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Our beloved Dean Nair, who left us this summer for U. Penn, is currently slated to be a keynote speaker at ECAASU 2009. He also just published a book. What a baller.

Remember one of our favorite blogs, Stuff White People Like? Well, now you can read it in hard copy, because it's a book! Huzzah!

Last minute event!

Those of you who are still at Barnard/Columbia... if you're interested in meeting some cool ECAASU people, or just people from other schools, try to make it to the national board's annual mixer. RSVP is required. See details below:

Saturday, 10/18

Dinner Reservations @ Boat Basin Cafe

from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM

Dinner & Pregaming

from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Postgame at apartment
from 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM

Optional afterparty @ bar/lounge

from 11:00 PM to whenever

People MUST RSVP for the ECAASU NYC mixer on Saturday, October 18th for proper representation at this year's ECAASU conference. Everyone is welcome to attend!
Calvin Sun will be hosting this mixer again this year; dinner is heavily subsidized (ECAASU is covering $200-$300 of it!) and it'll be a great way to network with student leaders from other schools in your area.

Form to RSVP:

So far, there are people coming from schools including CUNY Brooklyn College, Hunter College, SUNY Stony Brook, George Washington University, St. John's University, Tufts University, NYU, and Yale University.

NAASCon, Day One

After arriving at our motel-room-straight-from-a-Coen-Brothers-film, Saffiyah, Nhu-Y, Vivian and I watched CNN's election coverage for a few hours and pigged out at Sweet Tomatoes (an all you can eat "salad buffet"... see Nhu-Y's entry below).

We got lost a few times while navigating our way to Emory, which is quite huge and beautiful (completely different from Barnard or Columbia). We made our way to White Hall to watch Vincent Who?, a documentary by Curtis Chin that garnered a lot of attention because of 1) its banking on Vincent Chin's legacy... see our Staff page 2) Curtis Chin's family ties to Vincent Chin 3) Its follow-up on the Academy Award-nominated 1985 documentary, Who Killed Vincent Chin?

When we walked in, Vincent Who? was already halfway done. The film's general format was a series of talking heads listing the impact that Vincent Chin had on their lives, spliced with scenes of those same interviewees (ranging from community activists, to lawyers, to journalists, to entertainers, to bloggers - Angry Asian Man and Sepia Mutiny!) in action. We missed this part, but at the beginning, the filmmaker approached several Asian American youths, asking if they knew who Vincent Chin is (the general answer was a resounding "No").

All in all, an interesting follow-up to Christine Choy and Renee Tajima-Pena's work, but it did very little to bridge the awareness gap between generations as well as between Asian American subgroups. I'm tempted to geek out about the bad sound and lighting quality, but I won't do that here. I forgive Curtis Chin those shortcomings due to a possibly limited budget.

After the film screening, I greeted some friends, then shuttled down to Holiday Inn with co-presenters Monna and Linda. We're doing a workshop called "Embodied, Empowered: Asian American Women". Nhu-Y with Bryan Lee (we call him Grandpa) are doing an AALDEF workshop called "Asian American Voting Rights and Political Participation". Vivian and Saffiyah are facilitating the Regional Caucuses (which, admittedly, we don't know anything about). It's going to be a ruckus.

Oh, and some Atlanta anecdote: they give their restaurants ridiculous names, like "Rise and Dine" and "Lettuce Souprise You". Linda came up with a joke for that one: "Knock knock." "Who's there?" "Lettuce." "Lettuce who?" "Lettuce Souprise You!"

Well, it's true. But now we have a whole site devoted to it. Perhaps this is to dissuade the 2/3 of Vietnamese Americans who support him.


After eighteen hours, Marilla, Vivian, Saffiyah, and I have arrived in Atlanta for NAASCon at Emory University. We missed the registration time due to some delays, among them ridiculous traffic in Jersey (my open road Nebraskan ways were not familiar with this) and a much-needed stop at Cracker Barrel in South Carolina. Some highlights of our trip include the discovery that every radio station in every state we have driven through plays country music, and an encounter with high schoolers wearing monster masks at a gas station in Pennsylvania. We are, in conclusion, very cracked out.

