Written for The Argo by Linh Tran
The pandemic has negatively impacted many communities, especially Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Former president Donald Trump’s use of the term “Chinese virus” in reference to COVID-19 has created an uncomfortable and unsafe atmosphere for the Asian community. This also has led to an increase in widespread xenophobia. There has been a 150% spike of hate crimes towards Asian Americans in major cities.
The Asian Student Alliance of Stockton University (ASA) is an organization that brings a wide range of cultures together and hosts events all year long. They educate students on the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community by constantly discussing difficult topics about the hardships that Asian Americans have to face.
As Stockton students see the news of hate crime towards Asian Americans rise, ASA aims to make sure that Stockton students don’t feel alone. The ASA e-boards states, ”In sharing these topics to our general body members, it enables the club to unify and become a safe, open space for others to share their thoughts, feelings, and tributes about their own experiences.”
ASA has dedicated its mission to educate its members by having numerous General Body Meetings with the Advocacy Chair, Andrew Ngo. Before hate crimes against AAPI made it to mainstream media coverage, ASA has been speaking on it since the fall 2020 semester. As of the spring 2021 semester, they have made a strong effort in discussing the ongoing issue that resulted in the unsafe atmosphere that Stockton’s Asian American students have been feeling.
Even though being involved in organizations like ASA is a great way to support the Asian community, it is certainly not a requirement. There are many ways to show support and empathize with the community on/off-campus.
ASA recommended, “An important way would be to do their research about current events and spreading awareness through their daily conversations or even through social media like IG stories.”
Sharing a post of what the Asian community is dealing with could significantly help to educate many people.
Stockton University states that it aims to promote diversity and inclusion. However, there has not been any recent statements on the hardships that Asian American Ospreys are encountering.
ASA said, “Stockton University can first get involved by acknowledging that AAPI communities are suffering through these times. It would show that they care about the safety of their students of Asian descent, especially with the rise in hate crimes.”
With further recommendations, ASA added that having guest speakers and more diverse staff will make Stockton more inclusive. The organization added, “Stockton could also take some smaller steps on expanding diversity on campus such as by having more speakers and events surround the AAPI community as well as aim to hire more diverse professional staff, who can talk about AAPI issues from their personal experiences.”
Overall, they would like to see more support from the administration addressing AAPI issues and safety on campus and virtually during this time of uncertainty for the community
If you’re interested in learning more about ASA, you can follow them on Instagram at @stocktonasa.