Penn Masala, a Hindi a cappella group at the University of Pennsylvania
Two racial incidents this past semester at the University of Pennsylvania is prompting a call from Asian American students for campus-wide change, reports the Daily Pennsylvania
“The main things that come to mind would be the Phi Delta incident and the more recent Vietnamese Student Association incident,” said Lawrence Li of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition. ”[Such] incidents have just brought racial relations to the front of the discussion, whereas last year, during my sophomore year, the main topic of discussion was mental health,” he said.
On April 17th, several groups of mostly White students walked past a barbeque sponsored by the Vietnamese Students Association and made disparaging racial taunts.
The incident soon escalated into a confrontation.
In the Phi Delta Theta incident, a fraternity posed with an African American sex doll for its holiday photo.
“The University should really strive to make it so that these different groups, the 5B organizations and the three cultural houses, are mandated to do different cross-cultural activities and collaborate with each other so that the students involved with the organizations are able to come into regular contact with each other, learn more about each other and create more dialogue,” said Rich Chaudhary, also of the Asian Pacific Student Coalition.
Kristen Kelly, the Chair of the Asian American Studies Undergraduate Advisory Board, joined Li in calling for more cultural education among the student body.
Not everyone agrees that’s the answer. You can read about that in the Daily Pennsylvania