Thursday, September 29, 2005

Michigan Daily Follow-up Article

http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/29/433b87737db64

True or not, alleged bias incident inflames

By Carissa Miller, Daily Staff Reporter
September 29, 2005


On one of his first days at the University, LSA junior Andrew Guzman was called a chink.

I was offended because first of all, Im not Chinese, and he was utterly racist against me, Guzman said.

At a party, a student asked LSA sophomore Denny Chan, Are you related to Jackie Chan?

Whether being asked Can you teach me karate? or called Chinaman, dozens of other Asian students can testify to enduring similar acts at the University.

But enough is enough.

In the past weeks, student organizations on campus have mobilized in response to an alleged incident of ethnic intimidation, recently called into doubt, in which two University students were reported to have verbally harassed and urinated on two Asian students.

Regardless of whether the official investigation proves or disproves the incident, many Asian students are using the incident to highlight what they say is a campus climate that condones ethnic discrimination and intimidation.

At an Asian and Pacific Islander Americans town hall meeting Monday, students said the incident, now in dispute, is just one example of the types of situations Asian students and faculty face daily. At least 50 Asian students attended the meeting and most said theyve encountered racial harassment at the University before.

Some said they receive it frequently. And many students arent entirely sure why they are targets.

But overall, whether because of fear or complacency, students at the meeting said they have kept the encounters to themselves.

Guzman, president of the Filipino American Student Association, said one reason Asians might be easy targets is because members of Asian communities are often seen as quiet, nonconfrontational and hesitant to defend themselves.

There is the view that we will take things no matter what happens and not do anything about it, Guzman said. People think they can get away with it.
A lot of people also think certain comments arent necessarily racist or derogatory.

Guzman added that the model minority stereotype influences the treatment many Asians receive.

There is a strong belief that discrimination doesnt happen to Asian Americans. No one views us as a minority, Guzman said. And even in that sense, having that stereotype (of the model minority) is discriminatory in itself because it does not take into account peoples different experiences in life and with discrimination.

Some Asian students, such as LSA sophomore and United Asian American Organizations external chair Denny Chan, say they believe this lack of recognition as a minority group also impacts the frequency at which incidents of ethnic intimidation and discrimination are reported.

There is the feeling that your concern might be shrugged off, Chan said.
And when you experience (discrimination) alone, you dont have the realization that its so frequent.

When these things happen to you, there is also confusion around what avenues there are that you can take, Chan continued. Many (Asians) dont know about existing services. We need to create a safe zone so students feel comfortable reporting.

While Asian organizations continue to discuss the reasons for the prevalence of racial harassment on the campus, the groups have also begun to take actions to create awareness of the issue.

After the alleged incident of ethnic intimidation on Sept. 15, Asian student groups founded APIA Change, a group that is trying to devise ways to improve the campus climate. Recently, APIA Change has begun cataloguing incidents of racial harassment toward Asians. But leaders of the group hope the University will aid them in taking a strong stance against racial harassment.

There is no clear signal to offenders that this must stop that this is wrong, Chan added. The administration hasnt sent this clear message, so its just going to continue.

Guzman said that, while the underlying point is that discrimination has always existed with regards to Asians, it is interesting that it took a publicized incident to spark debate and discussion.

In my view, (Asians) as a whole are not a very united group, and unless you have a huge mobilization, a small minority is often viewed as being radical or whiny, Guzman said. But now that group is getting larger, and people are starting to take notice. As a community, we need to educate, strengthen and empower ourselves.

Of course this isnt just an issue limited to the campus, said Stephanie Kao, a Business senior and co-chair of the United Asian American Organizations. However, the kind of support we get and the kind of climate set up by the administration doesnt support diversity as much as they would like to believe.

While there are people in the Asian community who would stress assimilation and say these issues arent relevant, it all depends on how you look at it, Kao said.

Kao said that although views differ on the issue, as in any minority community, the issues raised by this incident pose important questions.

Why is it important to fit into the society? Kao said. Why cant we be unique with our culture and our heritage?

Michigan Daily Article RE: President Coleman Response

http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/29/433b8824760f2

Coleman: Campus has much to learn

By Carissa Miller, Daily Staff Reporter
September 29, 2005


In light of the greater recognition of racial harassment on campus due to recent events, students are questioning whether the Universitys goal of diversity has been effective in fostering a campus climate of tolerance.

University President Mary Sue Coleman said that regardless of Sept. 15s alleged felony of ethnic intimidation, the incident has provided an opportunity for the entire campus community to reflect upon and address the issues surrounding racial harassment at the University.

My feeling is the University is working hard, Coleman said. But one of the things we sometimes forget is that every year we have thousands of new students who come to us who may not understand what we expect.

Coleman speculated that acts of disrespect and discrimination toward Asian students might occur because most students who come to the University have had little interaction with people of other cultures. According to data that the University has, many students come from segregated communities.

Coleman cited other possible factors including peer pressure and lack of knowledge of other cultures.

It is possible that some people dont realize they are being offensive when they say something, she said.

Coleman added that while she feels there are structures in place to enable students to experience other cultures and races such as the race and ethnicity class requirement the University cannot force people to interact with people from different backgrounds.

(With this incident), we are reminded that many community members experience bias and dont report it, so there isnt full comprehension of what is going on, said University spokeswoman Julie Peterson.

Peterson said the University wants to establish clear guidelines to ensure that students know how to report incidents of ethnic intimidation and discrimination. Other plans include a campaign addressing hate-related incidents, Peterson said.

There are a lot of good efforts in place to address race relations and bias issues in general, Peterson said, but we can always do more.

University faculty are also joining in the effort to improve the climate of the campus for students, faculty and staff susceptible to racial harassment.

American Culture Prof. Amy Stillman who contributed to a letter in which faculty members demanded the University uphold its commitment to diversity by taking immediate action is working to organize a collective response to the issue of hate crimes.

Stillman outlined several steps that students and faculty should take to combat the occurrence of hate crimes and create a more respectable climate. These recommendations include encouraging students to report racial harassment to the Department of Public Safety and the Office of Student Conflict and Resolution. A public rally on campus involving multiple student groups is also in works.

We need to talk to our colleagues and draw them into the coalition with us, Stillman said. This issue of climate is something that affects all of us, and (the faculty) have the opportunity to be the leaders.

At a large institution like the University of Michigan, some Asian students feel they have to put up with minor indignities in order to fit in, said Scott Kurashige, assistant professor in the Asian and Pacific Islander American Studies department.

Kurashige added that while the University has great potential for cultural programming, it needs to take proactive steps to make comprehensive changes to eliminate racism. His department is holding a teach-in today at
7 p.m. in South Quads Yuri Kochiyama lounge.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Letter of Support from Former Law School Professor

Dear Members of the Michigan United Asian American Organizations:

I was saddened by news of the events reported in the September 21, 2005 Michigan Daily. I am heartened, however, by your efforts to use this incident as a creative opportunity for collective introspection and action.

