Vol. 8, No. 3
Published quarterly by the Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center, UC Santa Cruz
UCSC Badminton Club:
A Community for Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders by Tran Nguyen
people know that badminton is the worldâ€™s second most popular sport. Badminton is most participated among European and Asian countries such as Denmark and Indonesia. Here in the United States, Asian American/ Pacific Islanders (AA/PI) make up the majority of players. This is no exception even at UCSC, where over 90% of the badminton club is made up of AA/PIs. Although badminton is a competitive and non ethnic specific sport, it has become in many ways a community for AA/PIs. It is not clear why the majority of badminton players in the United States are of AA/PI heritage. As a freshman entering college a few years ago, the badminton club was just formed and had not yet started competing at the collegiate level. Despite the lack of competitive play, I was able to find a community among the handful of players. Through the bond of competition and interest of badminton, a small community of AA/PIs was being formed. Badminton became the community which represented AA/PIs in the realm of competitive sports. Being a part of the badminton community allowed me to make friends and feel a sense of connection with other students of color. This allowed me to expand the community into
UCSC Team 2006/2007: George Zhong, Renald Tamse, Kai Wang, Jonathan Wu, Rocio Osuna, Reggie Castro, Tran Nguyen, Linda Le, Koshi Okada, Brian Su, Chris Chang, Millicent Lin, Annie Chung, John Kuan, Jason Wong. Not Pictured: Serge Blanchet, Minh Nguyen, Katy Yu, Priyam Chatterjee, Lauren Todt.
something larger than just being a handful of players. I saw the importance of providing this community for future AA/PI athletes. Within the past two years, the club has undergone major transformation. The UCSC Badminton team now competes in the Northern California Badminton League (NCIBL) along with UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and San Jose State University. On the weekend of March 24th and 25th, the team made its way to UC Berkeley for
In this Issue...
>Queer APIs: UCLGBTI Association Conference pg.2 >Hmong Student Association pg. 3 >Dragon Boating in Bay Area pg. 4 >Update on Asian American Studies pg.5 Spring 2007
the 2007 National Collegiate Badminton Championship. Twenty-three colleges across the country attended, with a grand total of 167 participants. It was not surprising however that over 95% of the participants were AA/PI. UCSC succeeded at Collegiate Nationals with freshman Lauren Todt winning the Womenâ€™s Singles Title. Other UCSC players such as Serge Blanchet, Tran Nguyen, and Renald Tamse also
Continued on page 5
>Heritage Month Calender pg. 6-7 >Staff Spotlight: Assistant Chancellor, Ashish Sahni pg. 8 >Reflection on Mental Healh Series pg. 9 >A UCSC Alum Journey to Cuba pg. 10
Queer Asian Pacific Islanders: Reflections on the UC
Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender Intersex Association Conference by Robert Imada
Last February, I attended the 17th An-
nual Western Regional Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex Association (LGBTQIA) Conference at UC Riverside. The annual conference is sponsored by the UC-wide LGBTI Association (www.uclgbtia.org). The conference featured a variety of workshops, keynote speakers, and performances – all exploring a range in diversity of topics that intersect with LGBTIQ issues. I attended these conferences frequently as a UCSC undergraduate student, but this was my first time participating as a university staff member. I had the opportunity to present a couple of workshops on Queer People of Color (QPoC) issues with Tam Welch, who is the program coordinator for the UCSC Lionel Cantú GLBTI Resource Center. One of these sessions was a caucus for Queer Asian Pacific Islanders (APIs). This was a safe space for LGBTI queer and questioning APIs to gather, build community, and network with one another. In our lengthy planning discussions, we decided it was best to ask the participants what they wanted to discuss. At first, this was easier said than done. When we opened up the caucus session and looked at the participants, it seemed as though everyone wanted to say something, but did not know what to talk about. It was almost as if they were thinking, “We’re all here together in this space, but now what? What do we talk about?” After we gathered members into small groups of “families,” people started to open up and dialogue about issues they faced as queer APIs in their campus communities as well as their personal lives. By the end of the session, we amassed huge lists of notes on butcher paper, archiving our discussions Spring 2007
