Keep AAAS at CSULA
CSU Chancellor, Charlie Reed
Concerned Students, Community Members, and Faculty
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We are students, community members and faculty who are concerned about the recent proposal to suspend the Asian and Asian American Studies Program at CSULA. The program is just six years into its implementation and has been given extremely anemic resources in which to operate. The program director, Dr. ChorSwang Ngin has only been given 4 units of release time through which to operate the program. Nevertheless, the program has continued to receive much supplemental grants and support from outside the CSULA community. Despite the lack of support from CSULA, the program has seen interest from students of all cultural backgrounds and can now boast a modest number of majors and minors.
In the last few years, the program has seen a considerable spike of interest; this is evidenced by increased enrolment in the introductory AAAS class: AAAS 200, which sees enrollment of over 40 students each and every semester. It is also shown in the number of new majors increasing every year. It is during this growth period that Dean Henderson has recommended the suspension.
This is appalling to me. The university has NEVER shown support for Asian and Asian American Studies and this complete disregard for the meaning of Asian and Asian American Studies for diversity and representation of histories other than hegemonic western history is proof that the University has been motivated by something other than its mission statement of DIVERSITY.
We strongly urge you to take action regarding this matter.
Please listen to students. Please listen to the community. Please listen to the faculty. Asian and Asian American Studies is an important part of the mission statement of the University and will be increasingly important in the years to come. If the program is waning, suspending University support will not revitalize it: it will kill it. FURTHER it will kill the potential for the University to continue offer courses which represent the incredible diversity of human experiences in the United States and throughout the globe. Given the importance of the subject material, we would urge you to consider that the program be given more of a central role on campus, instead of mitigating it and relegating it to suffer from anemic funding. Even if the faulty argument about enrollment were true, there are many other ways of revitalizing a program. We can start with more positive ways of encouraging student interest: such as properly compensating the director and hiring faculty.