Ashley Kim, '24, and Miki Sakai, '25, are members of the Korean student association. The student organization strives to promote Korean community and culture on Lehigh's campus. (Hongyu (Ric) Liu/B&W staff)

Korean Student Association returns to campus


Ashley Kim, ‘24, studied abroad in Korea during the 2022 spring semester. While abroad, she had the opportunity to meet other Korean students who attended Lehigh, whom she had never met until going abroad. 

When Kim returned to Lehigh, she decided to reinstate Lehigh’s Korean Students Association and bring back the club’s on-campus presence. The club has now returned from its three year hiatus due to the pandemic and is already hosting a variety of events. 

“There is not a big Korean community at Lehigh and we wanted to create one,” Kim said. 

Kim said she was quickly able to find other students interested in reinstating the club, as it only stopped operating because the pandemic prevented hosting in-person meetings and events. 

She said over 200 students signed up to join the association during the club fair, which took place on Aug. 25.

“It was so warm to see that there was so much interest and we could see the community growing,” Kim said.

This semester, the club has hosted events like trivia night in Hawk’s Nest, a Korean movie night with Korean snacks and ramen, and a Korean street food tasting. 

Roy Ahn, ‘23, is the current vice president of the association. He said the club’s main goal is to introduce any Lehigh student to Korean culture and serve as a space for students to be immersed in Korean history. 

“There really wasn’t too much Korean stuff on campus and a lot of people got interested in Korean culture because of BTS and Korean BBQ,” Ahn said. “So we just wanted to spread that culture around.” 

Ahn said in high school, he did not experience much Korean representation, and he is glad he found a community here to allow him to connect with more like-minded people. 

Social chair Suhyun Shim, ‘23, said she is excited people are now able to learn more about Korean history. 

“I was born and raised in Korea and I would like people to know more than just K-pop and K-drama because that’s not everything that comes from history,” Shim said. 

While the club aims to invite a broader Lehigh community to participate in events and activities, Kim said its newness has caused a slight boundary.  

She said the club has generated a lot of interest, but struggles with a lack of funding. 

Kim said even with funding currently being limited, the association is receiving a lot of attention from both the Asian studies department and Student Senate. 

“There is no point in limiting (who can join) when it’s such a diverse school, it is an amazing culture and is meant for everyone to learn and experience,” Shim said.

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