in the short one-hour time block. Tam flicting place to be in. and I ended the session by saying how But at the Queer AA/PI caucus, the space we created was unique and the space that we created was an emwhen we stepped back into the larger powering space that helped to alleviate conference, there would never be anoth- that sense of invisibility. In many of our er space like it again. Everyone in the discussions within the caucus, we realroom seemed appreciative of the space ized it was important to keep creating and having the opportunity to connect spaces at future conferences in which with others queer APIs. various ethnic affinity groups could Although I attended several queer meet and connect. As well, we discussed conferences during my college days, strategies in how we could create those this conference was different for many spaces within our communities at our reasons. On a personal level, it was a respective campuses and hometowns. culture shock to be amongst so many Most importantly, we reaffirmed our queer AA/PIs. After graduating from abilities and strengths in being able to UCSC, I was out of touch from a sense do so. of a community for so many years. BeAt UCSC, there is a new Queer ing in a Queer AA/PI specific space was and Questioning People of Color like jumping feet first into ice cold wa- (QQPoC) workgroup collaborative that ter. It was literally a wake-up call on so was formed Fall Quarter 2006. The many levels in terms of what spaces I QQPoC workgroup was formed to emhad grown accustomed to maneuvering power and outreach to QQPoC campus in on a daily basis. community members. The workgroup Being a queer API person can organizes QQPoC focused events and sometimes lead to feelings of invisibil- activities and strives to create open safe ity. Depending on one’s ethnic and cul- spaces for QQPoC and their allies. tural background, there can be pressure to hide one’s sexual orientation or gen- For more information about QQPoC der identity. There is also a generaliza- Workgroup, call (831) 459-5349 or go tion that being queer means feeding into online at http://queer.ucsc.edu. a homogenous white and “mainstream” culture. Sometimes in the eyes of one’s AA/PI c o m m u n i t y, someone who identifies as “queer” can be thought of as disowning their ethnic heritage. For many queer AA/PIs, this Tam Welch (left) and Robert Imada (third from left) with colleagues from can be con- UC Irvine and UC Santa Barbara.
UCSC Hmong Student Association: Represents at UC Davis by Kia Vue
Hmong Student Association, (HSA) was founded in the winter quarter of 2007 in hopes of connecting the Hmong community at UCSC and voicing their struggle. There are currently thirteen Hmong students enrolled at the University of California, Santa Cruz. The Hmong are tribal people most recently from Laos. Before they had settled there, they had lived in China for hundreds of years before they immigrated to other countries like Thailand and Vietnam. Much of Hmong people’s history is unclear as their place of origin can be traced back to many places in China. Hmongs are tribal people, often immigrating to different places, which is why they are a group of people with no country to call their own. During the Vietnam War, Hmongs were secretly recruited in Laos by the CIA to help the United States fight against the Viet Cong. The Hmong people helped the United States fight their communist neighbor for ten years and when the U.S. pulled out of Vietnam they faced retaliation and persecution with no aid from the United States. Because of this, many Hmongs took refuge in Thailand. As a result of the war, many Hmongs left as political refugees, to escape political persecution. Many Hmong return their village but continue to hide in its jungles to avoid genocide by the Laotian government. With this history, the Hmong students at UCSC focus on overcoming the tribulations their people faced. HSA’s highest priorities are retention and outreach in the community both on and off of the campus. They hold meetings on Thurs-
UCSC Hmong Student Association at UC Davis High School Student Conference. Top Row: Lue Vang, Kao Xiong, Bottom Row: Kia Vue, Rosalba Martinez, and Melody Thaoxaochay.
