Stony Brook University’s annual Asian Night featured a Buzzfeed theme this year and served as an interactive, performance-based event intended to celebrate the Asian-American Pacific Islander community and showcase Seawolf talent.
From solo acts to team dances, ballroom dancing to BuzzFeed-inspired skits, the night was filled with excitement and energy.
An estimated 600 people were in attendance at the event, which was coordinated by the Undergraduate Student Government and run by the Asian Student Alliance (ASA).
Many of the guests were active members within the Asian community at Stony Brook, including performers and loyal ASA general body members, while others attended purely for the entertainment.
Jenny Yang, a sophomore double major in Linguistics and Asian-American Studies, is one Asian-American student who grew interested in getting involved early in her undergraduate career.
“Once I came to Stony Brook I wanted to emerge myself back [in] to my Asian roots,” she said.
Having grown up abroad and in Albany, Yang said she was mostly surrounded with people of Caucasian descent.
As a result, she joined multiple clubs to raise awareness about the different cultures and events celebrated by the Asian population.
Yang is currently an ASA representative, and the Handler of Public Relations for the Korean Student Association (KSA).
“A lot of planning took place months before [the] event,” Yang said. “The night was very hectic, but it was an awesome night.”
As a result of “unforeseen circumstances,” according to Yang, the event got a late start, leaving some students frustrated and irate.
“To be honest, I was pretty annoyed, especially since there were no explanations for the delay,” junior psychology major Meiling Li said.
She said that it was possible the announcement simply was not loud enough, but that she enjoyed the performances nonetheless.
Jacky Chen, a senior Applied Math and Statistics major and president of the Philippine United Student Organization (PUSO), said, “Despite our best efforts in preparing for the show in a timely manner, testing microphones and stage lighting for example, there were still unanticipated technical errors.
Thankfully they did not detract from the audience’s overall enjoyment of the show, and we hope to take what we learned from this year’s performance to make an even better event in the future.”
“My cabinet and I really tried our best to make sure the night ran smoothly,” Yang said.
The featured artist of the night was YouTube singing sensation, Jeni Suk, from California.
ASA announced Suk as the special guest a few days before the event took place.
“Our special guest performer, Jeni Suk, showcased her talent with a keyboard and vocal performance which was absolutely phenomenal,” Chen said. “She seemed to have enjoyed Stony Brook as much as we enjoyed having her.”
Li, who is also a general body member of both the Japanese Student Organization (JSO) and the Chinese Association at Stony Brook (CASB), said that she had not realized it when Suk came onto the stage.
She said that people in the crowd were excited to see Suk.
Yang, who was Suk’s self-described “bodyguard/liaison,” mentioned that the singer’s sound check ran much later than expected. For this reason, neither KSA’s video clip nor the lingerie modeling was shown.
Even so, the night closed on a positive note, with PUSO Modern putting on a lively, high-energy performance.
The group will be performing Sunday’s set at the Prelude EC 2015 Urban Dance Competition on Dec. 6, as well as in New Jersey at an event hosted by the Project D Dance Company.
“The audience went wild and left with a bang,” Yang said.
James Kho, PUSO’s “Modern Head,” performed alongside PUSO Modern, Ballroom and Cultural on Sunday.
“This year, we wanted to not just give an explosive performance, but also give the audience something to think about and reflect on,” Kho said.
Kho said this new set focuses on the idea of “love,” as well as all the different forms it takes, whether it’s love for your significant other, friends, or family.
He said that the group had been preparing for Asian Nights for well over a month, and that many long hours and stressful practice sessions were needed to bring the set together.