“We may have small numbers of Native American student at USC, but we make a home for our students,” stated Karras Wilson at the USC Prospective Native American Trojans Webinar on October 28th, 2020. And this is true! We have had a strong legacy of resilient Native American alumni since 1934. I encourage you all to read the article that covered the Intertribal Education Collaboration College Day in February 2020 where we acknowledged Joseph Medicine Crow as the first Native American USC graduate and acknowledged the land USC currently occupies: the traditional lands of the Tongva tribe.
Here at USC, we work hard to make sure our students can find a community and have a safe space for them to be themselves. Although the cultural club for our Native American students may be relatively new, we are growing and progressing. In the Spring of 2020, the Native American Student Union (NASU) petitioned to have an official seat at the table of the USC’s Student Government. They were successful! They now have a seat at that table, and their name has transitioned to the Native American Student Assembly (NASA). NASA is an intimate space for Native American students to authentically be themselves and to be supported in their endeavors. They are supported by the Director of NASA, Karras Wilson (Quechan/Cocopah), and other Native American USC Staff and Faculty like me, Dylan Goodwill (Diné/Hunkpapa Lakota/Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota). Although 2020 has been a bumpy ride, NASA has been thriving and striving.
Our NASA student leaders have worked and continue to work hard to create events and spaces for their voices to be heard at USC. NASA meets once a week and they continue to host amazing events. Currently they are actively planning and preparing for November, Native American Heritage Month. To receive further information on upcoming events, be sure to follow the Native American Student Assembly on all social media platforms (@uscnasa).
In addition to these upcoming events, they have had a full schedule of events this academic year already. On Oct. 14th, 2020, they hosted a virtual event focusing on Native Fashion and had Miss Indian World as their main guest. Then, on Oct. 28th, 2020, the USC Office of Admission partnered with NASA to have the “USC Prospective Native American Trojans” webinar. In that webinar we provided Admission advice to Native high school students and had a live panel of current NASA students and NASA support faculty and staff to talk about USC Native student life. The webinar was recorded, and it can be viewed on our USC Admission YouTube Channel.
Overall, NASA hopes to gain more Native students so they can continue to grow! We are very excited for what the future may hold. So, do you know any Native American students? Let them know about NASA at USC.