I spent eight years on the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School (1995-2003). Like most members of the faculty, I am a white male. My partner of fourteen years, however, is Cambodian, so I am probably more sensitive to these issues than many. In your effort to document and better understand the educational environment at Michigan, I offer some of my own experiences.

At one point, I was directing the Law & Economic Workshop.
The Workshop brings in outside speakers and entails organizing a lunch and dinner for the speaker. The tradition was to have lunch at the Saigon Garden. One tenured colleague would repeatedly object to the location. Without any appreciation for how outrageous his comments were, he would explain that he loved his dogs and that the Vietnamese ate dogs. Since the Vietnamese supposedly ate dogs, he did not want to eat at the Saigon Garden.

At one level, this may just be an isolated incident of someone being culturally insensitive. It was perhaps particularly insensitive because of its failure to appreciate and honor the significance of my own family situation. The fact that the incident was repeated after gentle and not so gentle efforts to educate him as to how inappropriate his behavior was suggests some of the difficulties in addressing ingrained aspects of discrimination.

More troubling may be the fact that many other colleagues simply did not “get it” when I relayed the story. Similar disparaging comments made about African, Jewish or Irish Americans would have engendered a very different reaction. Many people (including educated faculty members at elite law schools) do not even know enough to know when they are making insensitive and inappropriate comments regarding Asian Americans.

The marginalization of the Asian experience and of Asian Americans is reflected in other aspects of the institution. The Law School’s Center for International & Comparative law has a distinctly Eurocentric focus. To its credit, Japan and China have long traditions at Michigan Law, but they are not afforded equal status. Other Asian countries are not even on the radar screen. My arguments that any serious study of comparative constitutional law would have to include a country like India fell largely on deaf ears. A country like Cambodia was viewed as an opportunity for student social work, but not worthy of serious academic study.

During my time on the faculty, there were no tenured or tenure-track Asian faculty members. A number of distinguished Asian American legal scholars, who were off-the-charts good, spent time as “Visiting” faculty members, but were not accorded the serious consideration they deserved. At the same time, white scholars (also eminently qualified) who spoke
Japanese or Chinese were viewed as strategic opportunities.

These are complicated questions and there are no easy answers. The point is not to cast aspersions, but to take opportunities like this to raise awareness and identify larger patterns within the institution that call for greater reflection and potential future action.

I wish you well in this important undertaking.

Sincerely,

Peter J. Hammer

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Ann Arbor News article on town hall

http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-14/1127830267250880.xml&coll=2

Asian-American bias alleged

U-M administrators agree racial incidents more common than reports indicate Tuesday, September 27, 2005 BY DAVE GERSHMAN News Staff Reporter

Asian students and faculty at the University of Michigan will push for changes to the campus climate after a report of alleged ethnic intimidation prompted an outpouring of concern that it may represent an undercurrent of bias against Asians attending U-M.

More than 40 people gathered at the William Monroe Trotter House on Monday, days after the Sept. 15 incident that has roiled the Asian community.

An Asian couple reported to police that a white man on the balcony of an off-campus apartment urinated on them as they walked past. They said the man, along with a roommate, yelled derogatory remarks about their ethnicity. All involved are believed to be students.

Police said today that they are still investigating. Police interviewed both men and they denied the allegations and said they had poured beer off the balcony.
The men could face charges of assault or ethnic intimidation.

Several speakers Monday said they were shocked, but not surprised, by the most recent incident, because they had endured racial epithets and derogatory or insensitive remarks on and off campus. The incident, they said, highlighted the need to change attitudes.

Initial suggestions for action include holding an anti-racism rally and asking U-M to include more ethnic studies courses. Another idea is to require freshmen to receive racial sensitivity training.

Jennifer Yim, a graduate student, said she had been yelled at repeatedly while walking in Ann Arbor near campus. " 'Go home, we don't like foreigners,' '' Yim said, recounting some of the comments. "Or, 'Hey, baby, teach me some karate.'
''

Stephen Ahn, a leader of the United Asian American Organizations student group, said some students have a misperception about making the remarks. "There's this attitude that it's all right to do that because it's not real racism,'' said Ahn.

Speakers said such comments made them feel like outsiders at their own school.
Asian-Americans make up about 12 percent of the student body.

"I just have this sickening feeling that if my kid goes here, the same thing will happen again,'' said Linh Song, an alumnus who is expecting a child. "As a mother, you have so much hope. You don't want this to happen to your children.''

Before the meeting, Amy Stillman, an associate professor and director of Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, said victims often don't report the incidents, which needs to change.

In each of the past two calendar years, the U-M Department of Public Safety has received fewer than a dozen reported hate crimes or incidents, said spokeswoman Diane Brown. But university administrators agree that incidents of racial bias are more common than official reports would indicate.

"It's hard to put a number to this, but it is common knowledge that anti-Asian bias is pervasive,'' said Stillman. "The kind of bias that many Asian-American students experience is subtle and in some cases unintended - just ignorant and uninformed.

"But what compounds the problem tremendously is that there is also a long history of these incidents being brushed off when they're reported,'' she added.

In a letter sent last week to U-M President Mary Sue Coleman and other administrators, Stillman and seven other faculty members decried "that a public incident such as this has once again unmasked more pervasive ethnic and racial discrimination that remains undocumented.'' The letter called on the U-M administration to "marshal the necessary resources to ensure that the wider university community can collaborate collectively to end such race-based bias and intimidation.''

Coleman responded that U-M won't tolerate those actions, and will address them promptly through education and through discipline, when appropriate.

In appearing before faculty representatives Monday, Coleman was asked about the incident. She said that U-M may look at how reports of bias are handled and the training given the Department of Public Safety. "It's just not acceptable,'' she said of racial incidents. "We're not that kind of place.''

Stillman said the university's response so far has been inadequate. No policies have been altered, she said. She also asked whether there is a glass ceiling for Asians working at U-M, and questioned why there are no Asians working as professional administrators in the Fleming Building.

Andrew Guzman, speaking before the meeting, said he hopes the outrage becomes a catalyst for change.

"A lot of things have happened,'' said Guzman, president of the Filipino American Student Association, who said he has had derogatory comments yelled at him while downtown.

"There's just been a lot of build-up among our community and I feel like we've kind of programmed ourselves to take it in a sense,'' said Guzman. "And that's a huge problem.''

News Staff Reporter Amalie Nash contributed to this report. Dave Gershman can be reached at (734) 994-6818 or dgershman@annarbornews.com.

Letter from Latina/o Studies and Native American Studies

Subject: An Open Letter Regarding the Recent Incident on Campus

September 27, 2005


Mary Sue Coleman, President
Edward Gramlich, Interim Provost
Lester P. Monts, Senior Vice Provost
Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs John Matlock, Director, Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives; Patricia Aqui, Director, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs; Patricia Gurin, Acting Director, Center for Institutional Diversity

An Open Letter

We, the faculties who teach in Latina/o Studies and the Native American Studies Programs want to express our outrage at the incident reported on the front page of last Wednesday's Michigan Daily (Sept. 21), involving two male university students who allegedly assaulted a couple of Asian heritage by shouting racial slurs, throwing eggs, and urinating on the couple. If true, the behavior of these University of Michigan students is inexcusable and should not and cannot be tolerated by this University Community, if this is to be a place where students learn in a safe and free environment.

