The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Asians need their own space on campus

Rhiannon Ellis | Special to The Union

Asian students at El Camino College need to have their own space on campus.

With 1,919 students making up around 8.7% of the campus community as of the fall 2023 semester, Asians are one of the smaller ethnic groups at El Camino College. However, they don’t have any support groups behind them.

Despite this, most other ethnic groups on campus either have or will be getting their own support centers on campus.

Black students, who number almost 2,900, according to data from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office Data Mart, enjoy the Black Student Success Center.

The college’s 76 Pacific Islander students can use the MANA Program, who will soon be getting their own office, to help succeed through their classes.

El Camino’s biggest ethnic group, Hispanics, are about 10,100 strong and make up 46% of the campus student population. They are getting ‘Mi Casa,’ a center that will support Hispanic students on campus.

But Asians? As of right now, they only have general El Camino services meant to service everyone, not an affinity center.

Affinity groups are meant to target specific student populations and support them, Student Equity and Achievement program coordinator Monica Delgado said in an interview.

These centers help make safe spaces for group members to connect with each other and succeed through their time in college.

So why isn’t there a group for Asians then?

Delgado, who is also the student support coordinator for the Social Justice Center, said that there isn’t physical space on campus, and not enough money in the college’s budget to allow for a dedicated Asian center.

Furthermore, Delgado says that as the MANA Program gets their own office space, the program will be expanded to also include Native Americans and Asians too.

The Union does not believe this is the right move, and that Asian students should be able to have their own space on campus.

Shoving one group into a program meant for another targeted group of students is not an effective use of time or resources, for both staff members and the students.

This is more relevant than ever with the explosion of anti-Asian hate in the United States ever since the COVID pandemic in 2020, with many Asian Americans even this year reporting that they were the subject of racial hate, news website Axios reported.

While Pacific Islander and Asian ethnic groups have plenty in common, Asians are the ones facing the brunt of the abuse over the last four years.

Cerritos College students are able to participate in study groups with groups matching their own ethnicity – one of which is an APIDA group, which stands for Asian Pacific Islander Desi American.

The Union recognizes the effort that the college is going through in getting affinity centers for all ethnic groups on campus. After all, as Delgado pointed out, none of these programs even existed just a few years ago.

However, that does not change the fact that Asian students should have a place for them to bond, whether it be a dedicated room provided by the college like the Black Student Success Center, or even just a student group that meets on campus somewhere.

When El Camino’s budget allows it, there must be some funding put aside to create an Asian center.

Please, give our Asian students a place to feel safe and welcome.

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