According to Walla Walla University’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, there are around 76 Asian and Pacific Islander students on campus, which accounts for 6% of the total number of students.
Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is celebrated during May. WWU provides a safe environment where everyone can learn and appreciate the differences that make our community special.
Nia Aiolupotea and Noah Recalde are co-presidents of the Asian Pacific Islander Club at WWU. Nia Aiolupotea is Samoan, and a junior strategic communication and education major, born and raised in Hawaii. Noah Recalde is Filipino Chinese, and a sophomore nursing major, who was born and raised in the state of California.
APIC has been hosting different events on campus that include the celebration of Filipino Heritage Month, Lunar New Year, and other events. Aiolupotea shared that part of their work includes “highlighting different cultures that are here on campus” and creating an environment where “students can come and learn” about different cultures. 
Because there are many non-Asian and Pacific Islander students, it can be important to encourage other cultures to be open and appreciative of the diversity at WWU. One of the ways APIC does this is through encouragement to learn. Aiolupotea shared that in “all of our events, we have something that helps people learn.” Recalde said that WWU provides a “safe environment” for education. 
Learning about different cultures can broaden students’ perspectives and promote greater understanding of other people’s values. Luckily, WWU provides the necessary resources for students. Aiolupotea pointed out that “when it comes to minority groups, in terms of diversity, it is something we have really been so grateful for.” 
This support from the University can also be seen in the number of students who are part of APIC. Aiolupotea shared that in 2022, APIC had around 30 members. In 2023, the number of members more than doubled. This year, APIC has 70 members, which underlines the openness of students to learn and engage with different cultures at WWU. 
APIC is putting a spotlight on Asian American and Pacific Islander cultures. The month of May is a time to celebrate these cultures and appreciate differences that make up our community, helping to foster a deeper sense of cultural understanding.