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UCSD adds AAPI Studies Program & Minor

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After decades of student advocacy, University of California San Diego has finally launched an Asian American Pacific Islander Studies program and minor, Newswise reports. UCSD Students can begin enrolling in the program and minor this Fall quarter. AAPI Studies comes as part of 14 newly-added programs to UCSD’s campus. Chicanx/Latinx Studies and African American Studies are also included in these new programs.

Students, faculty, and alumni are ecstatic over this long-awaited change. The Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance was formed in 1987 to advocate for the creation of an AAPI Studies program. But UCSD has deferred every proposal made by students. The university’s deferments have perplexed student advocates for over 30 years. “[UCSD thinks] if Asians are the largest demographic on campus, then why do they need any more services?” an op-ed from The Guardian writes. “Well, that is precisely the point. If Asians and Asian Americans make up over half of the population at UCSD, then why do we not have studies dedicated to the experiences and struggles of the Asian-American community?”

According to Newswise, “the establishment of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies Program at UC San Diego is long overdue, and now couldn’t be timelier,” says UCSD history professor Simeon Mann. “With the catastrophes of the global pandemic, climate change, racism and the violence of policing, it has become necessary to build spaces of collective study wherever possible, to understand how we got here and to build toward a different future. I’m hopeful that the program can be one more space to build community and to do this work.”

As requested, the AAPI Studies program will focus on the history and culture of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Students will be able to study the art, literature, history and political struggles of the AAPI diaspora. According to the university’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Studies Program website, the minor consists of seven courses, or 28 units from areas ranging from Anthropology to Visual Arts.

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