The incident, unfortunately, is not an isolated one, but is perhaps just the most visible of the daily incidents of racial and ethnic intimidation that many students-of-color face on this campus. As faculty whose daily work involves teaching and conducting research that aims to increase interracial understanding and tolerance throughout the university community, we are deeply disturbed by the presence of such intolerance and hatred on our campus. One of our responsibilities is to educate students and colleagues alike to the history of anti-Asian racism and violence and how that history is linked to the long and complex history of racism and racial intolerance in this country. We also work to promote an understanding that will lead to solutions and mutual appreciation for the diverse nation that has been created by this often painful history.

We hope that the University will take at least two concrete and public steps to address this issue. First, a fair and full hearing into the incident must be conducted by the University administration. If these students are indeed found guilty of the accusations after a complete hearing, then they should not be permitted to continue as students at this University. An incident that exhibits such racial intolerance can not be tolerated by a University that proclaims its commitment to educating a diverse student body. Second, while we regret that a public incident such as this has once again unmasked more pervasive ethnic and racial discrimination on this campus, we hope that the university leadership will now marshal the necessary resources to ensure that the wider university community can collaborate collectively to ease, if not end, such race-based bias and intimidation.

As faculty we support all of our students who daily face such hostilities, both overt and subtle. We welcome the opportunity to work with you, the University administration, to find productive ways of dealing with these difficult issues that continue to haunt our campus climate.


Respectfully,

The Faculties of the Latina/o Studies and Native American Studies Programs

Maria E. Montoya, Director Latina/o Studies Program Gregory Dowd, Director, Native American Studies Program Philip Deloria, Director, American Culture Catherine Benamou, Associate Professor Maria E. Cotera, Assistant Professor Joseph Gone, Assistant Professor Jesse Hoffnung-Garskof, Assistant Professor Lawrence La Fountain-Stokes, Assistant Professor Barbara Meek, Assistant Professor Tiya Miles, Assistant Professor Maria C. Sanchez, Assistant Professor Andrea Smith, Assistant Professor Gustavo Verdisio, Associate Professor Michael Witgen, Assistant Professor

Monday, September 26, 2005

CALL-TO-ACTION: GIVE YOUR TESTIMONY AS ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN STUDENTS

CALL-TO-ACTION: GIVE YOUR TESTIMONY AS ASIAN/PACIFIC ISLANDER AMERICAN STUDENTS:
A documentation of racially targeting incidents at the University of Michigan The recent incident involving racially targeted intimidation of two Asian students at the University of Michigan has prompted an outcry from the Asian/Pacific Islander American (APIA) community. But this is not an isolated incident – it is a larger issue related to the our own campus climate, where students feel they are allowed to engage in such acts in the first place. In the last few days, many members of the APIA community have come forth with testimonials of their own experiences of being targeted because of their race or ethnicity. In order to address the missing student services and academic resources we need to address the marginalizing climate for APIAS at UMich, we must document these experiences. Without this, administration will continue to view these acts as singular and isolated incidents.


If you have your own experience of being marginalized because of your race, ethnicity, and/or nationality, please take the time to share this. All stories will remain anonymous unless you say otherwise. These stories will be uploaded onto a website (address TBD). It is the purpose of this website to document these incidents in order to create a database of testimonies that shows the issue of hate speech, racial/ethnic intimidation and hate incidents are a
systemic problem at the University of Michigan. This information is a step
forward for those who want to better understand and advocate for campus climate issues for Asian American students and other students of color at the University of Michigan.

Please send all testimonies to: document_umich@yahoo.com

In your testimony, please provide the following information:

1) Name (optional)
2) Graduate or Undergraduate. Include your year (or incoming year for
graduates)
3) Race/Ethnicity,
4) What is your experience of being marginalized at UMich? Either generally speaking or if possible, please provide a specific occurence you remember
5) What was your response, if at all?
6) What resources do you feel UMich administration must fund in order to improve a safe residential, academic, and overall campus climate for APIA students?

* Additional funding to provide adequate student services for APIA programming at UMICH
* Additional funding for APIA Studies at UMICH
* Additional funding for alumni/student to build relations for APIA students and alumni


Thank you for your time and efforts.
If you have specific questions or concerns, please also direct them to document_umich@yahoo.com

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Professor Stillman Letter to Michigan Daily

Hi C.C.,

I'm very grateful that the Michigan Daily is covering this situation.

The entire history of Asian people in the U.S. is one filled with violent racism and racist-inspired legislative exclusion. And in many anti-Asian episodes, criminal behavior often went only lightly punished, if at all.
Any reading of any Asian American history textbook will turn up numerous incidents throughout the entire country in which Asians have been at the receiving end of unprovoked violence. (Examples of history texts are "Asian American Dreams" by Helen Zia and "Asian Americans" by Sucheng Chan.) Shockingly, the legal system was used for many decades against Asian people who, for example, were barred from testifying in court cases in the late 19th century, or, in the case of Japanese-Americans during World War II (many of them American-born), ordered to leave the west coast states and incarcerated in internment camps in the name of "national security."

Although extreme violence affects only a minority of the APA population, it is common knowledge that a clear majority of people of Asian heritage in the United States today experience subtle bias and discrimination, even with some regularity! What makes it insidious is its very subtlety. Indeed, the ability of many Asians to shrug their shoulders and say they're not surprised when something like last week's incident happens, is clear demonstration that the present state of affairs is accepted by many as "that's the way things are," so to speak. This acquiescence is one factor that contributes to underreporting. Another factor is that when people step forward and report incidents of bias, often the reports are treated dismissively, which only discourages any further action when bias is encountered.

It is important to educate both the university community and the university administration that bias is far more pervasive than existing statistics would indicate. This is significant, because the pervasiveness of the bias makes the campus an unwelcoming environment for Asian and Asian American students, faculty, and staff. As conversations percolate throughout the university community, stories of experiencing racially-motivated bias are coming out. Steps are being taken to collect these stories as counterevidence to existing--and underreported--statistics.

The APA community at Michigan is coming to consciousness, and the presence of faculty and courses on Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies has strengthened an already activist APIA student community. It must be noted, too, that the presence of nine faculty in APIA Studies is a direct result of student pressure for ethnic studies courses. Yet although there have been efforts in past years to educate administrators on APIA community needs, it is widely perceived that these efforts have been met repeatedly by administrative indifference.

How did I feel when I read about the incidence? Outrage. How is it that any human being thinks he or she is allowed to act with incivility toward another human being? How is it that people who do bad things to other people think they can get away with it?

