Why SEA Admit
As Southeast Asian students, institutions of higher education were not made with our stories and needs in mind. Access to a college education is difficult and Southeast Asian students have historically experienced high dropout rates due to lack of representation, resources, and guidance. The Southeast Asian Admit Weekend (SEA Admit) serves to provide incoming UCLA freshmen with the tools and information they need to encourage them to pursue higher education. SEA Admit also cultivates a strong system of support within the UCLA Southeast Asian student community that serves as a reminder that no one is alone in their struggles and that we all have our community to push us forward. Our program uplifts our students by providing a sense of family and belonging, which is something that many students lack when they leave home and enter an environment completely unfamiliar to them
Our program began 15 years ago by students who felt the urgent need to help admitted students receive the resources that they need and open up a safe space where admits can explore their identities. Year after year, SEA Admit continues to grow, bringing in new students who are able to find their home within our community. Though our program began with only a few admits and staff members, last year’s program welcomed over 125 admits, with over 100 current UCLA student staff members who dedicate an immense amount of time to plan and execute a successful program. SEA Admit is organized and led completely by students, demonstrating the care that we have for new admits every year.
The Southeast Asian community at UCLA was established because of the importance of SEA solidarity and knowing the power of standing united when the odds are stacked against us. While we all may not have the same backgrounds, ethnicities, or histories, coming together as one community gives us strength and empowerment. The Southeast Asian Coalition, consisting of the Association of Hmong Students, United Khmer Students, Thai Student Association, Burmese Student Association, Malaysian Association of Students, Association of Indonesian Americans, Singapore Students’ Association, the Vietnamese Student Union, the Asian Pacific Coalition, and the Southeast Asian Campus Learning Education and Retention project, works together to put on events like SEA Admit, and foster community between these groups.