The lines between Athens and Atlanta Asian-American student groups remain weak in their communication and unity, said some leaders of Asian-American organizations on campus.

The problem exists between the University and Georgia Tech, Emory and Georgia State Universities, they said.

They attribute the problem to the distance between Athens and Atlanta and pride.

Viet Nguyen, president of Lambda Phi Epsilon, an Asian-interest fraternity on campus, said the disconnection also exists because the universities in Atlanta have more time to plan events together.

"We're sort of isolated because we only see them on the weekends when we go home," he said.

Nonetheless, Kevin Yao, president of the University's Asian-interest fraternity Xi Kappa, said distance should not be an obstacle because it's only about an hour's drive from Athens to Atlanta.

"That's no excuse," he said. "There should be more interaction. We all go back home (to Atlanta) on weekends."

Sandy Duong, president of Asian-interest sorority Alpha Sigma Rho, similarly said the lack of communication is due to the difficulty involved in the Atlanta campuses contacting the University.

But there are solutions.

A unifying event, the Ultimate Mixer, was formed three years ago to address the issue.

The event was held earlier this month on the Georgia Tech campus in Atlanta to allow some Asian-American organizations from the University to interact with the same type of groups from Atlanta's universities.

The objective of the mixer is to unify Georgia's Asian-American students because the Asian population in the state is already small, and they would be stronger as a group, Yao said.

However, Lillie Madali, external social chair for Asian-interest sorority Delta Phi Lambda, said this year's mixer did not fulfill its purpose.

Madali said she did not feel any unity at the mixer this year because each organization wanted to show off its pride in its own organization, and she hopes relations will be better next year.

"As it is, as an entity, with all kinds of Asians in one place, it's very intimidating," she said. "Even though it's supposed to be an open forum -- with the purpose of uniting -- it, instead, turned out to be some sort of competition among organizations."

Although Yao considered the mixer a success, he agreed pride is an issue, and he said he still thinks there is a lack of communication.

His fraternity has a chapter at Georgia Tech, and he said the two chapters work well together.

Yao said the University Xi Kappa throws parties at its fraternity house, inviting the members from Atlanta. And this helps bring other Asian-American students in Atlanta to the University.

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