A swarm of people occupied the halls of the Student Union patiently waiting for the multipurpose room doors to open. Beyond those doors were the members of Jam Asia, finalizing the setup for their annual “Culture and Fashion Show” on Friday, April 8.
“[The event] is essentially a week-long celebration of the Asian culture, through the talents of our students in the areas of fashion, dance and other performances,” said Kristine Rose, the public relations officer for the organization.
This year’s show aimed to help rebuild communities in Japan affected by the tragic events that took place last month.
The show began promptly at 8 p.m. with a brief greeting from the two copresidents, both of whom began throwing out free giveaways; including customized water containers, silicon wrist bands and “I <3 JA” T-shirts into the audience. By the end of the night, the 250 pre-set chairs were exceeded.
“We were so happy with the number of people that came,” said Carmen Siu, Jam Asia’s fashion coordinator. “When [the show] started, I was so nervous because the seats weren’t filled, but a minute later, they were.”
The same giveaway items were available for purchase outside of the multipurpose room. All proceeds went to the Japan Society to help rebuild the communities suffering from the recent devestation caused by earthquakes. Boxes were also distributed among the crowd during the performances for donations.
According to Siu, over $300 was donated by the end of Friday’s show. A total of $4,000 was raised by the Jam Asia organization within a time span of a couple of weeks.
The “Asian City” themed program was divided into two different acts, titled “Day” and “Night.” The first half of performances were traditional, slower-paced and casual, whereas the second “Night” half was meant to be more upbeat and energy-based, according to Angela Tso, the copresident of Jam Asia.
In addition to the acts performed by Jam Asia members, other organizations and teams made guest appearances. Among the wide range of performers, Male Call, The Warriors, Nachle New Paltz, Breakdance and Anime Club participated in Friday’s event.
“We were really going for diversity,” said Rose. “We wanted to incorporate as many people as we could.”
A great attraction to the event were the student-made designs and modeling.
In addition to the student-designed fashion lines, Jam Asia was sponsored $600 worth of gift certificates to YesStyle, an online-based Japanese fashion line with modern designs.
Eva Hernandez, a third-year psychology major who attended the “Culture and Fashion Show,” said she was mostly intrigued by all of the clothing that was displayed.
“I have such a knack for fashion,” said Hernandez. “It’s so amazing to know that students my age are making [clothing] so well. The Asian influence was a cool thing to see.”
With the show over and the intricate planning process finally at an end, the Jam Asia executive board intends to continue to support other campus organizations and participate in other programs whenever asked.
Ultimately, members of Jam Asia were satisfied with the turnout and the great talent exhibited at the event, said Tso.
“The minor glitches here and there didn’t matter because the final product was amazing,” said Tso. “We are so proud of our dedicated members. Now, we don’t know what to do with our free time.”