UCLA'S ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN NEWSMAGAZINE

Right here, right now

In UCLA Events on February 14, 2009 at 12:57 am

Get informed about Asian Pacific Islander issues affecting UCLA and other UC campuses!

Courtesy of Malina Tran, here is an overview of what’s happening right now.

Last quarter, Shirley Chau wrote about the Higher Opportunity Program for Education (HOPE) and the cool outreach services they provide for high school students.  Now the economic crisis is threatening to eliminate all their funds! They are working on major fundraising projects, budget proposals– everything!  They may cease to exist due to lack of funds to pay staff, drive their vans to site, etc. A lot of other outreach projects are experiencing similar problems.

If any of you know about the Count Me In! Campaign, the mobilization occurring at that level is happening NOW. The financial crisis hits hardest students of color (aka Latinos, blacks, APIs) as well as cuts student services (ie. LGBT Center, Ashe, CPO projects).

Recently, the UC Regents moved to eliminate the SAT Subject tests, since it serves as the #2 reason why many eligible people are eliminated from applying to UCs–because they may be unaware of the need to take SAT IIs (the #1 reason is the A-G Requirements). Is it the student’s own fault? Or is it because of the lack of counseling, college support, and resources? However, the elimination of SAT Subject tests have reportedly said to lead to LESS DIVERSITY, ESPECIALLY AMONG APIs! This is calling out our name. I urge people to read more about this.

We also need to focus on our cross-community, cross-cultural collaborations. Last night, I took part in “Where’s the Love?”, a hate crimes awareness event which consisted of Vietnamese Student Union, Muslim Student Association, United Afghan Club, Pakistani Student Association, and Asian Pacific Coalition. How often are there student-initiated programs that promote dialogue on hate, racism, discrimination? Or maybe I should ask–how often are communities pitted against each other and as a result do not work together?

This year is the first-ever Southeast Asian (SEA) Admit Weekend for admitted UCLA students on April 16-19. It will be organized by VSU, United Khmer Students, Thai Smakom, LAO, Afrikan Student Union, and MEChA. As you can see, it is a collaboration not only between SEA orgs, but non-API orgs. Could this lead to an increase in Southeast Asian students? Maybe not, since there threatened cuts to low-income, communities of color due to reduced enrollment.

Now is a critical time for API college students.  Let’s stay informed and not hesitate to take action to build alliances and promote equality of opportunity for all.

–posted by Debbie Chong

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