In the Lion Light: A spotlight on campus organizations

The Nepalese Student Association began about 10 years ago with the purpose of bonding together students from various walks of life, especially hoping to aid students that hailed from Nepal. 

English professor Dr. George Gibson noticed an unusual pattern of Nepalese students that received what he calls extremely high grades and high levels of attendance during the first month of the term. The trend continued as the students passed the course with high grades and returned to be instructed by Gibson the following semester. 

“I think it was the year of 2007 or 2008 we had our first group of Nepali students that came to the university,” said Gibson. “I’m not sure, but I think there were maybe eight or ten that year. I’m not sure how that happened, but quite a few of them ended up in the class I was teaching.”

The students gathered Gibson for a meeting and asked him to be the Faculty Advisor for NSAS. He immediately obliged. 

“I agreed because of the Nepali people I knew, not only were they smart, but they also had very good hearts and that combination is really too scarce,” said Gibson. “I wish I saw it more.”

Due to his leadership skills obtained from other organizations, junior computer science major with a minor in mathematics Aabishkar Timalsina was inspired by a friend’s recommendation to run for the president of NSAS. He is currently serving as president for the second semester in a row. 

“Every year when freshman come from Nepal to attend Southeastern, we encourage them to join the Nepalese student organization,” said Timalsina. “They could hang out, make friends and see the campus life. I was there from the beginning. When I was a freshman, I was already a member. In my sophomore year, I got involved in different activities for NSAS. I was like, ‘If I’m serving for the SGA, why not serve for my own community?’”

Timalsina previously obtained leadership skills from serving as the Director for the Multicultural Affairs for the cabinet of the Student Government Association.

“I learned a little bit of leadership skills, and how I could get involved on campus and talk to people, and that’s where it all started,” said Timalsina.

Timalsina stated that events involving giving students Henna tattoos and the Holi Event, otherwise known as The Festival of Colors will return this semester. The Festival of Colors is intended to cherish the beginning of spring and is celebrated by throwing colored powder. 

Timalsina currently has a possible joint venture in the works with SGA to host an event that connects the American students with the Nepali students, as well as other international students around campus.

“I’m planning to have such as event to create an opportunity for both students to share their cultures and experiences here and becomes friends,” said Timalsina.

Gibson encourages students who are not Nepali to join the organization in order to share their culture and learn about the cultures of others. 

 “We’ve got students here who are not Nepali, who see that they don’t fit in with a sorority or fraternity or football team, or honor society, or whatever, but they do for some weird reason fit in with our organization,” said Gibson. “We have quite a few members who are non-Nepali. Our only qualification to join now is you have to be a student of Southeastern, you have to be willing to share something of your culture, ethnicity, beliefs or religion with everybody else and you have to have some belief in the interest of others.” 

To join NSAS, there is an annual membership fee of $15 for new members. The membership renewal for old members that have become a member in the past year is $10. Meetings are usually held once a month on Saturdays or Sundays based on the availability of members. 

For more information, contact the organization by email at [email protected], at 985-215-7282 or on Facebook at Nepalese Student Association at Southeastern Louisiana University.