Transnational Asian Studies programs long overdue
I was glad to see Abe Brown’s article ‘SU steps for Asian Studies minor,’ on the November 18th issue of The Daily Orange.Yet, as a sophomore of Syracuse University, I must say that:
1) The 11-year struggle to get a Transnational Asian Studies Program (TASP) on campus has been long overdue.
2) The program needs to be introduced as a minor as soon as possible.
With my knowledge of the struggle, the Denny’s Incident of 1997 was when Asian and Asian-American students realized that there were barely any courses related to their experiences. It can be noticed that our school offers studies in many cultures but what is not offered is a program that represents the largest minority on campus: Asian/Asian-American.
For the last 11 years, students have gone to administrative officials asking for a program and courses related to Asian/Asian-American Studies. Yet, every effort has been stalled. Faculty have told students that not having enough finances, communication, tenured faculty and student interest were reasons why the creation of this program have been stalled. As a student, I feel that the many interested students are doing everything they can to express interest and communicate their needs to the administration. The problem is that this university has not truly communicated and publicized the program and related classes, causing the administration to believe that there is not enough interest.
I do challenge the faculty and administration of this university to actually build a world-class Transnational Asian Studies Program as more than a hundred students signed petitions that they would be interested in such a program. If Syracuse University wants to be known for diversity, TASP must become a recognized program. If other programs have financial backing and tenure-track faculty from the university, why cannot our university create this particular program requested for the last 11 years? Yes, there are classes offered, but there’s still not minor or major.
I want to be optimistic that with a little more structure this program will be built to its greatest potential. Unfortunately, I do not think that the faculty and administration controlling the fate of this program will stall the implementation of TASP as seen for the last 11 years. The administration of this university needs to fulfill this responsibly of initiating TASP and that needs to start not tomorrow, next semester or in 10 years; but it needs to start today!
Jonathan Chan, sophomore marketing and advertising major
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