NASA, the Native American Student Association, is looking to gain momentum and increase their impact on UT's campus.

Many organizations focus on one aspect of heritage or culture and tend to repel outside participation, but NASA wants UT to know that they are open to everyone and would love their support.

Multicultural organizations like NASA put on several events during the semester with the hopes of reaching a wider audience than just their immediate members.

"I want to get our events out there and having people come to them," said Tiffany Donner, vice president of NASA and freshman in chemistry. "I don't want to put on an event and just the people from NASA come. That's how some of the events have been."

Brittani Blanchard, NASA's senior president and senior in psychology, elaborated, "Our primary goals are to serve as an area of education and knowledge of Native American traditions and issues. We also do programs as well to facilitate that to educate the campus and community on Native American culture."

With many people of all different backgrounds and cultures in attendance at UT, many of these organizations are spun from a need to express their individuality.

Blanchard explained, "A big problem we are facing right now is that people are put off by thinking you have to be Native American to join when we are all inclusive and extend a hand out there to show them there is so much more of a rich culture than is shown on TV."

The needs for groups that focus on showcasing different cultures are not only important for the rest of campus, but its members as well.

"I'm Native American so that automatically sparked my interest to join NASA. It also was my freshman year so I just wanted to try new things and meet new people and also meet fellow Native Americans like myself, and they reached out to me," Donner said.

Tennessee has a wide array of different ethnicities and communities that need someone to represent them.

"I'd like to do more stuff for Cherokee. We've done a Kids Day at Play because similar to other minority communities: obesity, alcoholism and diabetes are really high in those communities, so I would like to do more to help aid those issues as far as service goes," Blanchard said.

Although NASA represents a small group, Blanchard thinks the organization can offer a lot of information to the rest of campus.

"Just that knowledge and presence because there (are) so many misconceptions and stereotypes out there about Native Americans, I feel like especially here at UT the Native American population here at UT is so small. There are less than 100 indentified native Americans enrolled at UT, and when you go to N.C. State there is so many more," Blachard said. "I feel like for UT in general to bring out that presence and diversity they need to do better to make it more appealing to Native Americans."