CLUB HIGHLIGHT: The South Asian Student Association at Westhill High School

By: Marvi Pabrekar

The South Asian Student Association (SASA) is a new addition to Westhill High School’s cultural clubs, bringing together various traditions and experiences. Founded by Purva Thoka (‘26), this inclusive cultural group is quickly becoming a vibrant place for students with South Asian backgrounds and those interested in exploring the diverse heritage of the Indian subcontinent.  

The primary focus of the South Asian Student Association is to encourage unity and understanding. The club’s goal is to create a connection between students with South Asian backgrounds and their classmates, nurturing an atmosphere where everyone can gain knowledge and commemorate the various cultures that make up South Asia. The club recognizes and embraces the wide range of diversity within its community, spanning from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, to name some members’ ethnicities.  

“Well, SASA is fun and it’s nice to have a club where there’s people who share a similar cultural identity and customs/traditions. It’s definitely nice to be able to have a cultural connection and talk to people with similar backgrounds,” said Tahsina Ahmed (‘24).

This club serves not only as a place for socializing, but as an educational platform to share the history and traditions of South Asian nations with its members. Through presentations, discussions, and guest speakers, the club intends to provide knowledge on the cultural, social, and economic factors that influence the region. By doing so, the club aims to challenge stereotypes and encourage a more comprehensive understanding of South Asian identity.  

“SASA is a club that allows us to embrace our culture. I love that we can unite with people who are similar to us. We’ve made different South Asian flags and deepas. I look forward to more interesting activities,” said Varuni Nambi (‘24).

The South Asian Student Association is enthusiastic about expanding its influence beyond the school premises and reaching out to the local community. One of their future objectives is to work together with local organizations and charitable institutions, and give club members an opportunity to participate in service projects that encourage social accountability. The club’s current efforts include arranging fundraising activities and actively engaging in community events.

In the future, the South Asian Student Association aims to expand its impact through establishing relationships with other cultural groups within the school. The club envisions organizing joint activities to foster a diverse understanding that transcends South Asian boundaries. 

“I love the idea behind it and how it’s meant to be a safe space for South Asian people. I haven’t seen any clubs in Stamford specifically for Desi people so I’d love to see where the club goes in the future and what we all do,” said Rhea Malhotra (‘25).

The club is open to all, regardless of heritage. Currently, the club is planning meetings where people can come together to make friendships, engage in meaningful conversations, and share their experiences. 

With its planned events and inclusive attitude, the South Asian Student Association seeks to rejoice in the diverse array of South Asian cultures and also aims to establish relationships that will enhance the school community. 

If you are interested in joining, contact @westhill.sasa on Instagram for more information.