‘A little bit like a family’: A conversation with APCC student staff


By Jiratana Tungkawachara, OMN Photographer

Dylan Luong (he/him, front left), Stanley Lu (he/him, front right), Katelyn Nguyen (she/her, left back), and Eric Kong (he/him, right back) posing for a picture on the front steps of the Asian & Pacific Cultural Center of Oregon State University in Corvallis, Oregon on Oct. 6, 2022. The APCC is a space used for studying, club meetings and hanging out, open to all students regardless of ethnicity.

Abheer Singh, News Contributor

Let’s be honest, college jobs can feel boring and trivial, so it is understandable that student employees often carry expressions of fatigue and indifference. That’s what makes OSU’s Asian and Pacific Cultural Center unique.

The student employees at the Asian and Pacific Cultural Center are visibly enthusiastic. Their laughter and spirited conversation can be heard as soon as you enter the building.

Community Relations Representative Stanley Luu describes the working environment “a little bit like a family.” 

“Honestly sometimes working here doesn’t feel like working,” Luu said. 

Another Community Relations Representative, Eric Kong, shares similar sentiments. 

“This job is a lot more like home,” said Kong when comparing the APCC to previous employers. 

The APCC certainly has all the makings of a home. The center is equipped with a quiet room, lounge area, dining room, library and even a PlayStation 5. 

The brand new video game console is not the center’s most popular technology, Luu and Kong said. It is actually the printer which is known to draw in frequent student visitors, they said, who frantically make use of the free printing for last minute assignments. 

The family atmosphere at the APCC is by design. The staff have put conscious thought towards the role of the APCC, and they are constantly striving to make it a welcoming home. 

Leadership Liaison Dylan Luong said the center can help students who are feeling “lost.” 

Both Luu and Kong were initially involved with the APCC through cultural clubs, the Vietnamese and Cambodian Student Associations respectively. For Community Relations Representative Katelyn Nguyen, the APCC provided a quiet room where she could regularly pray. 

Last year, the APCC celebrated a historic 30-year anniversary. 

The center went through many changes over those 30 years, including three different physical locations. It was originally established as the Asian Cultural Center in 1991 inside Snell Hall. In 2003, it was renamed to the Asian and Pacific Cultural Center, and in 2015 it moved to its newest and current location. 

Who knows what the next 30 years hold, but the student staff plans to make the most of their remaining time at the APCC. 

Kong hopes to organize a powerlifting meet through collaboration with the athletics department. It’s his last year at OSU and he wants to make sure “we leave our impact on our community here.” 

Luong, who is from Laos, wants to organize an event to raise awareness about the ‘Secret War’ in Laos. And as welcoming as the APCC is, Nguyen believes there is always room for improvement. 

“I want to be more inclusive of all Asian identities,” Nguyen said. 

These were only a few of the many goals the student staff have for the remaining year. 

Luu explains that at its core, the foundation of the APCC is “just the community itself”.

It “really changed me,” he said with a smile.

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