SWATI NARAYAN AC '20
Hometown: Irvington, NY
Extracurriculars: Resident Counselor, President of South Asian Students Association (SASA)
Spring 2019: Studying abroad at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.
How has your understanding of your identity changed in the past three years?
Before I came to Amherst, I also wasn't very comfortable with my South Asian heritage. In the past three years, my understanding and acceptance of my identity has grown, and I have developed a newfound interest in community engagement and leadership.
Why did you choose Amherst?
I chose Amherst because of the people as well as the small school environment and great support systems. My favorite part about Amherst is the accessibility of resources and the systems that are in place that have helped me grow as an individual and a student.
You've have been an amazing leader on campus! Could you describe your roles on campus, and what you've accomplished throughout the years?
At Amherst, I have been a First Year Resident Counselor in Charles Pratt and the President of the South Asian Students Association. Through these leadership positions, I've been able to make a lasting impact on the Amherst College community, and it’s something I've truly enjoyed. I am most proud of my contribution to the establishment of the Asian Affinity Space. I hope that in the future, students continue to use this space and nurture the AAPI community. I also hope to see increased collaboration between the Asian Affinity groups and the administration.
Could you talk about your involvement with advocacy for AAPI studies? What would you like to see in the curriculum?
I've been involved with the advocacy for AAPI studies because I believe that it is important to study the history of Asian Americans as distinct from the history of the Asian continent. I hope that in the future we achieve our goal of hiring more professors to focus on this very important topic, and I hope that one day we could even see an AAPI studies department/major!
What would you like to see from alumni? How can they support current students?
I'd like to start by thanking Amherst alums for being so supportive of Amherst students and for being so involved with our community! It means a lot to students to have such strong backing and support from alums. I definitely hope to see this kind of support continue and would love to hear constructive feedback/suggestions from alums so we can continue to grow and improve.