In the 1960s, the University of Washington campus underwent numerous changes in the midst of the civil rights movement. Many ethnic minorities allied themselves with the already prominent African American rights movement, seeking acceptance and group belonging. Together, they proposed a Minority Affairs Commission (MAC) to the ASUW Board of Directors on February 18th, 1971, which was then passed the following week on February 25th. From each of the following groups, two representatives were sent to sit on the MAC: Black, Chicano, American Indian, and Asian, in addition to two representatives appointed by the Board.
The MAC was renamed the Inter Cultural Commission following a name change request on January 29th, 1980. On May 27th of the same year, the ICC received note that it would receive no funding for the following year. Despite an appeal by the ICC Director on May 29th, the decision was not changed.
Following this, the Asian Student Association (ASA) started to take on the role of commission for all Asian students on campus, requesting funds from the Finance & Budget Committee (F&B) through the 1980-1981 school year before turning in a full budget request for the 1981-1982 year. To remain consistent with the other ASUW Commissions, a name change request was put before the Board on May 8th, 1985.
On May 15th, 1985, the ASA was formally renamed the Asian Student Commission.