What moved me to action? Specifically the story in last week Wednesday's Michigan Daily. It was bad enough that the incident was described in graphic detail. But when I read the two students' reactions--"it was not surprising" that something like that could happen--I literally screamed No!
This is completely unacceptible. What kind of climate is there on campus that allows students of Asian heritage to be horrified but not surprised at this kind of incident? The University of Michigan, which prides itself on valuing diversity, has failed its APA students. Enough is enough.

Feel free to call me if you have any further questions.
Aloha,
Amy K. Stillman
Associate Professor of American Culture, and Director, Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies

Friday, September 23, 2005

A Follow-up Message from Neighbor

Greetings everyone,

I just got off the phone with Andy Post, a Philosophy student. Right before that, I had re-read my own email sent out last night and realized that I was unintentionally giving this situation a spin.

There are a few things I wanted to clarify:

a.) Being a minority myself, I know how exasperating it is to be racially discriminated against.

b.) My neighbors are Caucasian people but they have a lot of multicultural friends, including Asians. The fact that they have been extremely friendly to both me and my roommate since the beginning of the semester says a lot about them not being racist. I'm Indian and my roommate is Arab.

c.) I was in no way soliciting any side of the story. I was merely trying to point out that a lot has been said in the Media without facts being taken into consideration.

If I were in the Asian student's position, I would possibly have been equally angry. However it is our duty, as a resident of this country, to behave in a civilized manner and accept apologies when made.

My neighbor has sent out an email with a transcript of the evening's events.
While this might best be put into a statement to the police (who, co-incidentally, have failed to respond to all attempted communication), I'd be more than happy to forward a copy to you if requested.

Again, I apologize if it sounded like I was putting a spin on the story, but it was just my opinions and some facts that I felt were missing in the community. I am a minority myself, and would never side a racist.

Thank you,
Kunjal Raheja
Senior, Computer Engineering

A Message From the Roomate of 'Alleged'

Professor Stillman,

*Please forward this email to whomever would benefit from reading it.

I am writing to give you a perspective that no one else is sharing until now.
My name is Andrew Richards and am the roomate of the person being accused of urinating on a couple as they walked by. To begin, I know that my neighbors, both heavily involved in ethnic associations on campus, have been responding to the e-mails they have received with what they had seen on that night. I hope these emails become more widespread as no one, not even the police, have talked to anyone other than the two individuals who clamed they were urinated on.

On thuesday night, my roomate and I were on our balcony playing a game of beerpong. When a cup tipped over it was picked up and the liquid was tossed over the edge. At this time, a couple looked up and the male yelled "fuck you"
and threw a dunhill cigarette at us. The two went around the corner.

About an hour later, the male showed up with four of his friends. I did not see the girlfriend. They were yelling at us and telling us to come downstaitrs. We went outside and talked to them for about 30 seconds. They were getting really angry and yelling at my friend. We thought they had come for a fight and turned around and went back in our apartment, locking the door.

We went back outside and the group of people were standing there yelling at us.
At one point, the only true fact in the paper, one of them was yelling at us in what we now know was Korean. My roomate yelled "Hey, speak english", and he responded by saying "Learn to speak Korean, bitch".

Words were exchanged between one person and myself. He yelled "come down and fight me white piggy", to this my neighbor George (who is
middle-eastern) heard. I responded by saying that he wanted to get me down there, fight and get me thrown in jail when the cops showed up. He said his friend was bluffing and really wasn't calling the police. He kept trying to get me to come fight him.

I now know that the girlfriend had left and, at some point called the police.
My initial thought is that these five people showed up outside our balcony to try and create some sort of fight, not to get us in trouble.

Yes, a comment was made about speaking english because they were not and we did not understand. Nothing, at any point, was thrown. We do not even have eggs.
Our neighbors on each side were standing on their balconys watching.
Amanda, a girl on the other side, even went downstairs to try and talk the group of people.

On another note, my roomate would not come outside because we felt nothing had been done wrong. He had 4 drinks and thought that they would give him an MIP, so I suggest he stayed inside.

A few more facts:

There is literally no way to pee off our balcony. If you come to 610 south forest and take a look, the balcony has a rise that goes up to my chest (and I am 6'2). The slits in the boards are about half an inch apart.

The news is taking this and running with it. Associations are trying to make a point out of it. I understand that racism is a huge problem in the country today and fully agree with taking steps to end it. But this situation is something that is being turned into something it is not.

--
Andrew Richards
Umich '07

President Coleman Writes Letter to University

Recently, concerns have been raised by members of our community about incidents that have targeted our students based on their race or ethnicity. We, too, are deeply concerned about these incidents. Our University is constantly striving to create a community that embraces diversity and fosters a climate of respect, tolerance, inclusiveness, fairness, civility and safety. We must not and will not tolerate actions that serve to target or intimidate members of our community based on race, ethnicity, gender or gender identity, sexual orientation, religious or political belief, national origin, or other personal characteristics. When we learn of such incidents, we have a responsibility to address them promptly through education and dialogue and, where appropriate, disciplinary sanction or criminal prosecution.

We have no doubt that incidents of bias are more common in our community than official reports would indicate. It also seems clear that we could do a better job of communicating to students and other community members the processes and support structures that already exist for reporting hate-related incidents and directing community members toward campus resources. We have asked our staff to pull together a more comprehensive communications effort to achieve this goal and make our processes more transparent and accessible.

In 2004, President Coleman charged the Campus Safety and Security Advisory Committee (CSSAC) to consider ways to address hate incidents, including exploring the creation of a comprehensive reporting mechanism and planning strategies for increasing awareness of the issue. Because of leadership changes the committee did not complete its work in this area; but we have asked the group to put this at the top of its agenda for the current year. We look forward to seeing CSSAC's recommendations.

We hope and expect you will help us work together to create an inclusive community that is welcoming and respectful of all its members.

Sincerely,


Mary Sue Coleman, President
Edward M. Gramlich, Interim Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs
Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs
Lester P. Monts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

Story Hits Detroit Free Press

http://www.freep.com/news/mich/asian23e_20050923.htm

Asians harassed at U-M, says letter seeking officials' aid

University officials asked to step in

September 23, 2005

BY MARYANNE GEORGE
FREE PRESS ANN ARBOR BUREAU

Two incidents involving ethnic intimidation of Asian students at the University of Michigan have provoked several faculty members to demand action from school officials.

In a letter obtained by the Free Press that was sent to President Mary Sue Coleman and other top U-M officials Thursday, the professors said the incidents, including a case where a white student allegedly urinated on two Asian students, "unmasked more pervasive ethnic and racial discrimination that remains undocumented."

The professors, who teach Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, asked Coleman to marshal the university's resources to end race-based bias and intimidation and to sanction students perpetrating such incidents.

Late Thursday, Coleman responded in a letter to the professors, saying she would "not tolerate actions that target or intimidate members of our community based on race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity ... or other personal characteristics."

Coleman also pledged to do more to address incidents of ethnic intimidation. Two incidents last week involving Asian students sparked the controversy. About 13% of U-M students are Asian, according to U-M data.

