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The Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter (CRAASH) is underway in a campaign to strengthen the school's AAS program; they're also helping Columbia and NYU to plan the 2nd annual New York City Asian American Student Conference (NYCAASC). Our best wishes go out to CRAASH and their efforts. In solidarity!


They also have a kick-ass logo.

(Listen to CRAASH on Fallout Central here.)

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Students take a stand for Asian American studies

NEW YORK CITY, New York (February 27, 2008) – Students of the Coalition for the Revitalization of Asian American Studies at Hunter (CRAASH) are gearing up to host a conference, entitled "Strengthening Education: Empowering Asian American Studies" in April. It will take place at Hunter College and will address the need for support for Asian American Studies in higher education. The conference will feature notable speakers, panel discussions, and a proactive workshop. Students will propose actions that college administrators must implement in order to strengthen Asian American Studies programs. It will be open to all college students who wish to learn more about this issue that affects both the academic community of Hunter College and New York City.

The conference stems from the concerns of CRAASH, a student-led group formed in April 2007 in response to the inadequate conditions of the Asian American Studies Program (AASP). Students have led a campaign on and off campus to fight for the education that they were promised when they entered Hunter College. Initiatives include a petition of over 1,000 signatures, a feature article on the popular AngryAsianMan blog, a front-page story in the Hunter Envoy, a successful AASP event with director Justin Lin, and a Facebook group that has rallied support from over 300 members from Hunter and other colleges. CRAASH also had a full-page article in the East Coast Asian American Student Union newsletter, which was distributed to over 1,200 students from over 100 colleges at their recent conference. The core members will facilitate an activism workshop at the 2nd Annual New York City Asian American Student Conference at New York University. Eyewitness News Education Unit and AsianWeek magazine may potentially feature their efforts.

Currently, the AASP lacks sufficient financial, structural, and institutional support from both Hunter College and the greater CUNY administration, rendering it unable to flourish as a true academic program. Although there have been vague promises from Hunter administrators, CRAASH has yet to see actual results. This spring, CRAASH will be contacting media, Asian American organizations, and student associations at other universities to spread awareness of the inadequate state of the AASP and organize support for proactive initiatives. Most importantly, CRAASH aims to ensure increased funding for a greater variety of classes, a stable office, full-time faculty members, a permanent director to lead the program, and space to conduct events that will engage and benefit the Hunter community.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the San Francisco State College Strike, the longest student strike in American history that led the way for the development of ethnic studies. In keeping with the unwavering spirit of the strike, CRAASH hopes to illustrate that the fight for fairer representation of Asian Americans in institutionalized learning is not only significant, but also in demand. In order for future students to learn about a mostly forgotten legacy, and to inspire activism and pride amongst other students and their communities, CRAASH hopes for a secure AASP that will last far into the future. For a diverse college in New York City whose student population is 26 percent* Asian/Asian American, granting students the right to relevant and accessible education is the least Hunter College and CUNY can do.

About CRAASH:
CRAASH is dedicated to rejuvenating the Asian American Studies Program of Hunter College, as well as expanding the program to include a greater variety of courses. CRAASH aims to organize the Hunter community and spread awareness about the inadequate conditions of the AASP. Through petitioning, meeting with faculty, and promoting AASP events, we hope to educate the Hunter community about Asian American issues. To find out more, please contact us at HunterCRAASH at yahoo.com.

4 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...

    Wow! I can't believe that a City University of New York would show such a lack of support for Asian American studies!
    Great blog post!

    Asian American solidarity is ethnic solidartiy is human solidarity!  

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