Campus Asian American student groups release statement calling for University support

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Daily file photo by Noah Frick-Alofs

Offices of Asian American Studies and Latina and Latino Studies Programs at 1819 Hinman Avenue. The Thursday letter, cosigned by APIDA student groups, urged the University to take action on anti-Asian hostility.

Yunkyo Kim , Campus Editor

Northwestern Asian American Pacific Islander Desi American groups released a letter urging the University to support its students beyond statements in the wake of the Atlanta shootings. 

The Thursday letter, cosigned by Korean American Student Association, Chinese Students Association, Vietnamese Student Association, Kaibigan, Thai Student Association, Asian Pacific American Coalition, Muslim-cultural Students Association and South Asian Students Alliance, also denounced the University’s Feb. 23 statement, calling it “unhelpful and too forgiving of racism.” 

“We need the University to do more than sending out an email,” students from Asian American affinity groups wrote. “We need actions that enact change.” 

The University’s February statement said anti-Asian racism, Sinophobia and xenophobia have long been a part of American history. It directed NU community members to bias incident forms, bystander training and APIDA affinity groups among other resources. 

In a March 19 email, Chief Diversity Officer Robin Means Coleman acknowledged an increase in hostility against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. She called on NU community members to “to continue working toward building a society in which all people, from all backgrounds, are protected and valued.”

Student groups are not asking for an increase in law enforcement as a form of community protection. Instead, the students said the University should examine how it contributes to racism on campus. 

Though anti-Asian racism was brought to national attention because of the Atlanta shootings, the groups said it is ingrained in American history. In particular, the American government contributed to the racial sexualization and fetishization of Asian women. 

“This is not a sickness brought upon us,” the statement read. “It has been bred and cultured for hundreds of years by colonialism, (United States) militarism, sexist and racist policies.” 

 

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