2016 Pitt SASE President Linda Zheng (right) with 2016 CMU SASE President Alex Chen (left)
WRITTEN BY LINDA ZHENG
I joined SASE my sophomore year after Preethi and I stopped by their table at the Activities Fair and decided to attend the first GBM. There were two things that kept us coming back: First, the people - it was a brand new and amazing experience to me to be a part of this diverse group of students who all connected over having similar ethnic backgrounds and academic interests, but at the same time were all unique individuals who did not let those sole qualities define them. Second, we heard that Miss America 2014, Nina Davuluri, would be at National Conference and we HAD to meet her.
Having grown up being the only kid of Chinese descent who couldn't speak Chinese really challenged my sense of identity. I clearly wasn't white, but I didn't feel Chinese. I spent my high school years laughing along with my friends of Chinese descent about how loud our parents got at Asian parties, but awkwardly silent when I got asked if I knew how to speak Chinese.
Joining SASE was truly the turning point in my lost sense of cultural identity. For the past two years, I've been constantly surrounded by the most amazing people who come from all sorts of different backgrounds and have encouraged me to embrace my heritage and use that pride to encourage myself to strive to be better. Because of SASE, I'm no longer embarrassed by "how" Chinese I am or am not. SASE has pushed me to achieve more than I ever could have on my own and I hope that SASE can do the same for you. <3
EDITOR'S NOTE: Linda Zheng served as the 2015 Public Relations Chair and the 2016 President for Pitt SASE. She recently graduated and all of us from Pitt SASE would like to thank her for her contributions to our organization.