President Blaine Brownell signed a proclamation Monday officially declaring November Asian-American Awareness Month.
Brownell kicked off the Asian-American Student Association's "Asian Americans Emerging in America" activities. Brownell spoke about the importance of diversity on campus.
According to AASA President Carissa Herr, the proclamation will help achieve the goal of raising awareness of Asian American presence on campus.
"East Central Indiana is not the most diverse place in this country," Brownell said. "This will help make the university a more multi-cultural and international place."
Brownell said the purpose of this proclamation was to promote unity and cultural diversity through recognizing Asian American students and staff.
"I hope this will increase student awareness," said Academic Adviser and Asian American Studies professor Kris Rugsaken.
Rugsaken said that since he came to Ball State in the 1970s, he has seen a definite increase in diversity.
"It seems now that people seem more aware of each other and more willing to try and learn about each other," Rugsaken said.
Herr said AASA has used November to celebrate Asian American awareness in the past, though this is the first time the month has been declared for this purpose by the university.
AASA had a declared Asian American Awareness Week in November, but decided to expand the designated time last year. She sees it as an opportunity attract prospective students.
"A very diverse campus is a big attraction," Herr said. "This proclamation helps to make Ball State more diverse and intriguing."
Brownell said he also sees this as an opportunity.
"Diversity enriches the educational experience," Brownell said. "It gives students the opportunity to learn about other people."
Brownell said that he hoped the proclamation would help dispel stereotypes and increase understanding of the Asian American experience.
"One of the purposes of a month like this is to appreciate a group of Americans, their cultural experiences and backgrounds," Brownell said.