New year, New ISA

Indian Student Assocation looks ahead to an image change, event packed semester



Indian Student Association celebrates “Party in th CUB” in November.

CAROLYN MCCAMPBELL, Evergreen columnist

WSU’s Indian Student Association is back in full swing after the new year.

In the midst of a renaissance after COVID-19 lockdowns, ISA is changing its logo and rebranding its image. Though unfinished, their team wanted this new logo to bring more attention to their organization.

ISA is a non-profit organization that includes both Indian and non-Indian students to promote service and community. They also help international students feel like they have a home away from home. In addition, they provide international students with whatever support they need. It can look like picking them up at the airport, providing temporary accommodations or showing them how to get resources, according to their Facebook page.

They also focus on increasing cultural awareness, including teaching those unfamiliar with their culture.

“We are one of the largest RSO’s [Registered Student Organizations] on campus. Our mission is community engagement, spreading Indian culture, and [carrying] the torch of diversity. After the pandemic, we found that a lot of students were stressed, so we wanted to make sure that people get engaged,” said Gurdeep Raina (GS), doctoral student and president of ISA.

This year, ISA wants to extend its outreach. With 14 people on their team, they were able to double their budget and events for this year, Raina said. 

“We are looking to expand,” said Akshaya Venkatesh, cultural chair for the ISA and master’s in Computer Science. “It is something that is part of our goals this year, [to] engage with other … Asian student associations, and create collaborative events with them.”

On Feb. 5. ISA posted about the Vasant Panchami holiday on their Instagram and Facebook pages. Also known as Saraswati Puja, this holiday celebrates the Hindu Goddess Saraswati. It is the harvest preparation for the coming of Spring, according to

While celebrations depend on the region, the article wrote, “… it’s common for festivities to include family and friends coming together for celebratory feasting, dancing, and singing, similar to what is generally seen at any Hindu seasonal holiday.”

Celebrations are so prominent in Indian culture that there are about one to two big celebrations every month of the year, Raina said.

“India is a very diverse country. We have a lot of religions and a lot of communities. So each of them celebrate different groups of festivals,” Venkatesh said. “If you look at it like that, I think every single day of the year, you’ll find something to celebrate.” 

March 4, ISA will hold a Bollywood dance workshop as a fundraiser for future major events. ISA will also host a welcome night in mid-March to introduce their group and kick off the new year with a fun evening. 

One of ISA’s largest events, India Night, returns to Pullman in April. This year they are expecting 500 invitees, Venkatesh said. Students and the Pullman community dress in traditional Indian clothing to share Indian culture during the celebration. There will be food, performances, games and other events.

ISA also does a movie night every other Saturday; more information is available bi-weekly on their Instagram page. Venkatesh said the association tries to focus on movies that are not on streaming platforms, so everything is new to the audience.

“Since we have a lot of languages in our country, it’s hard to find one language that everybody will be interested in, so it’s kind of experimental,” Venkatesh said.

For more information about ISA, visit their Facebook or Instagram.