Members of the Southeast Asian community met yesterday with University of Washington President Michael Young to express concern over the elimination of the Southeast Asian Student recruiter position, reports Northwest Asian Weekly.
The meeting was held at Asian Counseling and Referral Services (ACRS).
“I was very shocked when it happened because finally Southeast Asians were getting a little more attention than before,” said Tony Vo, former Asian Student Commission Director for the Associated Students of the University of Washington. “We had a lot more goals in mind when we started this position. … Once the position was lost, we kind of took a step back. It made us all step back.”
The University stated prior to the meeting it would be open to bringing the position back.
“We respect what we have heard from those who are committed to working with us to improve college access and success for Southeast Asian students, and there is a good chance the position will be reinstated.” said Vice Provost of Diversity Sheila Edwards Lange.
The poverty rate among Southeast Asian Americans is huge. Thirty-seven percent of the Hmong community, 29 percent of the Cambodian community, 18 percent of the Laotian community, and 16 percent of the Vietnamese community live in poverty. The high school drop out rate for Hmong, Laotian and Cambodian students is 35 to 40 percent.
You can read about what members of the community want from the recruiter position in Northwest Asian Weekly.