Ball State Asian Student Union hosts dialogue on hate crimes

<p>The Asian Student Union hosted &quot;We Are Visible: Recognizing Asian Hate&quot; in the Teachers College March 22, 2021. Attendees discussed ways to confront and cope with Asian hate crimes. <strong>Evan Weaver, DN</strong></p>

The Asian Student Union hosted "We Are Visible: Recognizing Asian Hate" in the Teachers College March 22, 2021. Attendees discussed ways to confront and cope with Asian hate crimes. Evan Weaver, DN

The Ball State Asian Student Union (ASU) held two events March 22 to remember the victims of the March 16 Atlanta shootings and hold a discussion where students could share their experiences with discrimination. 

The day’s events began with a moment of remembrance at Shafer Tower, where the bells were tolled eight times in remembrance of the victims who were killed in the Atlanta spa shootings, followed by a moment of silence. 

Around 30 people attended the event, including Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns.

“I think it was important for us to gather to demonstrate our empathy [and] our support for the victims, the families of the victims who were killed last week, and to also express our condemnation of violence,” Mearns said. “We need to continue to do the important work on our campus [and] in our country, to create a world that's more peaceful and more just.”

The student government association (SGA) slate-elect Strive was also in attendance to pay its respects. 

“As a student who identifies as an Asian American on campus, I don't always feel like my voice is heard,” Tina Nguyen, sophomore legal studies and political science major and SGA president-elect, said. “Moments like these when I see the student body coming together, just for a moment of silence, it really just reflects on me of how lucky I am to be here at Ball State.”

At 5 p.m. March 22, ASU hosted “We Are Visible: Recognizing Asian Hate” as a way to discuss the recent hate crimes toward Asian Americans and create a safe space for students to share their own experiences with racism and hateful rhetoric.

Parker Clingerman, freshman pre-med major, was one of several students who attended the event and shared his experiences.

“I think that tonight was an eye opening experience for me, because for the longest time, I was the only Asian person I ever knew of,” Clingerman said. “I think it was a really good experience for me and makes me want to make my voice be heard, not only in the Asian American community, but in the community on campus [and] in the city as well.” 

Clingerman said he was unsure of coming to the event, but was glad when he was persuaded by friends to go.

“Discussions like this where you get to hear the experiences of other people are really important to bringing attention to what's going on, not only in the global scope of things but in the local scene as well,” Clingerman said.

The discussion was moderated by senior speech pathology major, ASU president, Carinah Herrero and senior computer informations systems major, ASU treasurer, Phil Belpasso. 

Belpasso said ASU decided to host the event largely due to the rapid increase in Asian American racism and hate crimes.

“The Atlanta shooting of six Asian women as well as two other people last week was kind of a peak to [the racism and hate crimes], and it called upon us to hold a meeting discussing that,” Belpasso said.

Herrero, as well as several of the other attendees, shared their experiences of being discriminated against. Herrero talked about her mother and what she had gone through as an Asian American woman.

“My mom was just grocery shopping at Walmart last month...and she told me that a white couple pushed her down, spit on her and called her slurs,” Herrero said. “Because of COVID-19, people are telling her she brought the virus here and to go back to China even though we're not Chinese. When she tells me these [things], I become so upset, but my mom is a super strong person.”

At the end of the meeting, students were able to talk to a therapist from the Counseling Center. ASU members also provided a slide in its presentation with mental health resources, a website to report Asian American hate incidents, and a YouTube video regarding Asian hate incidents for anybody to research and utilize.

Herrero was grateful for the support from the students who attended both events.

“It means the world to me,” Herrero said. “Asian racism and stereotypes are often not talked about because it's so normalized in society. So seeing people come out and stand up for the community really means a lot because it’s not something you see often.”

Contact Evan Weaver with comments atThe Ball State Asian Student Union (ASU) held two events March 22 to remember the victims of the March 16 Atlanta shootings and hold a discussion where students could share their experiences with discrimination. 

The day’s events began with a moment of remembrance at Shafer Tower, where the bells were tolled eight times in remembrance of the victims who were killed in the Atlanta spa shootings, followed by a moment of silence. 

Around 30 people attended the event, including Ball State President Geoffrey Mearns.

“I think it was important for us to gather to demonstrate our empathy [and] our support for the victims, the families of the victims who were killed last week, and to also express our condemnation of violence,” Mearns said. “We need to continue to do the important work on our campus [and] in our country, to create a world that's more peaceful and more just.”

The student government association (SGA) slate-elect Strive was also in attendance to pay its respects. 

“As a student who identifies as an Asian American on campus, I don't always feel like my voice is heard,” Tina Nguyen, sophomore legal studies and political science major and SGA president-elect, said. “Moments like these when I see the student body coming together, just for a moment of silence, it really just reflects on me of how lucky I am to be here at Ball State.”

At 5 p.m. March 22, ASU hosted “We Are Visible: Recognizing Asian Hate” as a way to discuss the recent hate crimes toward Asian Americans and create a safe space for students to share their own experiences with racism and hateful rhetoric.

Parker Clingerman, freshman pre-med major, was one of several students who attended the event and shared his experiences.

“I think that tonight was an eye opening experience for me, because for the longest time, I was the only Asian person I ever knew of,” Clingerman said. “I think it was a really good experience for me and makes me want to make my voice be heard, not only in the Asian American community, but in the community on campus [and] in the city as well.” 

Clingerman said he was unsure of coming to the event, but was glad when he was persuaded by friends to go.

“Discussions like this where you get to hear the experiences of other people are really important to bringing attention to what's going on, not only in the global scope of things but in the local scene as well,” Clingerman said.

The discussion was moderated by senior speech pathology major, ASU president, Carinah Herrero and senior computer informations systems major, ASU treasurer, Phil Belpasso. 

Belpasso said ASU decided to host the event largely due to the rapid increase in Asian American racism and hate crimes.

“The Atlanta shooting of six Asian women as well as two other people last week was kind of a peak to [the racism and hate crimes], and it called upon us to hold a meeting discussing that,” Belpasso said.

Herrero, as well as several of the other attendees, shared their experiences of being discriminated against. Herrero talked about her mother and what she had gone through as an Asian American woman.

“My mom was just grocery shopping at Walmart last month...and she told me that a white couple pushed her down, spit on her and called her slurs,” Herrero said. “Because of COVID-19, people are telling her she brought the virus here and to go back to China even though we're not Chinese. When she tells me these [things], I become so upset, but my mom is a super strong person.”

At the end of the meeting, students were able to talk to a therapist from the Counseling Center. ASU members also provided a slide in its presentation with mental health resources, a website to report Asian American hate incidents, and a YouTube video regarding Asian hate incidents for anybody to research and utilize.

Herrero was grateful for the support from the students who attended both events.

“It means the world to me,” Herrero said. “Asian racism and stereotypes are often not talked about because it's so normalized in society. So seeing people come out and stand up for the community really means a lot because it’s not something you see often.”

Contact Evan Weaver with comments at erweaver@bsu.edu or on Twitter @evan_weaver7.



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