Korean Student Association hosts Hanin Gala Banquet

Student musicians perform at the Hanin Gala Banquet on Monday night in the Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation. The dinner was hosted by the Korean Student Association. Photo credit: Dayday Wynn

By Rachel Smith | Reporter

The Korean Student Association hosted its third annual Hanin Gala Banquet on Monday night in Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation.

Vallejo, Calif., senior Stephen Zipperer, vice president of the Korean Student Association, said the event recaps the entire year with the members who have joined throughout the year.

“We like to celebrate diversity in [the Korean Student Association],” Zipperer said. “You can see this in our officer board. We’re not all Korean. [The banquet] just aims to get others who may be afraid to join [Korean Student Association] to see what it’s like.”

Zipperer said some confusion surrounds the organization, and some people ask what the “K” stands for in the organization’s acronym, KSA.

“We try to make sure that we at least have some kind of outlet so that the community at Baylor can see kind of what we’re all about and make the decision hopefully to join us next time around,” Zipperer said.

The banquet included a dinner, two musical performances and a dance performance by the Korean Student Association dance team, which made a video. Members also received awards, which Zipperer said are “more on the playful side.”

Awards included a go-getter award, rookie of the year and overall member of the year.

“We also have live awards that we give out, so you’re able to vote on best dressed and cutest couple,” Houston freshman Abbie Pip Wynans, a member of the Korean Student Association, said.

To decide winners of live awards, members texted their votes, and results were announced within five minutes. Wynans said she was most looking forward to seeing the music video.

“I like just being together with people, especially because you grow so much as a family in [the Korean Student Association],” Wynans said. “Having all of us together and getting to celebrate what we’ve done this year and just getting to take a break in a really stressful week.”

Wynans said the organization is close to the Asian Student Association and other Asian organizations.

“You can find a network of people who just love you,” Wynans said.

Wynans said she felt at home in the Korean Student Association right off the bat.

“At least for me, it was the situation where I feel like I’m a shy person, but coming into [the Korean Student Association], it’s people who understand you,” Wynans said. “They love that you’re weird, and you might not be Korean, but you like stuff that’s Korean, so they’re going to bring you in and love you just for who you are.”

Carrollton senior David Song serves as the organization’s president and expressed similar sentiments about the organization.

“I enjoy being with people who share the same interests,” Song said. “Before I joined [the Korean Student Association], I was mostly indulged in my own studies and plugging myself into organizations that were related to my major, but I found [the Korean Student Association], and it was totally different. Basically, I just found a new group of people to plug in with.”