Proposal For An Asian American
November 16, 2000
Each day, Asian American students here on campus are faced with the dilemma of not having an Asian American Coordinator. We are forced to accept the fact that an Asian American Coordinator is not essential for our being here on campus. As Asian Americans, we struggle on our own to achieve our goals without the assistance of a coordinator. We, as Asian Americans, are not immune to the many problems and issues that we have to deal with everyday here on campus. We do not need a coordinator solely because other minorities have one, but we are more concerned with the benefits of having one. It should be the institutions duty to provide us with a respectable Asian American Coordinator. It is also the institutions responsibility to strive to create a comfortable and prosperous environment for everyone. Why would Asian Americans be any different from other ethnic groups? As Asian Americans, we deserve the right to be heard and be represented here on campus. The issue is not about needing a coordinator just because other organizations have one, but because we truly believe that this one person could make a difference in the lives of Asian Americans here on campus. The sole purpose of a coordinator would be to assist the students and further advise them through their personal and academic problems while promoting and enhancing their leadership and academic skills.
What have we, as Asian Americans, done for the institution: We are just students,
students who came to this campus to get a good education and to also build
ourselves to be strong leaders. As a result, we are taking on responsibilities
of the university; including:
· Representing all Asian American students
· Recruiting Asian American students
· Offering information, awareness, and sometimes counseling to students about Asian American future and issues
· Helping to retain Asian American students at OSU
MISCONCEPTIONS OF ASIAN-AMERICANS
Asian-Americans are being under-represented
In this misconception, many are counting the international students into the circle. However, there are distinct differences between international students and Asian American students:
· We grew up in different cultures
· International students remain more traditional in their values and way of life, whereas, Asian American students have adapted their values and cultures to the American lifestyle.
Asian Americans are considered the Model Minority in that we as an ethnic minority have gone far and have been prosperous in society and the workplace.
However, this is only a senseless act of stereotyping, and is not always the case. We, Asian American students, have to work just as hard as other students
to be accepted into OSU to obtain a good education and join the workforce as any other student, often without much needed assistance that others have.
THE AFFECTS OF NOT HAVING AN ASIAN AMERICAN COORDINATOR
Some of the problems we are currently facing could be solved with an Asian American Coordinator.
Asian-American enrollment is decreasing:
· While the enrollment of African American (46.5%), Native American (32.9%), and Hispanic (24.67) students at OSU have significantly increased from Fall 1994 to Fall 1999, the Asian American students enrollment have decreased by 5.4%
· The enrollment of Asian American students has been dropping steadily since Fall 1997
· The question is, Why is OSU not retaining nor increasing its Asian American student population, while the rest of its minority groups are clearly increasing?
· The question of recruitment and retention is one of several questions an Asian American coordinator could possibly be addressing and seeking out answers that improve it, not us students.
· Currently, Asian American students do not have someone who is committed to compiling and informing us of scholarship information. With the knowledge of
these different kinds of scholarship out there, we could be able to pay for college the beneficial way instead of loans, parents, etc.
CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS
Organizations There are two organizations that represent Asian Americans on this campus:
· Vietnamese American Student Association (VASA), est.1979
· Asian American Student Association (AASA), est. 1997 College Ranking in Oklahoma, and the Big XII
· Recently, A Magazine ranked the top 99 schools for Asian Americans. OSU did not make the list for reasons unknown.
- Big XII School Rankings
- Baylor University 97th
- University of Colorado 22nd
- Iowa State University 41st
- University of Kansas 56th
- Kansas State University 79th
- University of Missouri 42nd
- University of Nebraska 75th
- University of Oklahoma - 35th
- Oklahoma State University Not Ranked
- University of Texas 18th
- Texas A&M University 93rd
- Texas Tech University Not Ranked
THE BENEFITS OF AN ASIAN AMERICAN COORDINATOR
· As Asian-Americans, we as minorities do face acts of
· Hate crimes
· Personal or family problems
· Academic problems
· Social and career issues
· Whether it be within the classroom, workplace, or in society, it is often difficult to handle on our own. As of yet, we have no real counselor to go to in situations of this nature. No real counselor who understands our culture and possibly what we are going through because of these acts
· To help counsel and guide us in our personal and student development
· To refer us to appropriate departments, staff, or personnel at OSU who have access to certain information and resources
· Better communication because of the same cultural background Initiating programs
· As Asian Americans, we do not always have the time to foster a program for other Asian American students on campus. As a result, we are set back while other organizations reap the benefits from beneficial programs. A coordinator will be able to:
· Share thoughts and ideas
· Notify the student body of important programs
· And assist with the programming Representation
· Currently in OSUs Multicultural Development & Assessment Center, three out of four minority groups are each being represented by a coordinator. In fact, the coordinator that advises over the Hispanic Student Association and the Vietnamese American Student Association is of Hispanic background.
· In all fairness, the Asian American students should rightfully have a coordinator/counselor/advisor who is more familiar with the Asian American culture and issues.
· It is not right for one coordinator to be advising two different distinct minorities, when it is already a tough job in itself to advise over one minority group, no matter what the size.
· At OSU, there should be a coordinator to represent the views and cultures of the Asian American population. We need a coordinator who will provide information and awareness about the Asian American culture as well as that aspect as it relates to multiculturalism on the campus.