On Sept. 15, two Asian students were walking in the 600 block of South Forest Avenue about 11:15 p.m. when they looked up and saw a white male urinating off of his apartment balcony onto their arms, said Ann Arbor Police Lt. Chris Heatley. When the Asian man asked the white man what he was doing, the white man allegedly shouted an obscenity and began throwing things at the couple, Heatley said.

The Asian man told police the white man then told the couple "you don't have your green cards and you need to learn English," Heatley said. The Asian couple called Ann Arbor police, who arrested the white man. He was taken into custody and later released pending further investigation.

Heatley said the man could face charges from misdemeanor assault to ethnic intimidation, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of two years in prison upon conviction.

Heatley said the man denied the allegations and said he was pouring beer over the balcony.

Last Friday, Cindy Chuang, president of the U-M's Taiwanese American Student Association, said she was walking down South University Avenue with two female Asian students when they were confronted by two white males, who allegedly told them "you speak good English and you speak with a white accent." She did not report the incident.

"I think it's absolutely necessary for people to recognize that these things still happen," said Chuang, 21, a U-M senior from Troy. "With as much diversity as we have on this campus, we are not as culturally accepting as we should be."

Contact MARYANNE GEORGE at 734-665-5600 or mageorge@freepress.com.

Letter Sent to President Coleman

Dear President Coleman,

As you are aware, two University students are accused of perpetrating a hate crime against two Asian American students last Thursday. Various student groups are organizing around this issue, and we hope that the University will take swift and just action to acknowledge and resolve this issue.

A petition was started yesterday afternoon and we have collected over 700 signatures in less than 24 hours. You may view the petition at: http://www.petitiononline.com/aanohate/petition.html

We acknowledge that the accused are innocent until proven guilty, but given the severity of these allegations, we expect that the University will make this a top priority to help maintain the quality of student life in this community.

Regardless of the outcome, this tragedy has prompted many students to speak out about hurtful incidents that they have faced during their time at the University, and we expect that you will address the issues of community respect and understanding well beyond the resolution of this issue.

---

For your reference, the body of the petition / letter below:

To: President Mary Sue Coleman and University administrators

The letter below is one in a series of actions that students at the University of Michigan have taken to demonstrate our support for the victims of this atrocious crime. If you support the content of the letter, please sign using the form below.

The Michigan Daily article referenced in the letter can be found at: http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/21/4330f61d9f9f0

TO: President Mary Sue Coleman

CC: Dean Paula Allen-Meares, School of Social Work; Patricia Aqui, Director, Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs; Dean Frank J. Ascione, College of Pharmacy; Dean Deborah Ball, School of Education; Dean Rosina Bierbaum, School of Natural Resources & Environment; Dean Rebecca Blank, Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy; Dean Evan Caminker, Law School; Dean Robert J. Dolan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business; Dean Susan Eklund, Dean of Students; Dean Ronald Gibala, College of Engineering; Edward Gramlich, Provost; Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs; Dean Ada Sue Hinshaw, School of Nursing; Dean Douglas S. Kelbaugh, A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning; Dean Christopher Kendall, School of Music; Dean John L. King, School of Information; Dean Allen Lichter, Medical School; John Matlock, Director, Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives; Dean Terrence McDonald, College of LS&A; Lester Monts, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs; Dean Peter Polverini, School of Dentistry; Dean Bryan Rogers, School of Art & Design; Dean Beverly Ulrich, Division of Kinesiology; Dean Ken Warner, School of Public Health; Dean Janet Weiss, Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies

Dear President Coleman:

It has come to our attention from a Michigan Daily article published on September 21 that an appalling incident of racial intimidation allegedly occurred against two Asian American students.

While the incident appears to be under investigation, we strongly urge you to take swift disciplinary action against the suspected students if the facts are indeed as presented. In particular, we urge the University of Michigan to:

1) pursue the maximum University sanction against the students, including possible expulsion
2) make a strong public statement condemning such incidents against students of color on campus
3) challenge our faculty and staff to proactively educate the University on the impact of discrimination and the importance of respect and understanding and
4) institute distinct programs to educate students, faculty, and staff on the evolution and prevention of hate crimes

We believe it is important that the University take a "zero tolerance" policy for such acts of racial intimidation. As the Michigan Daily article points out, a number Asian American students on campus have noted various acts of racial insensitivity, reaffirming the need for the University to demonstrate its commitment to a safe and diverse campus.

Many of us were shocked and concerned after learning of this incident. We sincerely hope that the University will take a just and stern position.

Sincerely,

Signatures can be viewed at: http://www.petitiononline.com/mod_perl/signed.cgi?aanohate&1

A Friend of 'Alleged' Posts On-line

http://www.livejournal.com/users/therascalking13/107581.html

The offender? Texa$ $teve and his roommate. He never peed on anyone, they threw a beer over the edge of their balcony, and hit an Asian guy and his girlfriend.
The guy threw his cigarette at Steve, said "Fuck you", Steve said "Fuck you" and they left. Dude comes back with 4 homeboys, Steve and Andrew go out and confront them. Word swere exchanged, but no SERIOUS racial slurs. Sure "Get a green card"
and "Go fuck your mother, oh wait she's in China" but nothing SERIOUS. Steve loves the Asians, ask his 15 Asian friends. The police took Andrew down and booked him, and Steve and Andrew have to talk to a detective. I imagine it will all blow over, but of course it begs the age old adage...

"Shit like that only happens to Steven Riddel Williamson"

An Alternative Account of the Incident from Neighbor

Dear All,

A lot of you might be shocked to hear his, but I'm a next door neighbour of the students who are accused of having committed the "hate crime".

Although I understand the agony caused by media over this incident, I can assure everyone that this case has been _altered_ and THEN amplified (in the wrong intentions) before being published to the public in the Michigan Daily.

Co-incidentally, my roommate is a witness to this "crime", and agrees to the fact that the story has been GREATLY sensationalized and exaggerated by the Michigan Daily reporters to gain additional attention!

As a second witness (25 minutes late), I can guarantee that there were no "eggs" thrown at the Asian students as no egg shells could be seen at the scene of the "crime". Also, I can guarantee that there was NO racially discriminatory intent OR 'urination' involved in the entire case.

The Asian student involved was extremely aggravated that splashes of a discarded beer cup came in contact with his garments and so he called his colleagues to the scene. It was then that the Asian students initiated a verbal, racial battle with my Caucasian neighbours, and threatened them [who were apologetic at first] and invited them to a physical fight. Further, the Asian students flicked a burning cigarette butt at my neighbours, 'the accused'.

Feel free to come by the apartment complex across from the parking structure... It is virtually impossible for an individual to stand on the
4.5 foot tall ledge on the patio and urinate down on the footpath. Even if a human being managed to perform that feat, it would have taken him/her enough time and visual indication to give any individual standing even close to the target, to walk [at least] 50 meters away from the intended target.

Please feel free to contact me - Kunjal (734-717-2563) or George
(734-748-4213) if you wish to get further information on this.

