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4.25.2008

excluded from the plan at the university of maryland

The fight for Asian American Studies continues... Got news that students at the University of Maryland are stepping up to demand that Asian Americans are included in the future of the University. The current draft of the University "Strategic Plan"—a document which governs future resource allocation and academic affairs policy for the next 5 to 10 years—completely ignores Asian American Studies and does nothing to address meeting the needs of Maryland's growing Asian American student population.

Given forecasted fiscal shortfalls for the state of Maryland, many students fear that Asian American Studies, as well as other academic programs dedicated to the study of race, gender, sexual orientation and issues of identity, face elimination or severe cutbacks in the case of a budget crisis. I think it's a legitimate concern, especially considering how we've seen a surge of hostility lately towards ethnic studies, race-based student groups, and the like (i.e. Arizona).

As the deadline nears for community input, several Asian American groups at the University of Maryland are preparing to lobby and write letters demanding that the Provost add provisions to ensure that Asian American Studies be protected and promoted one day into a Major. Other demands include that there should be more needs based assessment surveys so counseling services can be improved, and that there should be a space on campus for Asian American cultural events.

Do it, my brothers and sisters. Fight it. Here's a recent opinion piece by Lee Fang and Scottie Siu, published in the student paper, expressing their concerns about the Strategic Plan: Guest Column: Excluded from the plan.