FAQ

What is PSA?

The Philippine Student Association (PSA) is an RSO at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, first created in 1919! You can read more about us here and our history here.

What does PSA do?

Well, a lot! PSA holds social events, athletic events, philanthropy events, forms families between our members, connects with alumni, and participates in cultural dancing, just to name a few things. Our biggest events include FACT, FCN, and Formal (read more about them below!)

How do I join?

Simple - come to our events and, if you’re committed, fill out our membership form! Once you fill it out and pay the membership fee, you can join Barkada, the AKA program, and even get a t-shirt!

Once I join PSA, do I have to follow any rules?

Rules probably shouldn’t be your first concern when joining PSA. However, as a member, you have a formal duty of following our mission statement and promoting the goodwill of PSA (though we’d hope you join for that exact reason!). You can read more specifics about it on our Constitution, which can be found on our Involved@Illinois page

NOTE: While it is your personal choice to partake in the use of alcohol and other substances, we ask that you and others involved avoid wearing any PSA apparel while partaking under any circumstances - this includes photos and videos. Violators of this rule will be requested to remove PSA imagery from the scene. Otherwise, members are subject to disciplinary action from the Exec board.

Where can I find PSA online?

Other than our (beautifully-made) website, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and join us on our Discord!

What if I’ve never used Discord?

No worries! You can watch our quick tutorial video for Discord, made by our Publicity co-chair Sarah!

What’s the AKA program?

The AKA program is the Ate/Kuya/Ading program, which is structured very similarly to a Big/Little program. In Filipino culture, “ate” means older sister in Tagalog, “kuya” means older brother in Tagalog, and “ading” means younger sibling in Ilocano. By signing up for the program, you can pick up Ates, Kuyas, or Adings at the beginning of each semester provided you pay the membership fee. Throughout the year there will be events for your families to hang out, or you can hang out on your own time!

How do I get an ate/kuya/ading?

First, make sure to sign up as a PSA member and pay the membership fee! Then, show up to our AKA request night, September 30th from 6-8 on Discord, where you’ll get to meet fellow PSA members and find your potential ate/kuya/ading!

After request night, a form will be sent out asking about your interests, personality, and desired experiences - you’ll also get a chance to request specific people as your ate/kuya/ading that you’ve met on request night or otherwise! Our VPI will then go through all the submissions and match you up based on your responses: you’ll find out the results at our AKA reveal night! Reveal night is an event where you find out who picked you up, and your Ates and/or Kuyas might surprise you with a little gift!

What’s FACT?

Filipino-Americans Coming Together (FACT) Conference brings together over 1500 Filipino-Americans from the Midwest and around the country into a weekend filled with lasting experiences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) campus. Through our workshops and variety show, you will rediscover your Filipino-American identity while feeling belonging in a larger community.

FACT 2020 is the 28th Annual FACT conference, which will take place online from November 8th, 2020 to November 13th, 2020. Follow Psa Fact for the latest updates!

What’s FCN?

Filipino Culture Night (FCN) is an annual event PSA holds in the Spring to celebrate Filipino culture and identity with a Kamayan lunch and a showcase! Traditionally, FCN donates the proceeds raised from the Kamayan lunch and showcase to charity.

Unfortunately, PSA had to cancel FCN 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic - you can read the statement about FCN 2020 from last year’s FCN Coordinators, Jules Suarez and Alex Monsalud. However, FCN 2021 is planned to be an online event this year, so please look forward to more information on FCN this school year!

If you’re interested in helping out FCN this year and/or joining the FCN Committee this year, please fill out the FCN Committee Interest Form! Positions include Creative/Artistic Director, Kamayan Director, Technology Director, and helping out our FCN Co-Coordinators!

What’s Formal?

Formal is an annual PSA event that celebrates and honors the seniors for their time with PSA. Every year, Formal is held with performances and food for all to enjoy, and is a special time for seniors as they finish college as well as their PSA journey.

Unfortunately, PSA had to cancel Formal during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but our Formal chair Angela has plans to bring back Formal, either in-person or virtually this school year! Please look forward to more information about Formal in the coming weeks.

What’s Barkada?

Roughly translates to “a tightly knit group of friends”. Barkada operates as a subgroup of PSA which highlights the Filipinx culture through cultural dancing. PSA Barkada normally holds three main performances during the academic year: for the fall semester, Barkada organizes a presentation for the Filipino Americans Coming Together(FACT) Conference. Another presentation is during the spring semester, PSA Barkada regularly participates and places in the annual Battle of the Bamboo competition in Chicago. Right after the Battle of the Bamboo season, PSA Barkada also holds numerous presentations for PSA’s own Filipino Culture Night. PSA Barkada also holds small presentations in and out of the UIUC Campus in collaboration with external organizations.

PSA Barkada is not only a cultural dance troupe, but is also a community within the PSA community. The major strength of Barkada is the willingness of each member to give full effort towards a shared goal. The struggles that  stitch members closer to each other and provides a priceless bond and a plethora of memories.

How is Barkada going to happen with COVID-19?

Barkada will be adopting a more hybrid approach towards practices. The methodologies for this will be mainly done through, but not limited to, these three modes: Youtube, in-person, and Zoom.

Youtube: The cultural chairs will maintain a regularly updated (unlisted) playlist for teaching choreography on Youtube which will go over a set number of 8-counts of choreography. Members will be expected to watch and learn the choreography taught in the video and send the cultural chairs videos of themselves performing the choreography for feedback.

 

In-Person: Given that the environment of COVID-19 on campus permits the feasibility of in person practices, cultural chairs will be announcing the details on the venue and dates on multiple platforms (email, FB page, website, etc.) The in-person practices will also be subject to rules and regulations set by the cultural chairs and the university to ensure the safety of Barkada. More information with regards to the rules set by the cultural chairs can be found here. Disclaimer: University regulations will always overrule regulations set by the cultural chairs.

 

Zoom: Due to the 9/2 Mass Mail, Barkada will be holding the trial practices via Zoom. This will be an experimental platform for the time being. The cultural chairs value the interactions between Barkada members and believe that Zoom hopefully will be able to translate the Barkada community through digital means.

 

Disclaimer: These modes will be subject to change, with the unpredictability of the future due to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the cultural chairs will be regularly updating the Barkada community to any adjustments.

What’s MAFA?

The Midwest Association of Filipino Americans (MAFA) encompasses the 28+ Filipino-American and Asian-American organizations in the Midwest (including PSA!), and the list of schools within the MAFA organization is only growing. Their main events and programs include the Summer/Winter Leadership Retreat, MFAS, & MAFAmily Program! You can follow their Facebook page for the latest updates, and their Facebook group to join the rest of the MAFAsphere!

If you’d like to join a MAFAmily (like our AKA program but across all MAFA schools, the MAFAsphere), fill out their MAFAmily application! It closes on October 10th at 11:59 pm!