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Our Founding

Longing for their homeland, a group of immigrant Vietnamese students at UC Berkeley joined forces and created the Vietnamese Student Association in 1979.

Their goal was to create a space in which they could connect through their similar backgrounds and share their culture with each other. To further their purpose, they looked to educate others about Vietnamese culture, history, and heritage.

Through their efforts they built a family away from home for Vietnamese and Vietnamese American students, a community that continues to grow.

Cal VSA Today

Today, Cal VSA is still a student organization that embraces our Vietnamese and Vietnamese American roots and culture. Though our members are a part of a new generation, we recognize and commemorate the experiences that our parents and relatives have had while also striving to identify and to understand the emerging narratives and current issues in our community.

Cal VSA, alongside our goals, has evolved as an organization but we are still driven by the same principles that our founders embraced. These principles can be summed up by our three pillars:

  • Academics | We recognize and embrace the opportunities that we have been given and we endeavor to extend the same opportunities to others in our community.
  • Community | We recognize the diverse contemporary issues facing our community and we attempt to understand them, to promote awareness about them, and to address them.
  • Culture | We recognize that we have a unique Vietnamese heritage and tradition and we aim to preserve and to learn more about our culture.

Though we are an organization that focuses on the Vietnamese American experience, we are honored to be able to count many members of non-Vietnamese heritage as part of our family. We welcome any and all students to come see what Cal VSA has to offer!