SAO Board – Fall 2014

SAO Board - Fall 2014

Hey everyone!

It’s been quite a while since we’ve updated this page, so we wanted to share some quick updates. Here’s the SAO board for Fall 2014, along with SAO members Quinn Wong and Alice Liu, and Haverford ASA board members Ching Li and Kelsey Owyang.

And here’s a little bit information about the SAO board members:

Oscar Chen – Co-President

Hello! As you’ve probably read from the header to this bio, I’m a junior who’s taken a liking to tinkering with computers and environmental studies in my time here. While that’s all fun and good, somehow along the way building the Asian community on campus has also become my side passion project. Ever since my time as a board intern, SAO and its affiliated groups have been an integral part of my Swat experience – in some ways turning my world upside down and challenging me in ways I had never expected, and in other ways being the most caring and supportive group of people there is.

Outside of SAO, I’m also an active member of the Intervarsity chapter here on campus, occasionally join the orchestra as a clarinetist, and channel my inner kid through intramural sports. In my spare time, I moonlight as an avid reader of science fiction and a way-too-dedicated NBA and European soccer fan. A few places you can find me: behind the ITS help desk, rummaging through old books in the SAO room, chowing down on Hiro Ramen in Philadelphia, or messing around on the piano in Parrish parlors.

Alpha Chau – Co-President

Before coming to Swarthmore, I started a philosophy club in my high school, where we sat around discussing grandiose questions every week. After every meeting, I left the school feeling like I had been looking through a microscope for the past one and a half hours. I felt personally separated from the issues and, more importantly, the people who are affected by them themselves. When I came to Swarthmore, I realized that SAO is a venue for bolstering the sense of connection I felt was missing. Being a part of SAO for these past two+ years, I have spread awareness of real-world issues, learned many nuances of leadership, and helped forge a connected community at Swat, all while learning about myself and about the friends that I made. I admire the fact that SAO allows you to learn and work with others as a community, and I hope to help make these on- and off-campus opportunities more accessible to my fellow students. In the end, my dream is for SAO to be a unifier of people: a community for creating friendships, a source of unforgettable memories, and a medium for voice and action.

Dan Lai – Secretary

Hey everyone! I’m Dan and I’m the secretary for SAO! I’m in charge of sending out the weekly digest and keeping the SAO room/archives nice and tidy. I don’t have a major as of yet, but I love biology. I first became interested in APIA issues while volunteering at a community health organization in NYC’s Chinatown for two summers in high school. Since then, I have become very involved with the APIA community at Swarthmore, and being part of SAO has really helped me reach out to people on campus.

As for what else I do here at Swarthmore, I am a Writing Associate and on the Ultimate Frisbee team. My hobbies include everything outdoors (hiking, biking, backpacking, camping) and Netflix (this is totally a hobby). Feel free to talk to me if you have any questions or just want to chat. I’d love to get to know you all!

Bryan Lin – Treasurer

Hey everyone!  I’m Bryan Lin and am the Treasurer. I joined SAO to learn about social and political issues Asian Americans face as I came from a sheltered suburb community that is predominantly Asian.  I am a potential Biology major and Music minor.  Besides SAO, I am involved in volunteering with Global Neighbors at CADES and work as the hosting intern.

If you have ideas for events, don’t hesitate to talk to me because I manage the budget and can get funding for you through SBC or the IC. Or if you just want to talk I’d love to get to know you!  If you have any questions or concerns you can email me at I’m excited to meet you all!

Meiri Anto – Political Chair

Hi I’m Meiri and I’m a junior at Swarthmore. I’m the political chair of SAO, which means I work to promote social justice and educate both myself and others about issues affecting Asians.  My preferred Friday night activity is going to a concert, food, and/or board games. I spend an ungodly amount of time on Quora, watching TED talks, and reading music blogs. I can’t function without two cups of coffee a day. My newest goal is learning how to play guitar. My favorite fruit is lychee, and I can make some mean fried Oreos. I think a lot about where I want to travel to and explore next. My MBTI personality type is INTP. Oh by the way I study computer science and economics.

