Center welcomes new leadership

By Elizabeth Hill

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Students at the UA Asian Pacific American Student Center welcomed a new dean yesterday.

Cecilia ("Ceci") Lou was officially welcomed to the center with a luncheon reception attended by students and faculty.

She was appointed to a new position as assistant dean of Asian American student affairs.

Lou is formerly of Lubbock, Texas, where she was the student activities adviser at Texas Technical University.

Lou's position is new, said Jason Wong, political science senior and chairman of the board of directors at APASC. The center was formerly run by students.

"We decided we needed a professional, though," he said.

"I would like to make the center a more visible and viable part of the university," Lou said.

Lou said she decided to transplant to Tucson because of the position and found aspects of the job interesting, "particularly because it was focused on Asian students."

"It's a neat way for me to give back, to address issues that I had as a student," she

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said.

"I know that in college it can be difficult to find a place to fit in if the campus is predominantly white," she said.

Lou said there is now a strategic plan in place for the APASC, and it now has a mission statement.

"We're starting slow and letting people know we're here. At this point we're just trying to get on our feet," she said.

Despite the new addition, Wong said the student center is still understaffed.

"She is paid for half-time twenty hours a week but she usually works 40-50. It's not fair to her," Wong said.

Lou said she's talked to Dean of Students Melissa Vito about hiring another staff member. "I don't know when that will happen," Lou said.

Vito could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"Other cultural centers have three full-time staff members. I'm expected to provide the same things that they do," she said.

"According to statistics, we're the second largest minority population on campus," she said.

The other cultural centers are the African American Student Center, the Native American Student Center and the Hispanic Chicano Student Center.

Lou said she mainly wants the APASC to be a safe haven for all students, not just Asian Americans.

"It's for anyone who has an interest in learning more about different cultures and learning about themselves," she said.

"Identification development, that's the key piece here."

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