Thank you very much,

Best Regards,
Kunjal Raheja

Thursday, September 22, 2005

A Message from the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs

*spread the word*

Peace,

I just want to start off by saying thank you for your time, thoughts, questions, & overall efforts in addressing the recent hate crime on campus and the effort to bring accountability to the university. I know I speak for many of our APIA community members when I say it is incredibly encouraging to see our community mobilize so quickly across undergraduate students, graduate students, staff, faculty, & off-campus community members.

In an effort to allow for community members to express their concerns and coordinate the actions of our community, an APIA town hall meeting has been called by APIA studies faculty and various community staff and student members:

Monday, September 26th at 5PM
at the Trotter Multicultural Center.
(for more info, email moonsh@umich.edu)

We highly encourage ALL staff, students, and faculty interested in addressing the recent hate crime and the university?s response to the incident to take the time out to be present for this very important meeting. This meeting will be a great opportunity to connect with other members in our community and explore the different ways that you can be involved.

There will also be a student response group coordinated by the United Asian American Organizations, who will be meeting on FRIDAY.

HATE CRIMES STUDENT RESPONSE GROUP
Friday, September 23rd, 7pm
Tap Room, next to the food court Union

Please spread the word about these events and take the time to scroll through the rest of this email for important information about WHAT HAS ALREADY OCCURRED and WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP.

Thanks.

~~~~~~
What has happened so far?

-The Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs as well as the Dean of Students is in the process of contacting the victims of this crime and will be attempting to extend any and all support. For more information, feel free to contact the Dean of Students or Steve Moon or Patricia Aqui at the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, 763-9044.

-The APIA Studies Faculty has created a response statement/letter with regards to the hate crime incident that has been received by various administrators. (the letter is attached).

-Various graduate student and undergraduate organizations have begun to organize responses from their respective organizations. These organizations include Students of Color of Rackham (SCOR), United Asian American Organizations, APIA Caucus (graduate students), and community members in various other schools & departments.

-The Michigan Daily has written an article which can be found here:
http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/21/4330f61d9f9f0

-An online petition has also been created:
http://www.petitiononline.com/aanohate/petition.html

~~~~~~~
What can I do right now?
There are several things we can all do as individuals to affect change:

1) EDUCATE?Whether it is your student organization, department,
classmates, friends, or family, please spread the word about this incident and have conversations about how it has affected you. We also encourage you to look up more information on hate crimes in the APIA community (a great place to start is the murder of Vincent Chin in Detroit).

2) ORGANIZE?Organize your organizations, residence halls, friends,
and classmates around the issue. Take the time to discuss the impact of the hate crime on you and your group as well as the campus. Make sure to let those associated to your organization such as advisors, professors, staff members, and faculty know about the importance of addressing this issue and the need for action.

3) OSCR?File a complaint! The Office of Student Conflict Resolution
is a place for individuals who feel that the Statement of Student Rights & Responsibilities have been violated. ALL STUDENTS, STAFF, & FACULTY, may file a 3rd party complaint with OSCR, which will be kept on file.
Although 3rd party complaints do not hold the same weight as a 1st party complaint, it is still valuable to let the office know how this incident has affected you and your feelings about the university. It is also possible to write an email as an organization. Please refer to the OSCR website to find contact info for your email complaint as well as info about the Statement of Student Rights & Responsibilities. (Please CC moonsh@umich.edu so we can keep these complaints on file at the Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs)

4)SPEAK?Let your voice be heard! You can do this either as an individual or as a member of a larger group. Here are a few ways to speak out!

Michigan Daily?Write a letter to the daily! It is important that the rest of the campus is fully aware of how this is affecting our students.
You can find more information about writing a letter here:
http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/05/17/428a7b4f4af29

Statement or Letter?Work with others to create a statement expressing your perspective about the hate incident and stating the actions that you feel are necessary. You can give this statement (or letter) to your school, department, residence hall councils, and most importantly to the administrators such as:

~President Coleman? www.umich.edu/pres
~Members of the Diversity Council
http://www.umich.edu/pres/committees/diversity.html
~The U of M Deans? http://www.provost.umich.edu/units/deans.html
~For a list of some other major units of the university refer to the links on this page: http://www.umich.edu/admin.html

5) TOWN HALL? Finally make sure to make it out to the town hall meeting!!

APIA Community Town Hall
Monday, September 26th, 5PM
Trotter Multicultural Center (Trotter House)



___GET INVOLVED_____


Steve Hosik Moon
Coordinator
Asian Pacific Islander American Student Affairs
Office of Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs
734.763.9044
moonsh@umich.edu

Recent Incident at UVA Casts Its Shadow

You need to elevate this to a UM community issue. It's not just an APA issue. This affects and reflects the entire community.

UVA is dealing with racial incidents as well, and the UVA prez gave a speech addressing it. Someone from the administration should definitely speak out or be pressured to. This is not an isolated incident. And, the community needs to recognize it and respond. UAAO and/or a collection of student groups, including student govt, should request a meeting with the Prez.
Petition is good, but a face-to-face meeting is also a good next step.
Impress upon the fact that this is student on student intimidation, so therefore the UM community has some responsiblity here.


UVa president seeks racial solidarity
By Melanie Mayhew / Daily Progress staff writer September 17, 2005 http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP%2FMGArticle%2FCDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1031785116589&path=!news

Their voices soared in the shadow of the Rotunda, each note circling Thomas Jefferson's white columns, echoing a community's response to recent reported acts of intolerance.

"We shall overcome," the students sang as University of Virginia President John T. Casteen III strolled to a podium overlooking 200 members of the university community.

Casteen's address on Friday evening, vocally complemented by a university gospel ensemble, was the latest response to a string of incidents on the Grounds.

"We've come to express unity, I've come to express solidarity," Casteen said. "We are one with regard to the human dignity that belongs to every member of this community."

People in the crowd said they will don black ribbons for the next week, an action leaders said reflects their commitment to improving the climate of tolerance at the nation's No. 2 public institution.The speech followed a rash of incidents, including multiple incidents of written or shouted slurs, gay bashings and a symbolic attack on a Christian student. The list grew longer this week when a second-year student returned to his car Tuesday night and discovered a racist and sexually explicit note on his windshield.
Earlier that morning, a Lawn resident reported that someone had defaced a "I do not tolerate intolerance" sign on her door. "Not" was crossed out, and the perpetrator added, "cause I hate gays."

The incidents are nothing new to the university community, but students'
responses to the incidents could usher in a new, more tolerant era at the university, said Warren M. Thompson, a black UVa graduate and chairman of the Board of Visitors' Special Committee on Diversity.

It's the responsibility of each member of the community to pave the way to the "most diverse, most inclusive university in this country," Thompson said. "We're not going to be derailed by anything."

Casteen encouraged students to immediately report all incidents and to provide investigators with detailed information and undisturbed evidence.

Although some students praised Casteen's speech, some questioned how easily the racial climate at UVa would - and could - change.

The university's efforts, although appreciated, "are largely symbolic rather than substantive," said Chris Williams, a black senior.

