Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass AASA’s Asian Night takes over the Mullins Center

One of the University’s largest annual cultural events boasts consistency and grandiosity
UMass Lion Dance Club opening Asian Night. Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian.

This past Saturday, April 22, the UMass Asian-American Student Association held its 39th annual Asian Night: “Memories in Motion.” One month ago, the cultural RSO announced the event would be held in the Mullins Center, possibly suggesting this year’s rendition could be its biggest Asian Night event to date. The previous longstanding tradition is that the event is held in the Bromery Center for the Arts.

The Daily Collegian previously reported that the SGA had granted AASA $25,000 in emergency funding to go towards “the unexpected booking of the Mullins Center.” The lure of a projected “4,000 attendees” and the reputation of the event as a necessity for the UMass Asian community was convincing enough for the Senate.

“There were many obstacles and challenges out of our control,” AASA fundraising coordinator, Kalley Hou said. “But I am so proud of how [the e-board] handled such difficulties with grace.”

UMass AASA’s executive board onstage. Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian.

The theme of this year’s Asian Night was “Memories in Motion,” with an emphasis on the power of nostalgia, childhood and reminiscing.

Compared to last year’s Asian Night, this year’s theme was not as evident in the programming. 2022’s event, “Found in Translation,” tied in well with guest artist Eugene Lee Yang’s discussion panel on identity and the inclusion of more diverse performances. The theme for 2023 seemed to be diluted by the grandiosity of the Mullins Center venue and corporate involvement, in addition to being absent from the emcee script. Even still, AASA certainly nailed the retro aesthetics in promotional materials. Its promotion video centered around childhood footage of e-board members and narration about what it means to be “home.” The original photography and graphic designs used in promos calls to AASA’s dedication to memorable branding and outstanding marketing.

In usual AASA fashion, attendees could line up before the event to earn their chance to win miscellaneous prizes from brand sponsors and partner establishments. “What was 2021’s Winter Ball theme?” an e-board member proposed to the crowd. With the answer of “Into the Enchanted Forest,” one lucky winner received a $50 gift certificate to a Boston-area Hunan cuisine restaurant. The strength of AASA’s organizational arm is evident with the inclusion of major corporate sponsors such as the Boston Red Sox and Panera Bread.

The stage set-up allowed for one side of the Mullins Center to be used, while patrons were instructed to occupy only the center seating area. The first 200 attendees received an AASA t-shirt, an AASA sticker and novelty erasers, as well as various food and drink samples.

On the setlist were local acts such as UMass Lion Dance, Dhadak, Holy Street, KDC (K-pop Dance Club), Audrey Gabriel, 5:Dirty Crew, 4TISSMO, Indian Classical Arts Society and Rice Paddy Heroes.

UMass Indian Classical Arts Society performing at Asian Night. Dylan Nguyen / Daily Collegian.

Headlining guest artist, Tiffany Day, was an energetic force. The up-and-coming singer had a setlist of her hits, such as stand-out “IF I DON’T TEXT U FIRST,” which has garnered over 10 million streams on Spotify since its release. Day’s upbeat and poppy discography lands her somewhere between artists like Tate McRae and Niki. Accompanied by just her drummer, her youthful and vibrant vibe was enough to fill the arena and was the perfect choice to close out the night.

Asian Night is always a success because of AASA’s stringent preparation. Its organization and professionality as an RSO is one to be admired, with preparation for large-scale events starting more than a year in advance. With so many moving parts, it is obvious that AASA has a serious eye for detail.

Kalley Hou recalled the e-board feeling “touched” to see the crowd get out of their seats to dance. “It’s things like this that drive us to give back to the UMass community and continue to strive for greatness for years to come.”

You can learn more about UMass AASA at @umass_aasa on Instagram and on its website at

James Rosales can be reached at [email protected].

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