days from 7-9pm at the Ethnic Resource Center’s Lounge. HSA was invited to UC Davis to take part in the 17th Annual High School Conference hosted by UCD’s Hmong Student Union. This Conference promoted higher education to students in grades 9-12. Advocating for UCSC alongside Stanford, UCLA, Sacramento State and other colleges. Not only was HSA able to recruit a few prospective
The program is called “Inspiration for Scholars of Higher Education,” an outreach program specifically targeting Hmong youth. It is a non-yield program, meaning that it is open to all high school students no matter what their admission status or education plans are after high school. The goal of the program is to motivate non-college bound students to receive a higher education. The program is going to be held on May 25-26. In addition to outreach and retention, HSA is devoted to creating awareness of the Hmong Community. In order to do so, they created a Hmong Dance Group: Nag Thshiab, meaning “first rain”. During May AA/PI Heritage Month, the group will perform at the Asian American/Pacific Islander Cultural Showcase on May 30th. It will be the first dance performance held at UCSC students, UCSC was finally accepted since the first Hmong organization on into the Hmong Community at large by campus dissipated around fifteen years being invited to the program. ago. HSA also received much advice on how to run their own outreach pro- For more informatiom, contact Kia Vu gram that they will be hosting in May. at email@example.com.
“In addition to outreach and retention, HSA is devoted to creating awareness of the Hmong Community.”
Dragon Boating in the Bay Area by Jonathan Hon
Over the past thirty years, a Chinese
traditional sport known as Dragon Boating has been gaining popularity among Asian communities around the world. This sport gained its name from the design of the boats used, which has a dragon’s head and tail at the bow and stern of the craft. With its origins in Southern Central China over two millenniums ago, it has gradually spread through many parts of Europe, Australia, Africa, Canada, and even the United States. This sport crossed international waters due to the Hong Kong Tourism Bureau’s contribution of a couple boats to Vancouver, Canada in 1986. A dragon boat team paddling back to the docks after a race. With multiple countries involved with this sport, the International Dragon As time passed, the day of Qu “drummer” or “caller” who sit facing Boat Federation (IDBF) has held many Yuan’s death became a festival to the paddlers to keep the paddlers in sync international races bringing the best na- commemorate him on May 5th in the and issue commands to the rest of the tional teams together. Having crossed lunar calendar. One of the festivities boat such as picking up the pace. These international boundaries, there have also to celebrate the holiday is with a releaders of the boat use a drum to keep been many organizations formed to fos- enactment, which gradually evolved the rhythm and timing of the paddlers’ ter the development and growth of this into the competitive sport of dragon strokes. At the rear, or stern, of the boat traditional sport. In the mid-1990s, the boating. is a steersman with a large oar to guide California Dragon Boat the boat’s path. Association (CDBA) Traditional boats are carved out was established in the “The creation of this sport is based of wood with elaborate designs which Bay Area to continue makes the boat look like a Chinese the traditions that was on the Chinese legend that occured dragon. Most modern organizations and put in place by the Chiraces have adopted a standard of using nese many years ago. during the end of the Chou Dynasty a fiberglass boat with a crew of twenty The creation of two; one drummer, one steersman, and this sport is based on (the era Confucius lived).” twenty paddlers with ten rows of two. the Chinese legend The objective of this sport is that occured during the end of the Chou Many people may not have simple: to cover a certain distance in Dynasty (the era Confucius lived). Ac- heard about this sport before, but it is the least amount of time. However, the cording to history, a famous poet and very similar to Hawaiian outrigger caability to accomplish the goal builds counselor by the name of Qu Yuan noeing. Dragon boating is a paddling upon various areas of the paddlers, most committed suicide as a form of protest water-sport, which differs from “rowof which are: strength, endurance, form, against government corruption. The ing” where the crew members face mental focus and most importantly timlocals found out about his protest and forward with freely held paddles. Deing. A collaborated effort from the crew loaded their boats to save him. They pending on the team’s preference, the with exquisite timing and synchronizabeat drums and splashed the water with members can either:sit, kneel, or even tion is required to have the boat moving their paddles in hopes of driving the fish stand as they pull the boat through the in the most efficient way possible. and evil spirits away from the body. The water. There are usually two lines In San Francisco, high school stulocal people also threw rice dumplings of paddlers with one on each side of dents come together as dragon boaters into the river in hopes of deterring the the craft. At the front, there are usuto train to perfect this sport every week; fish from consuming Qu Yuan’s body. ally one or two members, called the crew members come together for a rig
