Asian Americans have endured hate crimes worldwide due to absurd stereotypes and the fact that the differences in people’s race, ethnicity, and culture seem to have people thinking they are of higher standards compared to one another.
Pacific University preaches the concept of diversity and accepts students of a variety of ethnicities and a variety of places worldwide. According to the school website, as of recently, “Most of our students do come from the Pacific Northwest, almost one in five undergraduates hails from Hawai’i, and we have students from nearly every state and from more than 20 countries.” Hearing about the instances with the Asian Americans, Pacific looks to help out and ensure the safety and acceptance of all students. The many organizations on campus allow for students who need to get their thoughts out to be free to express themselves and to know that everyone at Pacific is here for one another.
Elle Cordima, APASU (Asian Pacific American Student Union) President, hopes that the APASU organization can help provide a safe space for students and even faculty for them to discuss the issues of Asian American hate crimes. These instances puzzle Cordima and often leave her somewhat frustrated trying to come up with a valid reason as to why this stuff happens to those who don’t deserve any negativity.
“We (APASU) try to do a lot because we know it’s up to the students, and we know it’s up to us to lift each other up,” Cordima said. “ A lot of students don’t really feel like they can talk about these issues and that they don’t have a safe space to feel recognized. We offer a safe space for those who want to talk about anything that is hard to talk about in public.”
Dr. Lesley Hallick, President of Pacific University, explained how devastated she was about these Asian American hate crimes because of the demographic at Pacific University. Hallick addressed the conflicts at hand and wrote in a letter that was sent out to everyone associated with Pacific University, reassuring students that Pacific is a safe space to talk and that everyone at Pacific is here for one another. Hallick also states that Pacific is open to making any necessary changes or implementing anything for the university to ensure the safety and well-being of everyone at Pacific.
“One of the most striking reactions I’ve had was hearing that people in the Pacific were scared,” Hallick stated. “We don’t condone any acts of racism. Giving students the possibility to talk if they want to is something I felt was needed especially in times like these. It’s kind of easy to be oblivious until you are included in the hate crime.” — Todd Takeuchi
Photo: Cherry blossoms on Pacific’s campus. Photo courtesy of Todd Takeuchi.