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Meet Jordan Phan of Boston University Filipino Student Association in Boston University

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jordan Phan.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Ethnically, I am half-Chinese and half-Filipino. I grew up in the Bay Area in California, and I was raised in a diverse neighborhood. Even when I attended high school in San Francisco, I made many friends who were (and weren’t) culturally similar to me. So, coming to college, I yearned for that familiarity, a community that I can relate to. Naturally, when I saw the Filipino flag waving at our student activities fair, I headed straight to the table, not knowing how much this organization would mean to me, 3 years later.

The moment I realized what kind of organization this was, I didn’t hesitate to be as active as I could. I went to every dance practice, every family dinner, and ended up elected as the Freshman Representative. I joined the executive board the following semester, learning the ropes of how to run an organization on campus. The year after, I studied abroad, but that did not hinder my participation in FSA as I, a non-EBoard member that year, kept up and tried to help out as much as I could. For my junior year, I was elected President of FSA, the first non-senior President FSA has had in a long time. I was not afraid to dream big and pushed my EBoard to elevate our organization to new heights. This gave me the opportunity to empower my EBoard members to be the best leaders they could be, and we had a very successful year hosting brand new events and creating a new narrative for ISA: The World Is One. Now, for my senior year, I was re-elected as President, the first 2-term President FSA has had.

What drives me, and what has gotten me to where I am today, is my passion to celebrate culture, to empower others, and to create an inclusive community, especially at such a large university. I try to instill these passions with my EBoard members, and ultimately the whole club.

Has it been a smooth road?
Not always. There was a group of people who were against my election as President due to my lack of previous EBoard experience, and it almost split the organization into two. In the beginning of my first term, I had to prove myself to them. Everyone was skeptical, even though I was elected. I used their distrust in me as fuel to be the best leader I know I could be.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Boston University Filipino Student Association story. Tell us more about the business.
From the University’s point of view, FSA is one of the most active cultural organizations on campus. We host many events on campus. Our biggest event, ISA: The World Is One, is BU’s largest and longest-running multicultural show on campus. We strive to spread and celebrate the values of Filipino culture with the BU and Boston community, which means diving deeper than the typical dancing and cuisine that our culture is known for. Every year, we invite prominent Filipinos from all over to speak to our community about what it’s like to be a Filipino in their career field for our annual Lecture Series. We value family, tradition, empowerment of our members and the intersectionality of cultures.

We are also part of a larger Boston Filipino Network called District One, which is one of eight districts across the East Coast apart of the Filipino Intercollegiate Network Dialogue, Inc. Every Fall semester, we perform in Kamayan, a Filipino culture show where each school from District One performs. Aside from Kamayan, we attend other District One school’s events.

The Filipino Student Association at BU is so much more than a cultural club at a university. It is a pamilya (family in Tagalog), comprised of people who choose support each one another, no matter what happens, no matter where you are in the world, no matter how old you are. We all come together connected by the ideals of Filipino culture, regardless if we are Filipino or not.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
BUFSA has been growing exponentially ever since I joined, so I hope to see BUFSA’s member count grow. We also have been expanding our network within Massachusetts, so I see BUFSA reaching a larger community than just Boston University, with the help of District One.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Joseph Caluag, Rachel Dua

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