Bobby Sensenbach

"In NASA, we are all close friends and work as a team. We support each other when times are tough, and they have made me a stronger and more confident person."

The Native American Student Association (NASA) at OSU is a united group of Oregon State students driven to promoting Native American education in higher education institutions, to preserving and promoting Native American culture and identity, to upholding Native American rights and to retaining Native American students attending Oregon State University.

Email: nativeamericanstudentassociation@oregonstate.edu

Facebook: Native American Student Association

 

Who can join? Why join?

Anyone can join the Native American Student Association; it is not restricted by tribal enrollment, cultural background, etc. This club wants members who are committed to serving the indigenous community at Oregon State and at large while having fun along the way.

How did you get involved?

Sophomore year of college, I was pursuing information about my own native lineage and working to connect myself with indigenous peoples. I was also researching colonialism, systems of power and the United States government’s efforts to eradicate and assimilate indigenous culture. Motivated, I visited the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws for the first time and volunteered to help plan for events. One thing led to another, and I became a member of NASA and an employee at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws.

What is your best memory?

So far, my best memory of NASA is performing at the Salmon Bake and Powwow, which are two very large events occurring over two days. I have helped plan for these events for two years now, and they have provided me with great memories and experiences.

What is the community like?

In NASA, we are all close friends and work as a team. Typically, the members with more experience are elected to hold positions, while the newer members develop that experience for themselves and learn the basic process of our events. Aside from NASA members, I’ve also had the privilege to interact with people from various native communities and reservations, especially those working to create better education opportunities for native youth.

When did you first feel a sense of belonging on campus?

I first felt a sense of belonging on campus when I developed relationships at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, discovering a home away from home. My friendships in NASA are linked with my friendships at the cultural center, and both of these organizations give me a deep sense of purpose and belonging at OSU.

How have you grown from being involved?

My circle of influence has expanded since being involved with NASA. Personally, I have many close friends whom I consider an extended family. We support each other when times are tough, and they have made me a stronger and more confident person. Professionally, I have had experience with correspondence and the development of contracts for vendors, dancers, MCs and other participants at our events. Also, my experience in NASA has motivated me to continue serving native communities and has expanded my network for career avenues.