Continued on page 5
Update on Asian American Studies at UCSC by Libby Lok
University of California, Santa Cruz is
the only UC campus without an Asian American Studies program, major or minor. But by fall of 2007 there will be an Asian Americanist in the American Studies Department whose job description includes developing Asian Pacific American Studies at UCSC. This means by fall of 2008, UCSC may have its first Asian American Studies minor. The minor proposal was written by current Asian American faculty and staff and submitted to the Dean of Humanities this year. Since the retirement of Professor Judy Yung from the American Studies department, the fight for Asian American Studies has taken a separate path from Ethnic Studies. Judy Yung is a prominent, nationally known scholar in Asian American Studies. During her 14 years at UCSC she developed an Asian
American Studies pathway in the American Studies Department where students could acquire a specialty or emphasis in Asian American Studies while obtaining a degree in American Studies. She also built networks with other Asian Americanists in other departments so that Asian American Studies classes would be offer every quarter and class time would not compete with each other. Several things have happened in response to the efforts of students, staff, and faculty: the new Deans for Humanities and Social Sciences have mentioned vocally and stated in print that they will support Asian American Studies at UCSC. Three years ago, a student directed seminar called Asian American/Pacific Islander Perspectives Class (AA/PIP Class) was created. Last year, an Asian Pacific American Studies conference was held at UCSC connect-
ing UCSC staff, faculty, and students with Asian American Studies programs in California and the pioneers of Asian American Studies. A proposal was made for an Asian Pacific American minor; and an Asian Americanist is finally being hired in the American Studies department. Without the efforts of students and the relationships they developed with faculty and staff, Asian American Studies would have never been conceptualized in the 1960â€™s and Asian Pacific American Studies would not be on its way to UCSC. For more information about Asian Pacific American Studies, contact the Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UCSC Badminton continued from page 1 advanced well into the brackets. Overall, UCSC came in 5th place. As a senior, I reflect back on the past four years and see how much progress the badminton club has made. From the days of only a handful of AA/ PI badminton players, the current club
membership flourished to more than 100 players participating regularly. It has been a pleasure to have served as the President of the UCSC Badminton Club for the past two years as I have had the opportunity to see the badminton community grow
tremendously. As I pass the club on to the next President, I have no doubt in mind that the badminton community at UCSC will grow stronger and continue to produce many more wonderful athletes and a community for AA/PI students.
Dragon Boating continued from page 4 orous workout. Through the love of the sport, friendships and a sense of community is developed. These youth prepare for various races that occur late spring and summer. The most prominent ones are the annual CDBA Youth Race at Lake Merced and the annual San Francisco International Dragon Boat Festival at Treasure Island. Though these events, the sport gains a lot of publicity, but more importantly, they
bring the Asian community together to celebrate a culture. Dragon Boat teams are not only limited to the youth of the Bay Area; there are teams across the Bay Area and the United States that train for the races at the collegiate level. Many colleges across California have organized teams to continue the rich tradition of this sport. Currently, five out of ten UC campuses have a dragon boat team, and there has been ef-
forts in the past couple years to create a team for UC Santa Cruz. Unfortunately, there has not been enough interest for a full team to be created. Hopefully, this will raised some awareness for the traditional sport of dragon boating and signify the time for the sixth UC campus to foster this rising sport. For more information go online to http://www.cdba.org.
