://thecenter.ucdavis.edu/safe/
Facebook
[WWW]http://www.facebook.com/groups/2200467473/?ref=ts

Southeast Asians Furthering Education (SAFE) is part of the Student Recruitment and Retention Center.

SAFE aims to empower Southeast Asian students to actively pursue higher education, retain Southeast Asian students currently enrolled in institutions of higher learning and engage parents in the educational process. Retention services provided include: study halls, academic workshops, old test database, retreats, and socials.

hsmtg.jpgA high school meeting to plan the week's visitations. Notice the piping of South Hall's underbelly.Outreach efforts will target Southeast Asian middle and high school students within the Sacramento area. The services provided include: college workshops, campus visits, conferences, parent workshops, and resources.

Through recruitment, retention, resource and referral services, SAFE will empower students to successfully enter into and graduate from institutions of higher education.

SAFE is located at the Student Community Center in the Student Recruitment and Retention Center

For more information, e-mail safe.staff@ucdavis.edu. We are always looking for staff members. You can volunteer to help us out and even receive transcript notation through the ICC or ASA units.

Structure

SAFE is a student-run student initiated organization made entirely by student coordinators and a team of interns and volunteers (VIP). SAFE composes one sixth of the Student Recruitment and Retention Center, which in itself is a department of Student Programs & Activities Center.

SAFE is loosely divided into three components: Resource, Retention, and Recruitment.

Resource

Retention

sealr04.jpgSAFErs on the Fall 2004 retreat.

Recruitment

apcw.jpgOn Asian Pacific Culture Night 2005, SAFE takes a group of high school and middle school student to dinner at Tercero's Dining Commons and then treats them to the show.

SAFE visits four high schools on a regular basis: Grant Union, Highlands, Florin, and Valley. We used to visit Luther Burbank, but since our point of contact has made vice principal and is too busy to support our activities, we no longer have the ability to maintain our presence. SAFE is present at one middle school, Samuel Jackman.

Communities Served

vietnam.jpgOur targeted communities trace their national origins to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam.Although SAFE targets certain primary communities, we do not refuse anyone who seeks us out wishing to enlist our services. These primary communities are those ravaged by the Vietnam War, groups from Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. These include Vietnamese, Lao, Cambodian, Chinese, Hmong, and Iu-Mienh.

Why do these communities deserve special attention? Imagine yourself as a farmer in Davis. All your life you've been farming and all your skill sets relate to farming and animals. Out of nowhere, the old Southern Confederate states suddenly declare secession again! But this time is different, they have no defined boundaries, and war's leadership are Southern peasants who wish to overthrow the government. A war breaks out and drags on for a few, terrible decades. Although the secessionists don't crush the conventional military, they succeed in frustrating American morale and inflict crushing losses. In a gutsy move, the U.S. arms its rural citizens to fight a guerrilla war. Now, knowing nothing about war and tactics, you overcome overwhelming odds by rescuing thousands of regular troops and crush superior forces in your battles. However, looking at the reality of the situation, people are dying everywhere, and you see no real reason why all of this is happenning. After nearly a generation of fighting, the Washington eventually falls apart under its own weight. As chaos rips the land, you decide that to escape the new regime (in some areas they've already "cleansed" so many people that the regular war looks pleasant), you have to escape the country. You grab your closest family and friends and prepare to flee. But before you do, you must evade vicious patrols that shoot on sight, the wilderness of the countryside, and the ubiquitous starvation. After the exodus, you join millions of other refugees in crammed sardine style ships in sailing to distant places you've never heard of. You're forced to assimilate into a radically different culture, learn a new language, find some means of support, and ultimately raise children. This is just a sample of what the first wave Southeast Asian refugees faced in the U.S.1 If such an occurence were to happen stateside, we'd probably at least have the fortune of traveling an open countryside instead of navigating thick jungles and the deadly Mekong River. Better yet, many countries speak English and most have an educated population exposed to some American culture. Of course, I know the scenario sounds ridiculous, such as the notion that the American government can implode, and then the following regime openly torturing its citizens, but this is what happened in Southeast Asia.

Coordinators

Every SRRC component organizes its coordinators in a different manner, but every group has an administrative coordinator, a Retention and Recruitment Organizing Committee Representative (RROC) (the RROC also functions as a Student Director), and a number of different retention and recruitment coordinators. Some groups have specific duties for coordinators, such as ACE's and Yikal Kuyum's retreat coordinators.

For the 2005-2006 school year, SAFE staffs a RROC Rep, administrative coordinator, two retention coordinators, two high school outreach coordinators, and one middle school outreach coordinator. ALthough specific duties and areas are laid out, the coordinators function as a team and work collaboratively with each other and their interns to accomplish SAFE's goals.

2012-2013 Coordinators

2011-2012 Coordinators

2010-2011 Coordinators

2009-2010 Coordinators

2008-2009 Coordinators

2007-2008 Coordinators

2006-2007 Coordinators

2005-2006 Coordinatorscoord05.jpg04 June 2005 staff retreat, with coordinators present and future. Left to right: Ritchie Lee, Seng Moua, Diane Yang, Padee Vue, Yer Her, Mandeep Dhaliwal, Julie Nguyen, and Lucy Moua.

2004-2005 Coordinators

2003-2004 Coordinators2 3

2002-2003 Coordinators

2001-2002 Coordinators 4

2000-2001 Coordinators5

1999-2000 Coordinators6

Staff, Interns, and Volunteers

2000-2001 KEY STAFF7

History

Founded in 1999 by Kao Vang and the other RROC Reps: Laura Akers, Isis Castro, Jehan Clark, Christina Escobar, Yvonne Marsh, Javier A. Tarango, and Michelle Villaluz. Kao Vang was SAFE's RROC Rep. Prior to the SRRC, no component of the SRRC had functioned individually except for Bridge

There was a problem with image hsu.jpg. It probably has the wrong file extension.

hsu.jpgSeal of the Hmong Student Union.chopsticks.jpgAnonymous drawing. An original, slightly modified, hovers over the SAFE desk in 16 South Hall. Much of the SRRC's culture and administrative structure finds roots in UCLA's Student Retention Center. The UCLA SRC makes use of "mother organizations," established student groups that provide support for the fledgling campus department. Many people both oppose and uphold this model of structural support. SAFE is supported by the Hmong Student Union, currently one of the largest and strongest Asian Pacific Islander student UCD clubs. Kao Vang was a member of HSU, and with her initial support, SAFE became predominantly staffed with HSU members. Although that trend continues today, SAFE is beginning to reflect more of the Southeast Asian community. Our goals has always been to further the educational needs of all Southeast Asians.

To the outsider, SAFE's most visible reflection of change can be seen in the coordinator titles that we hold. In the past there have been rigid titles that attempted to clearly define a person's role in managing strategic goals. It's not clear how strongly past coordinators adhered to those titles, but titles are beginning to matter less and less in the SRRC. We commonly refer to each other as being "resource, retention, or recruitment" instead of our formal titles. You can also notice how different areas fade and fold into others, especially the "transfer student" and "peer mentorship" positions. Recently, SAFE has decided that these are auxilary to the programs of other campus organizations. For example, clubs on campus have better and stronger peer mentorship programs than SAFE, owing strongly to the fact that those clubs are easier to identify with than SAFE. Since there are so few Southeast Asian transfers on campus, SAFE has decided to scrap a formal component and serve that population on a case-by-case basis.

Diane Yang is currently the youngest RROC member, in terms of both age (DOB 07 November 1986) and school year (sophomore). Correct me if I'm wrong, but she's also the youngest RROC ever to sit on the committee.

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