Williams and Tracy Clemons, a black third-year student, want to see university officials lead with more action and less rhetoric.

"I commend [President Casteen] for coming out and saying something," Clemons said. "[But] he still didn't really take a stand."

Stacey Jacobs, a first-year student who said the incidents have not surprised her, said she's been pleased with the university's response to the incidents.

"As an African-American, I like what's being done," she said.

Added Spencer Gray, also a black freshman: "It does a lot of good for the president to notice and pay attention to [the incidents]."

The community's solidarity in the wake of the incidents is one of the most effective tools in addressing these intolerant acts, said Casteen, who labeled the perpetrators of the acts "cowards."

Everyone must know, he said, that "we are together and that we believe in one another."

Support Builds Across Campus

As president of the Public Health Students of African Descent (PHSAD) I speak for our entire membership when I say that the recent incident involving racial slurs and assault on two university students of Asian descent is apalling and should not be tolerated by our institution. Diversity has long been part of the U of M legacy and protecting against racial/ethnic intimidation, discrimination, and hate crimes is necessary to protect the student body and
create a strong comforable academic atmosphere for all students. Our
organization stands firmly against discrimination of all kinds and supports whatever actions are necessary to ensure that this situation is pursued to the fullest extent of the law with the most rigorous consequences. Doing so will set the standard for intolerance of biogtry and violence.

PHSAD is willing to do whatever necessary to firmly support the United Asian American Organizations, Asian American Public Health Association and other participating organizations in their pursuit of justice in this matter. Please let me know what we can do to help!

WIth hopes of health, wellness, and non-discrimination, ~FCG
2005-2006 PHSAD President

APIA Caucus Starts to Organize

Dear APIA Caucus folks,

Brian and I would like to organize a caucus response to the racist (and sexist!) incident that occurred a few days ago. This presents us with an opportunity to address anti-Asian racism, but also issues around sexuality and race which we confront both from outside and within the APIA community. For those of you who are not on the SCOR list, Sharon Lee has sent out a message (copied below) about plans for a SCOR response. What do you all think about doing something specifically from the APIA Caucus (in addition to supporting the SCOR one)? Any ideas? Given the urgency of the matter, perhaps we can get moving on this over the weekend?

peace,
isa.

-------------
Dear SCOR family,

I know many of us are outraged at the anti-Asian hate crime that occurred recently. We are in the process of finding out more information in regard to the University's process of handling such incidents and spcifically, what the Office of Student Conflict Resolution requires for their involvement (if they are not already -- it is unclear from what I've read).

That said, SCOR is prepared to take a stance against this vile incident and to put pressure on the University to address this matter appropriately, i.e.
expulsion. While the perpetrators' behavior might have been bizarre and disgusting (to say the least), their attitudes and motivations are nothing new to students of color on this campus -- most of us have similar stories to tell.

We will keep you updated with our further actions regarding this matter. Please email the board or the listserv with your thoughts on SCOR's collective response.

Peace,
Sharon

--
Sharon Heijin Lee
SCOR President
Doctoral Student
Program in American Culture

Online Petition in Support of Victims Posted

*** Distribute the message below ***

-- HATE CRIME AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN --
-- please sign the letter to University administrators at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/aanohate/petition.html --

On Thursday, September 15, two Asian American students were verbally and physically assaulted by two other students at the University of Michigan.
The extent of the alleged assault included urination, thrown objects, and racial obscenities.

More details can be read at:
http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/21/4330f61d9f9f0

Student at the University are organizing to show their support for the victims and to urge the University to take swift and just action if the charged students are found guilty of their alleged crimes.

** Please read and sign the letter to University administrators at:
http://www.petitiononline.com/aanohate/petition.html

And please create awareness of this crime through dialogue and distribution of this message.

Together, we can stop the hate.

APIA Faculty Respond with Letter to University Administration

To:
Mary Sue Coleman, President
Edward Gramlich, Interim Provost
Lester P. Monts, Senior Vice Provost
Royster Harper, Vice President for Student Affairs John Matlock, Director, Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives; Patricia Aqui, Director, Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs; Patricia Gurin, Acting Director, Center for Institutional Diversity

An Open Letter

We, the core cluster of faculty in Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies, work earnestly in our teaching and research to increase interracial understanding and tolerance throughout the UM community. One of our responsibilities is to educate students and colleagues alike to the deep historical record of anti-Asian racism and violence throughout American history.

An incident like the one reported on the front page of Wednesday's Michigan Daily (Sept. 21), involving two male university students assaulting a couple of Asian heritage by shouting racial slurs, throwing eggs, and urinating on the couple, is unequivocally outrageous. The incivility of this assault is incomprehensible.

We are also deeply troubled by the remarks of two leaders of Asian student organizations interviewed in the story. Both spoke openly about experiencing racially-motivated bias themselves, and admitted that this kind of incident was not surprising to them. It is profoundly disturbing that students of color continue to endure racial bias and harassment on this campus, and we underscore the likelihood that such racial bias and intimidation is significantly underreported.

Incidents like the racially-motivated intimidation reported in today's Michigan Daily--also reported in the Ann Arbor News and the Detroit Free Press several days ago--cannot be tolerated or condoned by university officials or public authorities. Moreover, it is unfortunate that a public incident such as this has once again unmasked more pervasive ethnic and racial discrimination that remains underdocumented. We call on the university leadership to honor its commitment to valuing diversity, by taking a public stand against racially-motivated bias and attacks, and to marshall the necessary resources to ensure that the wider university community can collaborate collectively to end such race-based bias and intimidation. We further call on university officials and public authorities to apply the full extent of civil and university codes in sanctioning the students who perpetrated the acts.


Phillip D. Akutsu
Vicente M. Diaz
Scott Kurashige
Emily P. Lawsin
Susan Y. Najita
Damon Salesa
Sarita See
Amy K. Stillman, Director
Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies
within the Program in American Culture
College of Literature, Science, and the Arts University of Michigan

UAAO Calls Planning Meeting to Formulate Student Response

Hey everyone, welcome to uaao.hatecrimes, the new email list set up for those interested in helping with the hate crime response. We've got a lot of good ideas on the table from the UAAO meeting, and it's imperative that we act fast to make good use of the momentum that is buildig up around this issue. There will be a meeting on friday tomorrow to start implementing response plans. 7pm in the Tap Room (back in the food court) in the basement of the Union. If you know anyone that wants to join the email list, tell them they can sign up by going to directory.umich.edu, searching for uaao.hatecrimes, clicking on "bind," and then clicking the "join" button.

And I urge you, spread the word about this hate crime. Make some noise.