Staff Spotlight: Ashish Sahni “Perseverance through community, activism, and ethnic identity” by Liberty Matias
Ashish Sahni, Assistant Chancellor and
Chief of Staff (ACCS) at UCSC, is the youngest to this role on this campus, and the youngest Assistant Chancellor in the UC system. Ashish is also the only Asian American in the Chancellor’s Cabinet. Born in Hong Kong to parents of Indian descent, Ashish moved to India to live with his grandmother until he turned twelve years old, then later, moved to the United States. His grandmother had a significant impact on his life. Ashish explained, his strong work ethic, his commitment to issues of diversity and safeguarding his ethnic identity is greatly influenced by his grandmother. Ashish attended UC Berkeley for his undergraduate education, and had a good academic foundation, but socially, there were difficulties. There was no segment or group that he fully associated with, so the feeling of community was lacking. In spite of the challenges, Ashish had the opportunity to apply some of the principles taught by his grandmother, by volunteering his time to tutor at the Student Learning Center, serving mainly students of color. By choosing this way to give back, he realized the act alone was the right thing to do, stating, “my commitment to issues of diversity stem from her experiences.” This also created an educational community Ashish continues to value. During his time at UC Berkeley, at the Student Learning Center, Ashish started to understand what community meant in his life. For him, it was a positive experience and one that greatly influenced his work and interactions with student activists, yet even more interesting were his interactions with students
of color, of all backgrounds. When one organizes within the community, it is always good to understand, “there are always things to improve,” states Ashish. Also, knowing one must positively engage in such movements, in order to see effective results is key. Despite the intimidating title as Assistant Chancellor and Chief of Staff, Ashish makes it very clear most, if not all, of his choices and decisions were rooted in the many values and commitments he exuded as a student of color throughout his academic and professional career. “Students should be passionate about issues they address,” says Ashish as he intently reflects on the days he used to demonstrate with other students at Berkeley, such as student fees and diversity issues. One idea Ashish frequently iterated was perseverance and how this especially pertained to students of color. As a student of color, Ashish struggled to embrace his own ethnic identity due to societal and cultural barriers. Fortunately, Ashish worked past those barriers by holding strong to his cultural background, by getting a sense of who he really was and how that fit into the “bigger picture,” no matter the circumstances. He worked hard to overcome those barriers, in order to succeed. This mentality continued throughout his educational career as a graduate student at Georgetown University. The diversity on the east coast was not very apparent. Ashish claims that his experience was, “a huge culture shock.” He often felt isolated and felt like he could not really talk about his culture, let alone embrace the beauty of his ethnic identity, because the only goal was, “getting through the day.” In spite of all
“Students should be passionate about issues they address.”
Assistant Vice Chancellor Ashish Sanhi
of that, Ashish Sahni chose to face his struggles and challenges head on, while not jeopardizing his morals, values, or commitments to his ethnic background and by working hard academically. After a couple of years in the east coast, he worked himself up to prestigious positions, though the internship process. Before joining the University of California, Sahni served as an Analyst at the White House Budget Office during the Clinton Administration. After his experience in Washington, Ashish moved out to California and quickly transitioned to UCSF where he worked from 1996 to 2006, most recently serving as the as the Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. While at UCSF, Ashish worked closely with the graduate students and their key issues. Ultimately, he was able to apply both personal experience
Continued on page 11 SNAP!
