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9.25.2009

the best colleges and universities for aapi students: pitzer

This month, to kick off the school year, I'm partnering with Asian Pacific Americans for Progress to bring you a very special list of The Best Colleges and Universities for AAPI Students. Last week and this week, we're profiling the top ten best schools for AAPI student activism (in no particular order). Today's campus is...

Pitzer College
Private College
Location: Claremont, California
Founded: 1963
Enrollment: 1,025
API population: 7%
Interesting fact: In an effort to inspire dialogue about diversity, there are two murals at Pitzer reminding the community about intolerance and hate crimes -- one of Vincent Chin, which faces the mural of Chin's mother -- painted by students in the Claremont Colleges Consortium.

"I am submitting this application because I truly believe in Pitzer's commitment to intercultural understanding and diversity. I chose to come to Pitzer because of these values and I have been nothing but impressed with how the college, already a leader in student activism, continues to grow and build on its foundations. I have had the privilege of working with several AAPI groups throughout the Claremont Colleges." - Nominator

Pitzer College is a place that strives to enrich and develop social, intellectual and personal growth among its students by providing a welcoming and supportive environment. Students at there can take advantage of the resources offered at all five of the Claremont Colleges, including the Intercollegiate Department of Asian American Studies (IDAAS). They also benefit from the services and resources offered by the Center for Asian Pacific American Students (CAPAS).

Pitzer students and CAPAS regularly work with other organizations that support the experiences of AAPI communities at the Claremont Colleges, empowering students to seek partnerships and build larger coalitions for community events. On the Pitzer campus, the student leaders of CAPAS coordinate the Asian American Sponsor Program (AASP), which is a mentorship program matching older Pitzer students with first-year students to help the new students transition to college life. AASP coordinates AAPI-themed events to educate and bring together all students. New this year to Pitzer is the Asian Pacific American Coalition (APAC), which serves as an umbrella organization for AAPI student organizations, and addresses the greater needs of the community.

Aside from cultivating activism within Pitzer's campus and the greater Claremont Colleges Consortium, students often turns its eye to the AAPI community off campus. The previous Fall-semester, CAPAS hosted an event titled "Fil-I-Am: Filipino Americans in Hip Hop", with outreach to the surrounding Inland Empire and Los Angeles community, the event was successful in moving beyond the college-student audience and engaging a diverse group of people in a discussion of the recent emergence of Filipinos in American mainstream media. Fil-I-Am included a philanthropic cause where donations were collected and sent to needy families in the Philippines.

CAPAS, AASP, APAC, and the IDAAS all create an environment at Pitzer for students to create a strong AAPI community. The very presence of these groups on campus is a testament to the commitment of Pitzer's students into creating an environment that truly embraces the school's intercultural and interdisciplinary values.

To see the rest of the Best Colleges and Universities for AAPI Students, go here.