Student Group Programs

Below is a list of major programs that the Asian/Asian American student groups hold annually (generally listed in chronological order from September until May). In addition to these major programs, the Asian/Asian American student groups also host general meetings and plan many smaller programs including social events.

Taiwan Night Market

The first major event of the year is Taiwan Night Market, a simulation of the popular hot spots in Taiwan and other Asian countries. This event offers a night of games, karaoke, food, and exhibitions by some of our performance student groups. Taiwan Night Market is sponsored by the Taiwanese American Students Club (TASC).

Garba-Raas-Bhangra Dances

Twice a year, usually in the fall and spring, the Om-Hindu Cultural Council (OM) and South Asian Students Alliance (SASA) host a dance featuring the energetic styles of garba, raas, and bhangra.

Mid-Autumn Moon Festival

The Mid-Autumn Moon Festival is celebrated by many Asian cultures and by many of our student groups on campus. The festival celebrates the end of the summer harvesting season. Traditionally on this holiday family and friends gather to do a variety of activities such as admire the mid-autumn harvest moon, eat moon cakes, and carry lanterns.


In the fall the Muslim-cultural Students Association (McSA) celebrates the holy month of Ramadan. Comprised of daily Iftar dinners, educational events, keynote speaker, and more, McSA invites the entire campus to learn about Islam through this month-long religious tradition.

Islam Awareness Week (IAW)

Each January the Muslim-cultural Students Association (McSA) also presents a week-long educational program designed to enlighten the Northwestern community about the religion of Islam. IAW features firesides, educational booths, and speakers. McSA also provides hot chocolate at the Rock for students passing by in the cold Chicago weather.


Also known as the Festival of Lights, Diwali is a major Indian tradition that is significant in Hinduism, Sikhism, and Jainism. Diwali is sponsored by the Om-Hindu Cultural Council (OM) and consists of a puja prayer and luncheon.

South East Asia (SEA) Nite

SEA Nite is a collaborative cultural show promoting the culture and traditions of five countries of South East Asia: Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. SEA Nite is sponsored by Cili Padi, Kaibigan, Singaporeans and Friends, Thai Club, and Vietnamese Students Association (VSA).

Celebrasia Lunar New Year Show

Sponsored by the Chinese Students Association (CSA) and Taiwanese American Students Club (TASC), Celebrasia is the annual cultural show celebrating the Lunar New Year.


The SASA Show is the annual cultural show hosted by the South Asian Students Alliance (SASA).

Mr. Pan Asia

More than just a male pagaent, Mr. Pan Asia is an educational event that aims to debunk stereotypes against Asian and Asian American men by emphasizing the multidimensionality of our male students. Mr. Pan Asia is sponsored by the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC).

The Mela

Brought to you by the Om-Hindu Cultural Council (OM), the Mela is a program highlighting the religion of Hinduism through ceremonies, discussions, educational material, and speakers.

Holi Celebration

The Om-Hindu Cultural Council (OM) and South Asian Students Alliance (SASA) team up for this highly interactive outdoor event celebrating the Indian tradition also known as the Festival of Colors.

Thai Night

Thai Night is the annual cultural show hosted by Thai Club.

The Pinoy Show

The Pinoy Show is the annual cultural show hosted by Kaibigan.


The KASA Show is the annual cultural show hosted by the Korean American Students Association (KASA).

Bunkasai Festival

The Bunkasai Festival is the annual cultural show hosted by Japan Club.

Singapore Day

Singapore Day is the annual cultural show hosted by Singaporeans and Friends.

Island Wars

Island Wars is an afternoon of outdoor cultural games played by teams representing island countries in Asia including Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.

Dragon Boat Festival

As a replication of dragon boat racing popular in many Asian nations, the Taiwanese American Students Club (TASC) hosts spring boat races in the Olympic-sized swimming pool at the university aquatics center.

Powder Puff Charity Football

Balancing the male empowerment program of Mr. Pan Asia, the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC) offers a quarter-long women’s empowerment program. Two teams comprised of female students who participate in several weeks of practices and team bonding. The overall experience culminates in a football game in the spring. All proceeds from fundraising and donations go to a local charity benefiting the Asian/Asian American community in Chicago.

Keynote Speakers

With the assistance of the Student Activities Fee, our larger student groups are able to invite prominent speakers to campus. Past speakers in recent years have included Parry Shen, Kal Penn, Kaba Modern, SoReal Cru, Yul Kwon, Mira Nair, B.D. Wong, Ming-Na, Sanjay Gupta, James Kyson Lee, Russell Peters, Margaret Cho, Martin Yan, George Takei, Jin da MC, Aasif Mandvi, and the cast and crew of the Justin Lin film Better Luck Tomorrow.

Student Conferences

We occasionally host on our campus regional and national student conferences such as the National Asian American Students Conference (NAASCON), the Midwest Conference for the Intercollegiate Taiwanese American Students Association (ITASA), and the Vietnamese Interacting as One Conference (VIA-1). Our students have also attended leadership retreats and conferences for the Midwest Asian American Students Union (MAASU), Filipino Americans Coming Together (FACT), Midwest Association of Filipino Americans (MAFA), and Korean American Students Conference (KASCON).

Performance Showcases & Concerts

Many of our performance groups present showcases and concerts throughout the year. Brown Sugar and the Treblemakers, both a cappella groups, host their own concerts. Deeva Dance Troupe annually produces its own performance showcase in the spring. The performance groups can also be seen in several of the cultural shows described above as well as in campus events featuring other performance groups.

Regional & National Competitions

Several of our performance groups like the Bhangra Team, Deeva Dance Troupe, Hindi Film Dance Team, Mirch Masala, and even Kaibigan participate in competitions regionally and nationally. Our teams often place high including a several first-place finishes over the past few years.

Donation Drives

Many of our student groups plan various donation drives during the year. Such drives include clothing drives, toy drives, book drives, and blood/bone marrow drives. Beneficiaries range from local communities and organizations to those that are national.

Spring Formals

Each spring our student groups plan two formals at venues in downtown Chicago. The South Asian Students Alliance (SASA) plans one formal while a conglomerate of groups plan the other formal.