Dear First-Year Student,

On behalf of the Pan-Asian American Community House (PAACH) and the Asian American and Pacific Islander (“AAPI”�South Asian, East Asian, Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander) Community, welcome to the University of Pennsylvania! We are so glad that you have decided to join the Penn community and we welcome you to our family!

In Fall 2000, PAACH was established in response to community needs and grassroots activism.  Several years of student, faculty, and staff effort culminated in Fall 1999 when the Asian Pacific Student Coalition (APSC) led an ad hoc committee to launch the campus-wide campaign that finally led to the formation of a resource center.

PAACH serves as the central resource for advising Asian American and Pacific Islander students, student organizations, and their activities.  As a part of the Division of University Life, PAACH is committed to creating an environment for success and growth in addition to your academics.   We also collaborate with our academic partner, Penn’s Asian American Studies Program (ASAM), to provide co-curricular events focusing on Asian American research, culture, history, politics and social issues.

Student organizations have served the AAPI community’s cultural, social, educational, spiritual, and political interests at Penn for decades. The AAPI community at Penn is vibrant and diverse, with over 65 organizations that you can join! A good place to start would be the Asian Pacific StudentCoalition (APSC), which exists as the umbrella organization for 19 AAPI student groups at Penn and represents the interests of the AAPI community to the larger University.

PAACH also offers the PEER Mentoring Program – the only mentoring program on campus specifically geared to addressing the needs of incoming first-year students who identify as AAPI or who are interested in AAPI culture. Our mentors are outstanding student leaders in student government, Greek life, arts and athletics, and academic fields who have been selected to participate in this program.  PAACH also supports Asian Pacific AmericanHeritage Week, which will be celebrated the week of November 4th.

We are here to answer your questions, point you in the right direction when you first step foot onto campus and support your success in whatever way necessary.   To hear what students have to say about PAACH and the cultural resource centers, you can visit our website throughout the year, read our student-run Tumblr, follow us on Twitter, or become a fan of PAACH on Facebook!

When you arrive on campus please stop by and introduce yourself�we are located on the second floor of Houston Hall, Suite 240.  Our annual Open House will be held on Wednesday, September 12, at 2:30pm in the Class of ’49 Auditorium in Houston Hall and is an opportunity to meet members of our AAPI community at Penn. 

Have a wonderful rest of the summer!  We look forward to meeting you in the beginning of Fall 2012! 

Best regards,

Peter Van Do                          Sheilla Cervantes                          Kusum Soin
Director                          Associate Director                          Office Coordinator



Wednesday, September 12th
2:30pm – 4:30pm
Class of ’49 Auditorium, Houston Hall 2nd floor
Come join us at PAACH’s annual Open House!
Meet new students� or catch up with old friends!
Meet the PAACH staff and learn about PAACH resources.
Find out what the Penn APA community can offer you!
Refreshments will be served.

The Promoting Enriching Experiences and Relationships (PEER) Mentoring Program focuses on the adjustment of first year students to college life, specifically life at the University of Pennsylvania. PEER mentors emphasize identity development, emotional health, academic success, belonging, and community consciousness. Additionally, PEER seeks to help first year students develop their leadership skills in preparation to become leaders in the Penn and Penn Asian Pacific American (APA) community.

PEER Info Session
Friday, August 31st 
2pm – 3pm
LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce Street 

The Asian Pacific Student Coalition is an umbrella group representing 19 undergraduate groups on campus.
Read their welcome letter and check out their website.

APSC Freshman Meet and Greet

Wednesday, September 5th
8pm – 9pm
LGBT Center, 3907 Spruce St.


November 4-11, 2012

Founded in 1993, Asian Pacific American Heritage Week is a week-long celebration of the rich and diverse heritage of Asian Pacific Americans.  It combines cultural and educational awareness with outreach to the community, while fostering an atmosphere of dialogue between the many different Asian American cultural groups and the greater Penn community.  With 19 years of history, APAHW is among the longest-running programming for minority students, and has a very established presence at the University of Pennsylvania.

We asked sophomores, juniors, seniors, and recent alums to give some advice. This is what they said…