~Stephen

***********************************************************************
Response from United Asian American Organizations Board
***********************************************************************

We, the United Asian American Organizations Board, are shocked and appalled by the racially-motivated incident that occurred last Thursday, September 15th, when a Caucasian male student urinated on a female Asian student while shouting derogatory and racial slurs at her and her companion. We would first like to extend support to the students who faced the assault and assure them of our readiness to assist in any way. If the allegations against the perpetrators of the assault prove to be true, then this reprehensible behavior cannot be allowed to go without censure. We believe that these types of hateful actions imperil the dynamic diversity of this campus, and we call upon the administration to work with us in creating a safe and accepting atmosphere for all students. Unfortunately, such discrimination manifests itself with alarming frequency all throughout campus to many different communities, and too many of these offenses go unreported. It is time to galvanize ourselves into action, and UAAO is formulating a response with the rest of the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) and campus community to address the urgency of the situation.

A meeting will be held on Friday, September 23rd, at 7pm in the Tap Room of the Union to plan the necessary courses of action. There will also be an APIA community town hall meeting on Monday, September 26th, at 5pm in the Trotter Multicultural Center. We sincerely hope that all of you come join us at these meetings.

United Asian American Organizations Board

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Hate Crime Hits the Press

http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/21/4330f61d9f9f0

Students may face charges for racially motivated felony

Police say there is a good chance victims will file a lawsuit
By Rachel Kruer, Daily Staff Reporter
September 21, 2005


The Ann Arbor Police Department has issued warrants for two University students for allegedly yelling obscenities and urinating on two students in a racially motivated act.

The incident began when one of the suspects, a 21-year-old, allegedly urinated from a second-floor balcony on two Asian students walking down the 600 block of South Forest Avenue Thursday night.

After the couple asked why they were being urinated on, the suspect and another student reportedly began to use racial slurs disparaging the couple’s Asian heritage.

The situation escalated, according to a police report, when at least one student began throwing items, which the couple suspected were eggs, at the couple.

One of the students was immediately taken into custody. The other student who urinated on the couple, barricaded himself in the apartment, which the police could not enter without a warrant.

However, the AAPD knows the identity of the student, who could face jail time if prosecuted.

AAPD Lt. Michael Logghe classified the crime as ethnic intimidation, or verbal or physical attack against a person of another race or gender. Logghe said ethnic intimidation is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of four years in jail. The suspects could also be charged with assault, and one of the suspects could face a charge of indecent exposure, which would require him to register as a sex offender.

Keith Elkin, director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, said he could not comment on whether OSCR was handling the case.

However, he said crimes involving ethnic intimidation do not only break city law, but also violate the University’s code of conduct.

“We protect student rights and have the responsibility to talk to students,” Elkin said. “Also, we have the ability to consider if the violation was motivated by bias, in which (case) we could consider sanctioning a student.”

If OSCR were asked to intervene, Elkin said there were a range of consequences a perpetrator of ethnic intimidation could face, from a formal reprimand to expulsion from the University.

Sgt. Angela Abrams of the AAPD said the victims will likely prosecute.

The police report also included a statement from an independent witness — an employee at a parking structure on South Forest — who said she saw the men assault the couple.

The incident has galvanized members of the Asian community — some of whom have also faced the humiliation of ethnic intimidation first-hand.

Cindy Chuang, LSA senior and president of the Taiwanese American Student Association, said she was appalled and shocked that a fellow University student could be demeaned in public.

But she herself said she has experienced racial bias from fellow students, who she said were drunk when the incident occurred.

While walking down South University Avenue, Chuang said a group of students yelled, “Wow, you speak really good English” and “You talk with a white accent.”

LSA senior and former Korean Student Association President Paul Yun said he was disgusted by the incident but not surprised that it happened.

Yun said that he has also faced discrimination in Ann Arbor.

While using a public restroom at Good Time Charley’s, Yun said he was referred to as “Bruce Lee” and “Ching Chong.”

He also said that many of his friends have experienced similar incidents.

Yun said that the issue needs to be addressed immediately. He said he expected the United Asian American Organizations — an umbrella group for the Asian student groups on campus — would be the first to respond to the matter.

At the very least, Yun said this incident will call attention to a problem on campus and could potentially empower the Asian community to improve the climate for minority students at the University.

Hate Crime Hits the Press

http://www.michigandaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/09/21/4330f61d9f9f0

Students may face charges for racially motivated felony

Police say there is a good chance victims will file a lawsuit
By Rachel Kruer, Daily Staff Reporter
September 21, 2005


The Ann Arbor Police Department has issued warrants for two University students for allegedly yelling obscenities and urinating on two students in a racially motivated act.

The incident began when one of the suspects, a 21-year-old, allegedly urinated from a second-floor balcony on two Asian students walking down the 600 block of South Forest Avenue Thursday night.

After the couple asked why they were being urinated on, the suspect and another student reportedly began to use racial slurs disparaging the couple’s Asian heritage.

The situation escalated, according to a police report, when at least one student began throwing items, which the couple suspected were eggs, at the couple.

One of the students was immediately taken into custody. The other student who urinated on the couple, barricaded himself in the apartment, which the police could not enter without a warrant.

However, the AAPD knows the identity of the student, who could face jail time if prosecuted.

AAPD Lt. Michael Logghe classified the crime as ethnic intimidation, or verbal or physical attack against a person of another race or gender. Logghe said ethnic intimidation is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of four years in jail. The suspects could also be charged with assault, and one of the suspects could face a charge of indecent exposure, which would require him to register as a sex offender.

Keith Elkin, director of the Office of Student Conflict Resolution, said he could not comment on whether OSCR was handling the case.

However, he said crimes involving ethnic intimidation do not only break city law, but also violate the University’s code of conduct.

“We protect student rights and have the responsibility to talk to students,” Elkin said. “Also, we have the ability to consider if the violation was motivated by bias, in which (case) we could consider sanctioning a student.”

If OSCR were asked to intervene, Elkin said there were a range of consequences a perpetrator of ethnic intimidation could face, from a formal reprimand to expulsion from the University.

Sgt. Angela Abrams of the AAPD said the victims will likely prosecute.

The police report also included a statement from an independent witness — an employee at a parking structure on South Forest — who said she saw the men assault the couple.

The incident has galvanized members of the Asian community — some of whom have also faced the humiliation of ethnic intimidation first-hand.

Cindy Chuang, LSA senior and president of the Taiwanese American Student Association, said she was appalled and shocked that a fellow University student could be demeaned in public.

But she herself said she has experienced racial bias from fellow students, who she said were drunk when the incident occurred.

While walking down South University Avenue, Chuang said a group of students yelled, “Wow, you speak really good English” and “You talk with a white accent.”

LSA senior and former Korean Student Association President Paul Yun said he was disgusted by the incident but not surprised that it happened.

Yun said that he has also faced discrimination in Ann Arbor.

While using a public restroom at Good Time Charley’s, Yun said he was referred to as “Bruce Lee” and “Ching Chong.”

He also said that many of his friends have experienced similar incidents.

Yun said that the issue needs to be addressed immediately. He said he expected the United Asian American Organizations — an umbrella group for the Asian student groups on campus — would be the first to respond to the matter.

At the very least, Yun said this incident will call attention to a problem on campus and could potentially empower the Asian community to improve the climate for minority students at the University.