We're currently lounging in a hotel room straight out of a Coen brothers's film, and are excited for NAASCon (and sleep)!

Check out the schedule for some of tonight's highlights, including a film screening of Vincent Who?.

We have taken photos, and we will post them soon. We know you are excited of pictures of us looking tired, cranky, and sitting in rocking chairs outside of Cracker Barrel.

We went to an all-you-can-eat salad buffet.

It was good...in theory.

The danger of having a less-than-prolific blog now is that it gets harder to publicize and organize around issues that are urgent and relevant to our communities. It's important now that we get back on track.

So far the news has hit all the outlets. Asian students, once again, seem to be targeted for victims of assault. While not all of the news pieces make note, here are the facts: five of seven students assaulted Sunday morning were Asian, as was the only female assaulted. The Columbia Spectator, IvyGate, Gothamist, The Daily News, Fox News NY, and even our esteemed Asian American anti-racist blogger Angry Asian Man have all moved to publicize these incidents. Commendable, sure, and for some perhaps a little more for alluding to preexisting racial discourses.

And then we turn to the surveillance tape. We see footage of people of color in stereotypic street wear. "Stereotypic" because it's unclear how much good viewing images of what the Daily News described as a "gang of punks" will do for protecting the student body. These are images that parents back home fear and leave us voicemails about. These are the images that make people feel that rapid, systematic gentrification and displacement is a good thing. They make it hard for otherwise sensible, conscious people to walk north of 120th St.

Minghui Yu didn't die just a few months ago because of one inhumane 13-year old who drove him into oncoming traffic. He was killed by reinforced notions of people of Asian descent as weak, effeminate, and easy game. As complicit are the ideas that inner city black males are urban predators.

These are not things I make up. Look at the comments on any of the sites I linked above. "Asians really need to get their heads out of their books and start acting like a real community instead of just a demographic," one commenter writes. Another writes, "Can't we just shoot these thugs...sick of living in this human cesspool." Some seem harmless, but we should reexamine why "Skinny Asian students always are victims!" is acceptable discourse. What is freedom of speech worth when speech spreads veiled hate?

These comments aren't abstractions in the vacuum of internet space. They're ideas reinforced by almost everything we say and do. It's about time we revisit this system; this is why this blog exists.

What can we do? We can hold more events with community organizations that deal with anti-Asian violence, with collaboration with our closest allies (BSO, BOSS). the way we did last semester to expand our understanding of these events. Who will attend? What will it do?

What can be done? Please give thoughts in the comments.

NAASCon is this weekend! Register if you haven't already! Remember, do it online beforehand - it's $10 more on premises.

A huge, fat GOOD LUCK to fellow Blaaagers Ryan (Communications Co-Chair), Marilla and Nhu-Y (workshop speakers) who are all going to be there working along with many more of our friends and allies.

If you're not going (me, sadly), stay tuned for pictures and updates!

A fairly recent study publicized through Korea Daily and New America Media makes an interesting finding: almost one in two Korean American students in Ivy League and top-tier universities drop out.

A rather oblique way to defy the model minority stereotype, this figure is a contrast to the 25 and 21 percent of Chinese and Indian Americans, respectively, that drop out. The author Samuel Kim of this doctoral dissertation points toward parental pressures as cause for this high dropout rate. Hmm.

It's been a while since we've posted any hate crime-related entries, since Columbia and Barnard are quite boring this year. My good friend Monna (and co-presenter at this weekend's NAASCon, shameless plug) forwarded an article about some homophobic and racial slurs uttered at a Macalester water polo game. The alleged targets are Bobbi Gass '10 and Jeff Yamashita '11:

At the start of the game, according to Gass, a player spoke to him, possibly in relation to the rainbow painted on his cheek saying '"Don't let [Monmouth player] number 10 guard you. He's gay.'"

