I read in The San Jose Mercury News online today in “UC adopts ‘Count Me In’ application proposal” that:
“The University of California will revamp its undergraduate application to find out more about the Pacific Rim students who have become UC’s dominant face. Next year’s application will expand the number of Asian-American and Pacific Islander categories to 23 – a nearly threefold increase from the current eight categories. The ethnic identification will continue to be optional and will not figure into admissions decisions, administrators said…The effort will help the university track groups that have not been adequately studied, such as Hmong and Samoan students, he said…Studies have shown that students from several southeast Asian countries 1/3 including Laos and Cambodia – are not as likely to attend college as those from Asian countries with more developed higher-education systems….”
That’s the challenge and irony of trying to unite under the category of “Asian-American” (and Pacific Islander) – for any ethnic group to have a voice, one needs numbers. Yet, those united numbers can also mask the differences in an uber-group.
What really struck me from the article was this statistic though:
“The number of Asian-Americans has surpassed white students in the UC system. On some campuses, such as Berkeley and Irvine, the numbers are overwhelming. Irvine has about twice as many Asian-American undergraduates as white students, and hundreds more Asian-American students than whites attend UC Berkeley.”
As someone who grew up in Western Massachusetts and as one of a handful of Asian-Americans amongst a mostly Caucasian student body, and an undergraduate university in upstate New York where Asian-Americans made up 15% of the students, the thought of Asian-Americans outnumbering Caucasian students (or any ethnicity for that matter) is sort of mind blowing. As I have said before, only in California…(and of course, Hawaii)