Reflection on Mental Health Series by William Lee
Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center (AA/PIRC) organized and held a series of workshops relating to mental health in the Asian American/Pacific Islander community titled: “Individual and Community in a Multicultural Society”. The workshops were developed for individuals in the UCSC Asian American/Pacific Islander community and addressed how some issues note normally discussed, in a multicultural society. Workshop topics included AA/PIs and Relationships: Identifying Factors in Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships, The Role of Culture in Depression among AA/PIs, The Role of Family among AA/PIs, Food and Culture in the lives of AA/PIs and Career Panel in the field of Psychology. Many UCSC alums facilitated the workshops in their field of study. The first workshop the series kicked off with was the AA/PIs and Relationships workshop in the winter quarter on February 13th, one day before the Valentine’s Day. The workshop’s date was scheduled to coincide with the holiday’s theme of love. UCSC alum, and past AA/PIRC program coordinator Clifford Yee, facilitated this workshop. During the workshop, Clifford invited two of his peer leaders to help facilitate, going over topics of different types of relationship abuse such as the cycle of control, balance of power in relationships and what is needed for healthy relationships. Every person who participated asked questions and shared similar stories. Leon Wann, an UCSC alum and a past advisor for the Student Organization Advising and Resources (SOAR), facilitated the depression workshop. Although depression is a sensitive topic, many students and staff came to participate. The workshop started off with people throwing out words that associated with depression in the AA/PI
community. This helped lead the group into a deep discussion about depression that everyone participated in. Leon created a very comfortable atmosphere that opened up many participants to share their personal experiences with depression, making it a very powerful session. Towards the end, when it was time to leave, many people did not want to. The Families workshop was the last one in the winter quarter. The facilitators were Mana Hayakawa and Thao Nguyen who both currently work at the Rape Trauma Service in San Mateo. Mana is a UCSC alumni who was also involved in the AA/PI community on campus. The workshop began with an activity that involved a ball of yarn that eventually made its way across the room. The activity connected everyone together to help start up the discussion. Both strong facilitators, Mana and Thao explored issues of family weight, pressure and expectations. Many students shared their experiences of body image, academics, and cultural identity. The workshop ended with another round of the ball of yarn, which created a stronger bond within the individuals in the workshop.
This spring quarter, the series started out with the Food and Culture workshop. The workshop took place on April 24th, and explored the complicated relationships between food and the AA/PI culture. Facilitator Audrey Kim, is a psychologist at the Counseling Psychological Services on campus. The workshop focused specifically on issues about the body, gender, and food, and how they correlate in the AA/PI community. The Career Panel will be the last workshop held on May 8th that focuses on pursuing a career or research in psychology after college. In this workshop, students will have the chance to meet with UCSC alums who have experience in the field of psychology. The Mental Health Series created a safe space for individuals to learn and express mental issues that are often not mentioned in the AA/PI community. It is unfortunate to see the series conclude but hopefully in the future there will be more workshops like these that would allow people from the community to voice their concerns and learn about other issues in the community that are not often touched upon.
Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center Internship Opportunities AA/PIRC Internships are a great way to get connected with UCSC’s Asian American/Pacific Islander community, plan small and large scale events, and gain experience in publications and outreach. Student Internships are for Fall 2007. Interns can earn 2 units each quarter of independent studies course credit, which requires 5-7 hours a week committment along with the completion of a final course paper. If you are interested in applying, please contact AA/PIRC at email@example.com or 459-5349.
Journey to Cuba: An Alum’s Cultural Exchange Experience by Amanda Wake
I journeyed to Cuba in search of fellow
Nikkei (Japanese of the diaspora). Due to different circumstances in history, found their way not to the United States, but to Cuba - like my great grandparents. I traveled with the Bay Area based group called Tsukimi Kai to the home of five generations of Japanese Cubans. They currently make up only 0.01% of the Cuban population, about 1,300 people. Despite their small numbers they are an influential part of Cuba’s history during their WWII incarceration under Bautista’s dictatorship, the fight for the revolution, the building of the socialist country and its current struggle to thrive against the hostility of the most powerful country in the world. Japanese Cubans have their own WWII experience, fueled by the same systems of oppression that put my grandparents and great grandparents into internment camps for 4 years. Fathers separated from their families; wives and mothers left to make ends meet on their own; fathers came home as strangers to their own children. Men of Japanese descent were put two to a cell with a toilet and two beds between walls that are closer together than the length of my arms. Only being able to speak to their loved ones once every 2 months (if at all and only in Spanish), which forced silent, longing stares. Bautista’s hand, guided by US racist policy, picked up Japanese Men who were “stealing jobs” and placed them in cells to break their spirits and seize their property. These families suffered greatly but persevered resiliently and continue to make Cuba what it is today. Most would say that they are Cubano first; there is no hyphen necessary in Cuba because everyone is Cuban. People of color in the
