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September 07, 1989 - Image 33

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-09-07

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The Michigan Daily/New Student Edition - Thursday, September 7, 1989 - Page 9

Asian Americans:

UMASC unites the
'forgotten minority'

by John Feng and
Jennifer Liu
UMASC Members
Many people don't understand why Asian Americans qualify as federally
recognized minorities, because even though the numbers of Asian
Americans in the U.S. is small, they are the "model minority", and have
"made it" in this country according to the popular press. What many people
fail to discover and what our current educational system often fails to teach,
is that Asians have been lynched, massacred, denied citizenship and forbidden
to marry whites since their arrival in this country. Discrimination against
Asians still exists, and remains one of the biggest problems Asian
Americans face.
One topic that has recently been a hot press topic is the issue of minor-
ity admissions quotas. While quotas were originally set as minimums, they
can be and are used as a ceiling on Asian American enrollment. In other
words, the implicit message is: "we don't want any more of you; there's
enough of your kind here." At University of California at Berkeley, policies
were instituted such that once a 'desired percentage' of Asian Americans was
reached, the remaining applicants were singled out for diversion to other
University of California campuses. In other words, students were effectively

denied admission based on their race, because the numbers of Asians rose
too high for the comfort of the UC Berkeley administration. If there exists
a percentage of minority students that is too high, does the same apply to
the percentage of white students?
"Discrimination against Asians still exists,
and remains one of the biggest problems
Asian Americans face."
Here, at the University of Michigan, Law School Admissions Dean
Allan Stillwagon openly admits that Asian Americans are not considered for
the Law School's Special Admissions program, but Blacks, Latinos, Native
Americans, and Puerto Ricans are. In response to questions about this,
Stillwagon stated that responsibility for determining who was eligible for
this law school admissions program lies with the law school faculty.
Clearly, the existing program which excludes Asian Americans, a federally

recognized minority, is a program with which the law school faculty is sat-
This is but one of many examples of institutionalized racism, where Asian
Americans are included in federal affirmative action statistics, but are often
excluded from programs under federal guidelines. This practice is common
here at the University, embodied in programs such as the Target of
Opportunity, created by President Duderstadt to hire minority faculty - but
not Asian American faculty.
Who is responsible for pursuing these issues? The University adminis-
tration has made it clear that it does not see the need to meet the needs of
Asian American students. Unfortunately, it has always been the squeaky
wheel that gets the grease. The burden rests, unfairly, but squarely, upon the
students to voice their needs loud enough to be heard. UMASC (University
of Michigan Asian Student Coalition) encourages every student to get out
on campus this fall, and take an action to make a change.
The UMASC office is 4202 Michigan Union. For further information
about UMASC and fall events please contact John Feng, Tom Fujita of
Rubina Yeh at Trotter House, 998-7037.

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