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Campus Round Up: Asian American Studies Expanded. Pacific Islander Students May Be Recognized

University of Washington
University of Washington

The Associated Students of the University of Washington is moving towards granting for the first time protected seats in the student senate for legacy Pacific Islander groups while the popularity of Asian American Studies at Harvard is on the rise.

The Crimson reports 100 students packed this year’s first lecture of the Asian American literature course compared to just seven who enrolled in 2011, the first year the class was offered.

This increased interest in Asian American Studies follows stronger advocacy from both faculty  and students to expand the Asian American Studies program at Harvard. They are pushing the administration for a formal Asian American Studies program.

“There really is interest,”  said Tessa L. Desmond, coordinator for the Ethnicity, Migration, and Rights program. “What we have right now are broad introductory courses, and there’s interest in drilling down further.”

Across the country, at the University of Washington, 123 seats on the senate represent a wide array of diverse student populations. Other legacy groups on campus have protected seats in the senate, but the Pacific Islander groups were not among them. That changed with a vote of the senate Tuesday night, reports The Daily.

“Giving [Pacific Islanders] protected seats would show that they are accepted in senate and that they belong there just as much as anyone else,” said Daniele Menez, director of Pacific Islander Student Commission. Legacy Pacific Islander groups on campus include the Polynesian Student Alliance (PSA), the Micronesian Islands Club (MIC), and the Filipino American Student Association (FASA).

No final decision was made.

You can read about how the Pacific Islander groups made their presence felt at the senate meeting in The Daily.

You can read about what students and faculty are doing to expand Asian American Studies at Harvard in the Crimson.

 

 

 

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