About SALSA of Washington University in St. Louis
Founded in 2006...
Washington University's South Asian Law Student Association (SALSA) was formed in the spring of 2006 by a group of third-year students at the law school. Though it started as a core group of only three members, it has since expanded to include over 25 active members, and a significantly larger group of attendees at its events. The group brings together Washington University law students interested in South Asia, provides a forum to discuss South Asian issues and affairs (legal and otherwise), and develops opportunities for students to study and work in South Asia.
Within its first year, the organization hosted a discussion with Deepa Iyer, Executive Director of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), co-sponsored a talk with celebrated Indian actress and social activist Shabana Azmi and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar, helped coordinate minority student recruiting, and hosted various movie nights and group potlucks.
In its second year, SALSA held a panel on diversity in the legal profession, which included the first South Asian partner at a major Chicago law firm. In February of 2008, two members of the group, Samir Kaushik and Andrew Nash, participated in and won the D.M. Harish International Moot Court competition in Mumbai, India. Additionally, the organization sent participants to the National Association of South Asian Law Student Association (NASALSA) conference in Los Angeles.
In its third year, SALSA ramped up its activities. It participated in the Take a Stand Rally, co-sponsored a diversity ice cream social with other cultural student groups at the law school, and participated in the Gandhi Day of Service with Ashoka, Washington University's undergraduate South Asian student organization. SALSA also screened the Namesake as part of the law school's Diversity Film Series, sponsored a very successful Happy Hour in the then-new Crowder Courtyard, and installed its annual Speaker Series with a lecture on Narcoterrorism and Geopolitics in South Asia given by Ambassador in Residence and Visiting Professor Thomas Schweich. Additionally, SALSA again sent participants to the NASALSA conference, which took place in Miami.
SALSA now regularly sponsors speakers, cultural events, service projects and other social activities within the university community, and provides a vehicle through which interested students can connect with the school's administration to pursue study and job opportunities in South Asia. It remains an active forum for students interested in South Asian issues and affairs to come together to discuss and voice their opinions and concerns. SALSA has grown to be an integral student group at the School of Law of Washington University in St. Louis and closely collaborates with other associations on campus, such as the Black Law Students Association (BLSA), Asian and Pacific Island American Law Students Association (APALSA), OUTLAW (GLBT law students and allies), and Latin American Law Students Association (LALSA).