Freedom Budget from an Asian Perspective

The Pan Asian community held a town hall meeting today to discuss the Asian perspective on the Freedom Budget. I did not get to attend, so here are my thoughts:

Establish an Asian American Studies department… 81 percent of Pan Asian students self-identify as Asian American, yet the College still does not have an academic program or coursework focused on the Asian American experience

An Asian perspective on the Freedom Budget

An Asian perspective on the Freedom Budget

I want to study computer science and mathematical social sciences. I want to attain skills I can use to be a big player later in the startup scene. Asian American studies has no place in my career plans. In fact, I don’t want to study anything related to the Asian American experience at all. And that’s not because I have anything against American studies, but because I have limited time at Dartmouth and I need certain majors to achieve the goals I have laid out for myself. To be specific, I do not see the connection between identification as an Asian American and a need for an official Asian American department. Sure, if the demand for such studies arises to the point where a department is needed, the college would be foolish to not initiate such a department. Nevertheless, race and the academic needs of students are two completely separate things.

Establish Korean and Hindi-Urdu language programs… Dartmouth is the only Ivy League institution without Korean and Hindi-Urdu language courses.

There is nothing wrong with establishing language programs if the establishment of such programs would increase attraction for the college. After all, the College is in the business of attracting more, and brighter, students. However, if the attitude has to do with race and underrepresentation, then such an attempt would be misguided.

A majority of AMES and AMELL professors are not Asian; in higher education, we need multiple perspectives, and in the AMES and AMELL faculty, we lack the perspective of the very cultural groups we are studying.

I will have to bring up my example of the Fox News interview with Reza Aslan, a Muslim who wrote a book on Jesus. The news reporter asks why a Muslim would write about Jesus, and Aslan responds saying that he is a scholar of religion, and that as a professor of religion it is his job to examine religion. The professor’s background does not ruin their credibility or the perspective they give to students. That is all for this post, but the bottom line is that many of the Freedom Budget’s demands are motivated by racial tensions. And I for one just do not think about race enough to agree with these demands.