Some Asians’ college strategy: Don’t check ‘Asian’

For years, many Asian-Americans have been convinced that it’s harder for them to gain admission to the nation’s top colleges.

Studies show that Asian-Americans meet these colleges’ admissions standards far out of proportion to their 6 percent representation in the U.S. population, and that they often need test scores hundreds of points higher than applicants from other ethnic groups to have an equal chance of admission. Critics say these numbers, along with the fact that some top colleges with race-blind admissions have double the Asian percentage of Ivy League schools, prove the existence of discrimination.

The way it works, the critics believe, is that Asian-Americans are evaluated not as individuals, but against the thousands of other ultra-achieving Asians who are stereotyped as boring academic robots.

Now, an unknown number of students are responding to this concern by declining to identify themselves as Asian on their applications.

For those with only one Asian parent, whose names don’t give away their heritage, that decision can be relatively easy. Harder are the questions that it raises: What’s behind the admissions difficulties? What, exactly, is an Asian-American — and is being one a choice?

Read the rest of the article and interviews by Yale students here:

Meet your new APA Blog editor!

Congratulations to Lia Dun, CC 2014, the 2012 editor-in-chief of the APA Blog!

And here is the new AASA board for the 2012 calendar year:

  • Co-moderators, Stella Cao and Ysabel Ilagan
  • Political Action and Education Committee (PAEC) Co-chairs, Chris Marnell and Winnie Huang
  • Community Development Chairs, Andrew Chun and Jason Kuo
  • Secretary, Connie Lu
  • Treasurer, Cynthia Chan
  • Webmaster, Lijin Chen

Asian-Americans are best kept demographic secret

Original article here:

Asian-Americans run more than 1.5 million small businesses that provide jobs for more than 3 million Americans. We own homes and have very high rates of citizenship. At the same time, certain ethnic groups, such as the Hmong, Bangladeshi and Cambodian communities, continue to face lengthy unemployment, high poverty levels and lack of access to job training and other government programs. Yet, increasingly and across ethnic lines, more and more of us are voting.

All this shatters long-held stereotypes of Asian-Americans as the “invisible” or “model” minority. This article from The Progressive considers the role Asian-Americans will play in the upcoming 2012 elections.

Call for Applications – Board Positions for AASA

Are you interested in Asian American social and political issues? What about organizing pan-Asian events? If so, consider running for a board position on the Asian American Students Alliance for the 2012 calendar year!

Some tentative events being planned for next term include:

  • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
  • Pan-Asian Extravaganza
  • Mentorship Program Panels with Asian American Graduate Students

If any of these projects interest you, or if you have any ideas for projects that benefit the entire Asian American community, we highly encourage you to run (2 positions max)!

Expectations on board:

In addition to baseline responsibilities for the position you run for, you will be expected to develop and execute your own project(s) as well as contribute to other board members’ projects. These projects are expected to benefit the entire Asian American community through promoting awareness/education or community-building. Guidance and feedback will be provided by Moderators. Good teamwork and communication skills are necessary. If you wish to run but do not know which roles you may be interested in, we will suggest a role for you during our mandatory pre-election information session. More information can be found at

Benefits to you:

You will learn a great deal about issues relevant to Asian Americans today. In addition, you will learn leadership and logistical skills that will be vital for your career at Yale and beyond. You will develop a network of peers who share similar interests and meet mentors who will guide you and help you grow.

Continue reading

CASA Fall Guest Alex Wong

Featured on the award-winning TV show So You Think You Can Dance, Alex Wong is an internationally acclaimed dancer and one of the fastest rising stars in dance today.

Alex has danced with the American Ballet Theater and performed as Miami City Ballet’s principal soloist, a position he gave up to compete on So You Think You Can Dance. Since then, he has performed for the first season of Steven Spielburg’s new TV show, Smash.

Come to LC 101 at 8:30 on Tuesday, November 15th, for an intimate discussion with Alex about his childhood with dance, his path to his ballet accomplishments, and competing on SYTYCD, all in the context of Alex’s Chinese American heritage and stereotypes of Asian Americans in the arts and media.

For a short preview of Alex’s talents, take a look at his Emmy-nominated performance on So You Think You Can Dance.

Co-sponsored by UOFC, Intercultural Affairs Council, Asian American Cultural Center, & the Ethnicity, Race, and Migration Department

JASU Presents: Dinner Discussion Series on Asian Identity

Want to talk about Asian identity at Yale over dinner? Join JASU in a casual conversation on what it means to be Asian-American at Yale. Open to anyone interested. You do not have to be Asian to join, and all perspectives on issues are welcome. Discussion limited to 12 people per dinner (each topic below will have its own dinner discussion).

Tuesday, November 15, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Have you ever wondered if people see you as “just another Asian?” What is the “typical Yale Asian”? What is Asian/AsianAmerican Identity at Yale? Is “Asian identity” an issue at Yale? Do we even need to talk about it? What is the community/general environment like for Asians/Asian Americans? How does being Asian make your “Yale experience” different? How are you perceived? How do you perceive others, and other Asians/Americans?

Success defined: Is success defined differently specifically for Asians/Asian Americans/non-Asians? What does success mean to you? Do you have pre-determined standards for success because of your ethnic background?

Featured Artist of the Week

Monsters Calling Home – Growing Up from dchae on Vimeo.

Inspired by stories of immigrant families and the wildly appropriate 90s children TV show ‘Aahh!!! Real Monsters.’


Are you interested in meeting a Yalie in the Asian American community? Do you want to have an exhilarating chat over a cup of coffee? Do you love froyo, mochi, and everything in between? The AACC wants to give you the opportunity to meet new people over a delightful snack!

Email with your name, email address, college, and year, and we’ll pair you randomly for a chat with another student. You will receive an email in the next couple of weeks about the person you have been paired with for AACC Serendipity. Once you have set up a time to meet, you will contact the AACC, and additional information will be provided on how to claim your free gift certificate.

AACC Serendipity will be happening throughout the semester, so anytime you want to meet a new face, all you have to do is send your contact info!

For Asian Americans, educational attainment varies widely

Asian Americans overall obtain high levels of formal education, but an analysis of recent census data reveals large disparities between Asian American ethnic groups.

The percentage of high school graduates is as high as 96 percent among Taiwanese Americans and as low as 61 percent among Hmong Americans, according to a report [PDF] released last week by the Asian American Center for Advancing Justice. The rate of bachelor’s degrees ranges from 12 percent among Laotians to 73 percent among Taiwanese.

Read the original article here:

Annual Eid Banquet

Join the MSA and the Chaplain’s Office to commemorate the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. The keynote speaker for the event is Mona Eltahawy, an award-winning columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues, most recently on the “Arab Spring” dignity revolutions in the Middle East.

The banquet will take place at Commons Dining Hall on Tuesday, November 8th, 2011 at 5:30 pm.

The event is free with a meal swipe, and will be $10 for those without a meal swipe. Formal or cultural attire is requested; please RSVP using this form.