US (whether to separate from or enter military strength; corporate interests; into US national identity) put their color material wealth; pop culture frenzies; first and “American” second. “Cuba is extravagant extras; and personal aran inclusive society and the US is an ex- rogance. With the strong ideals of Ficlusive society,” said an insightful Cu- del, the inspiration of Che, the guiding bano. words of Jose Marti, the unified strength T h e of the Cuban people and a love for their U.S. block- country - something that I have never ade has iso- felt and probably will never feel for the lated Cuba United States. This is a place you have and has actu- to see to believe. ally protectThe Revolution has not ended in ed it from Cuba and they don’t ever want it to. The US materialism, racism and dangerous Revolution is a process guided by socialarrogance that has destroyed other third ism, it is never stagnant, always being world countries. However, it has also pushed, pulled and molded by the new hurt Cuba by refusing to exchange any generations of leaders. It is the people’s kind of wealth with them and allowing responsibility to protect, defend, prepeople to die in the process. They have serve and create the Revolution. to get their medical medications all the way from China, which costs money to Amanda Wake graduated from UCSC in ship over a long trip instead of getting in 2006. from right across the Caribbean Sea. Despite this, Cuban people have managed to pick the country up toAA/PI Seniors! Sign up for the... gether; get through the Special Period Asian American/Pacific Islander and all the while provide free health care; free education (including higher education); and provide everyone with a home. They have survived hurricanes much stronger than Katrina and actually offered medical and disaster support to New Register online at Orleans but the US http://www2.ucsc.edu/aapirc/ refused. And how is Cuba able to do Come graduate with your friends and members this? By putting from the community! the health of the people first before
“Cuba is an inclusive society and the U.S. is an exclusive society.”
Year End Ceremony
Staff Spotlight continued from page 8 and professional experience in working with the students while bridging the gap between the administration and the student body. Although Ashish experienced many struggles and challenges in making his way to where he is now, he held strongly to his values and the lessons learned from each season of his life. Stemming from those experiences, were strong roots and a foundation of culture and ethnic identity, including the desire to succeed despite those challenges along the way. “I came on board [to UCSC] in June 2006 and so far it has been an enjoyable experience. I find the work gratifying and am noticing how significantly different the communities [at UCSC] are from other campuses.” Ashish explains the importance of unity
and how that should be a fundamental goal in defining a sense of belonging for students, because of the direct impact it could have on “university business.” One of the ways that Ashish sees to this goal is by chairing a Campus Welfare Committee, in which the members seek to support public demonstrations and make efforts to provide positive ways of engaging the students with university relations. Ashish openly shares how students can best be involved in their campus community. He says, “once students find out what they’re passionate about [diversity issues, social justice, etc], they should be assertive, but demonstrate peacefully, whether that be through committees, open forums, public meetings, etc.” Speaking from an administrative voice, Ashish knew exactly how to relate to undergraduate students,
knowing very well what was effective and what was not, because not so long ago, Ashish Sahni was a student himself, trying to get his voice heard and his opinions across. Assistant Chancellor Sahni mades it very clear during the interview that he has high hopes for UC Santa Cruz, “the university climate has changed significantly, as students converse as a group, build unity, and define a sense of belonging [on the college campus].” As the discussion comes to a close, Ashish again asserted, as a student of color, addressing these issues is especially difficult and often challenging, but nonetheless “doable.” And it is safe to say that Ashish Sahni is a living example of that creed.
Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center
Advisor Copy Editor Layout Editor Productions Contributors
Nancy I. Kim AA/PIRC Interns Annie Tran Robert Imada Jonathan Hon Robert Imada William Lee Libby Lok Liberty Matias Tran Nguyen Kia Vue Amanda Wake
visit www2.ucsc.edu/aapirc for questions and info, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Asian American/Pacific Islander Resource Center University of California, Santa Cruz 339 Bay Tree Building 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064 Phone: (831) 459-5349 Fax: (831) 459-2469 www2.ucsc.edu/aapirc