HomeCommunitySigns with Anti-Asian Slurs Posted on Harvard UC President’s Door 

Signs with Anti-Asian Slurs Posted on Harvard UC President’s Door 

Two paper signs with anti-Asian slurs were posted on the door of Harvard Undergraduate Council President Michael Y. Cheng on Monday morning.

The signs called Cheng an anti-Asian slur and also included the phrase “SAVE THE UC,” according to The Harvard Crimson. Cheng discovered these flyers when leaving his dorm in the Quincy House in the morning. Another house resident reported the signs to house administrators afterward. 

Cheng was elected UC president in November on a platform pledging to defund the UC and rewrite its constitution. He told The Harvard Crimson he believes the act was perpetrated by one of his political opponents. 

“It’s right after the UC midterm elections,” Cheng said. “There are some people that are frustrated by decisions we’ve made…I presume if you care enough to do something like this, you’re probably on the UC.” 

Cheng requested an apology from the perpetrator in an email to his fellow Quincy residents following the act of Monday.

“I don’t care about punishment, I would just appreciate a personal apology,” Cheng told The Harvard Crimson

Quincy faculty deans deemed the act “absolutely unacceptable,” stating that the vandal’s actions are inconsistent with Quincy house values, according to The Harvard Crimson article. 

The Harvard-Radcliffe Asian American Women’s Association released a statement on their website discussing the act in the context of anti-Asian hate crimes increasing over threefold throughout the course of the past year. 

The statement calls for the College to maintain transparency with the Asian American community and for the administration to take concrete actions in response to this occurrence. 

It also criticizes the College for espousing a commitment to inclusivity, while ignoring violations of these standards. 

In addition, the statement calls for broader reforms from the College to uplift students from all marginalized backgrounds, citing a previous statement: 

“It is imperative that we unite with our Black, Brown, and Indigenous peers in fighting a battle that both precedes and follows us. Anti-Asian racism is but one instance of a broader system that has let anti-Blackness, colonialism, and white supremacy fester.”

Incidents of racism against Asians at higher education institutions have been reported in recent weeks. Anonymous posts attacking South Asian students at Boston College appeared on the social media app Herrd last weekend. Text messages that threatened Asians were sent to a student at Occidental College.

Cheng describes the incident he faced as “disheartening, but not that surprising” in The Harvard Crimson article. 

“It’s disappointing that I feel desensitized to all this noise, even though this is just objectively racist,” Cheng said.

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