Updated: Apr 15, 2021
In 2020, there were 3,800 racist incidents against Asian residents in the United States, according to National Broadcasting Company News. With violence against minorities continuing this year, it is imperative that colleges are tolerant havens for students.
Amidst increasingly volatile incidents, can Salisbury University’s Asian population rely on their school for a safe and welcoming educational experience?
Senior and president of SU’s Asian and Pacific Islander Club Nhi Nguyen believes our university’s community is generally safe. She credits Salisbury’s sizeable Asian population, which is the city’s third largest minority population of 4.3 percent according to the United States Census Bureau.
It should be noted that Nhi’s experience is not representative of all Asian students at SU. Any student experiencing discriminatory hate crimes should reach out to emergency services and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.
“The Asian and Pacific Islander Club is all about the education, promotion and awareness of Asian culture. Asia is not just East Asia, it includes other nations and regions such as India and the Middle East,” said Nhi.
There is more that SU could do to recognize the various and diverse cultures from the Asian continent. Unfortunately, Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month is May. This is a time when students are distracted by finals or graduation.
While only representative of Eastern Asian cultures, Lunar New Year occurs between January and February each year. This holiday could be accompanied by festivities and events to kick off spring semesters with diverse learning opportunities for students.
The Asian and Pacific Islander Club will be reconvening for the Fall 2021 Semester after suspending meetings since the Spring 2020 Semester due to COVID-19. Anyone who wishes to reach out to the organization can do so by direct messaging on Instagram via @su_apic.
The university should expand its support of organizations that educate students about Asian cultures and review its diversity resources available for students.
Nhi feels that “while Asian cultures at SU are not excluded, they are not totally included.” Violent waves of hatred elsewhere in the US have not reached our campus. However, the key to keeping the peace is continual education and awareness of diverse cultures.
By JACOB BEAVER
Staff photo courtesy of Jakob Todd