Jigme Tobgyel – Social Chair/IC Intern

Hi! I’m Jigme and I’m the social chair of SAO, which means I’m responsible for organizing social events and SAO programs. I’m an economics major and a statistics and political science minor as of now. I became interested in APIA issues when I first came to Swarthmore and learned more about sociopolitical concerns in the APIA community. In addition to SAO, I’m also an intercultural center intern and a student academic mentor for Willets lower level. Talk to me if you want to know more.

Matthew Chen – Intergroup Liaison 

I ALL I’M MATTHEW. MATTHEW CHEN. I enjoy reaching out to all groups on and near campus and building community! This is my second year in SAO and Swarthmore and I’m majoring in Engineering with a Gen/Sex minor.  I hope my work in SAO eventually culminates in addressing the diverse, interonnected problems that not only SAO, but other marginalized communities in and around Swarthmore face. Come see me and we can talk about whatever!

Jessica Chen – Co-Publicity Chair

I’m Jessica, the co-pub chair of SAO, aka the poster person, and one of the two international voices on SAO board. Hobbies include reading and marathon movie watching.

Delfin Buyco – Co-Publicity Chair

Hey everyone! I’m Delfin Buyco and I am the other Co-Publicity Chair. I’m currently a sophomore and a prospective chemistry major. Being Filipino-American, coming from a low-income background, and coming from a ethnically-diverse neighborhood, I am interested in issues such as immigration, class differences in the APIA community, and access to higher education for marginalized people. Apart from SAO, I am a co-founder of SOLIS (the low-income group at Swarthmore) and a volunteer for Dare 2 Soar.

Leon Chen – Board Intern

Hey I’m Leon and I’m a freshman from Cupertino, California pursuing an Economics major. I enjoy long walks to Goodwill or Target, romantic board game nights with junk food, and free SEPTA tickets. In my free time, I attempt to barista at Paces, write rants for the Daily Gazette, and hide in the McCabe basement. I think people who eat plain Chobani are pretentious, yet I drink kale smoothies from mason jars. Issues that I’m interested in include gentrification, the false conception of “model minority,” and Pokemon.

Jenny Gao – Board Intern

Hey everyone! I’m Jenny and I am an undecided major from Cherry Hill, New Jersey. My official name is just Jenny because my parents were not aware of the formal “Jennifer”. At Swarthmore, I dance for RnM, write for the Daily Gazette, and work for Admissions. In my spare time, I organize my day on Google Calendar and watch The Office.

Kevin Lai – Board Intern

Hi everyone! I am Kevin Lai. I am from Dallas, Texas and currently a SAO Board Intern (SBI). I am a freshman, so my major(s) isn’t/aren’t set in stone yet. My prospective majors are Economics and Music (double major). I’m a pretty big music person, so you’ll probably find me playing alto saxophone or piano for the Orchestra, Wind Ensemble (next semester), Jazz Band, and Dramaboard Musical pits. So basically, chances of running into me at Underhill or McCabe are pretty high. I also play for the Swarthmore Men’s Ultimate Frisbee Team (Go Worms!). During my free time, I enjoy biking and kayaking (though I’m an amateur at both). If I’m super bored, I’ll end up playing computer games (but so far I haven’t really gotten to that point yet and it doesn’t seem to be a common occurance) at the SCCS Media Lounge. I am super excited for the coming semesters/ years to come! If you have any questions about me or about SAO, feel free to contact me. I’ll answer your questions the best I can. Also, I need tips about how to dress for the weather in the winter at Swarthmore… I have no clue how winter weather works here yet.

Ellen Liu – Board Intern

Hey! I’m Ellen Liu and I am a first-year SAO board intern. I am a prospective neuroscience or economics major. Besides SAO, I am a member of the investment team in SWATFinancial and pianist in music groups across campus. In my spare time, I enjoy listening to acoustic music, watching the Food Network, and sleeping. If you share my love for cats and zebras, offer me any type of Asian food, or watch the same Korean dramas as I do, I’ll be your friend forever.

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