Yamashita scored six of Macalester's seven goals in the team's eventual 8-7 loss. After Yamashita scored two goals in the second quarter, one Monmouth player "says to another teammate, 'fucking chink,' and the other guy smirked," Yamashita's teammate Nathan Young '11 said. "I whispered to Jeff, 'Did he really say that?' We were both shocked."


In the break between the third and fourth quarter, the Monmouth player's conduct allegedly took an even uglier turn. "The guy calls me out and says 'Hey, No. 10' and then makes a slanting-eye gesture with his hands," Yamashita said. Numerous spectators witnessed the gesture, many expressing disbelief at what they had seen.
Not only did the Monmouth coach refuse to apologize when the Macalester coach confronted him, but he also said that the Macalester players were being rude. Later, when the Monmouth players walked by, one said sarcastically, "Yeah, we're all racists."

Yamashita is currently seeking three goals: "a formal apology to himself and Macalester, changes in the Collegiate Water Polo Association's policies on racial slurs and harassment, and an effective resolution in a Monmouth racial harassment case against their player."

Sorry, Monmouth, but this isn't even remotely funny like the Spain thing. At least Spain was sort of making chink eyes out of jest. And to think that I went to your school for Yearbook camp! Disgusting.

APAAM is an annual celebration at Columbia University dedicated to promoting awareness of APA issues and history among the Columbia student body. APAAM allows for students of diverse backgrounds to come together to learn, share, and grow with each other and the Columbia community as a whole. If you're interested in bringing notable Asian Americans to campus, collaborating with Asian interest groups and other groups on campus, bringing the APA community together, working with city organizations, planning great events that reflect the whole diversity of our community, and much, much more, please apply!

We are currently interviewing for the position of TREASURER on the executive board. The executive board, comprised of two co-chairs, a secretary, and a treasurer, coordinates overall logistics for the month and is also responsible for planning the opening and closing ceremonies of the month.

The duties for APAAM Treasurer are:
-compiling a detailed budget proposal in order to receive funding from ABC.
-keeping track of and maintaining records of all spending, receipts, reimbursements, and other financial accounts.
-dealing with all financial matters that each individual member has in planning events (speaker honorariums, gifts, reimbursements, etc.).

Please email apaam2009@gmail.com with the following:
1) Name, School/Year, Phone Number, E-mail
2) Why you are interested in joining APAAM?
3) Any prior event programming experience at Columbia/Barnard?
4) Why are you interested in being APAAM Treasurer?

All applications are due by 11:59pm on Tuesday 10/21/08. Interviews will be held that week.

We look forward to hearing from you! Please do not hesitate to contact us at apaam2009@gmail.com. Also, check out the website from APAAM 2008: http://cuapaam.com/

Tonight, spoken word poet Staceyann Chin will perform in Miller Theatre. Take a look below, and visit the Facebook event!

Join Staceyann Chin for a Poetry performance on October 14th. From the rousing cheers of the Nuyorican Poets' Cafe to one-woman shows Off-Broadway to poetry workshops in Denmark and London to co-writer and performer in the Tony nominated, Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway, Staceyann Chin has inspired thousands to transform themselves and their communities to speak and take action in building movements to end violence.

Sponsored by:
Kappa Alpha Psi. Columbia Queer Alliance. Proud Colors. Take Back the Night. Black Students Organization. Black Theater Ensemble. Haitian Students Association. Caribbean Students Association. Latino Heritage Month Committee. Asian American Alliance. ROOTEd. Chicano Caucus. Student Organization of Latinos. LUCHA. Sigma Lambda Beta. Black Organization of Soul Sisters. Phi Iota Alpha. Delta Sigma Theta. United Students of Color Council. Reflect-Connect-Move. Spirit Of A Woman. Stop the Violence Movement. Men's Peer Education Initiative & Rape Crisis/Anti-Violence Support Center of the Sexual Violence Prevention & Response Program.

**This is a free event!**

**If coming from off-campus, take the "1" train to 116th street**


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