Asian and Pacific Islander Student Demands

In light of the rise of Sinophobia, anti-Asian sentiment, and the performative role the LMU institution has taken, the LMU API Student Coalition demands that LMU recognize that it has failed its API community and stand with our community by taking action. The mistreatment of API students and lack of representation in the faculty is not new, but is the result of systemic errors ingrained within LMU as an institution. We have outlined the demands of the LMU API Student Coalition in this document.

Instagram: @apisc.lmu

We, the API Student Coalition of LMU demand...

  • APISC stands in solidarity with all marginalized students at LMU.

    1. The #BlackatLMU demands must be met in their entirety
      LMU must take action and allocate the resources demanded by Black students. It is essential that we have a school that is free of institutionalized anti-Black racism. The Black and API communities at LMU stand together in solidarity and unity, and our demands being met are contingent on the #BlackatLMU demands being met.

    2. The creation and staffing of a DREAM Center at LMU
      A DREAM Center is part of the platform of needs presented by the LMU Latinx community coalition of students, faculty and staff (December 2020). We stress how such a center will support undocumented students of all ethnicities and races. It is imperative that LMU have a physical space for undocumented students where they are supported, can build community, and have a centralized hub to coordinate all needs. A center can also educate the LMU student community on issues of migration and invite in allies, or students who may have feared self-identifying. We stand in solidarity with the groups who have supported this student community for many years and who now want to see it take concrete shape in a DREAM Center. We are especially grateful for the work of the students in Resilience, the Social Justice Scholars and ASLMU.

    3. Acknowledgement and fulfillment of the demands of student athletes
      LMU must hold their athletics coaches and staff accountable. Our API community stands with our student athletes, and we refuse to let their abusers go unpunished and their requests for help to go unanswered. We urge the LMU Administration to act upon the demands of student athletes, particularly those made by the members of the Cross Country and Track teams, in their entirety. We stand in particular with those who have come forward: Holly LaPlante, Taylor Pajunen, and the other brave LMU community members.
  • The Administrative Office of Loyola Marymount University has failed to protect its Asian and Pacific Islander students, excluded API voices from important discussions, and withheld proper explanations of the reasoning behind such choices. We demand consistent communication and transparency regarding data about API students and decisions which will affect our communities.

    1. The Administration of Loyola Marymount University release an apology for the year-long complacency and delayed acknowledgement of anti-Asian sentiment
      LMU Administration has not taken action to combat on-campus racism and discrimination against Asian and Pacific Islander students, as well as anti-Asian language and violence happening worldwide. This statement should renounce anti-Asian sentiment and behaviors and express sincere regret and reflection regarding the university’s failure to protect its students. Furthermore, the Administration should reflect on the reasons behind its year-long inaction and failure to effectively address these issues. It should not take a tragedy to call out racism for what it is. This statement should acknowledge the intersectional realities API communities face, including the alienation of API sex workers, trans API, low-income API, and undocumented API, which LMU’s latest statements from the Office of the President and Office of the Senior Vice President of Student affairs on March 18th, 2021 failed to fully address.

    2. A concrete plan of action to address all the demands in this statement
      This plan of action should include a detailed description and timeline of the necessary steps to implement the demands listed below. This plan should also be made publicly accessible in order to hold the LMU Administration responsible and accountable for fulfilling the needs of our students. The Administration has failed to properly support its Asian and Pacific Islander students; though the harm has already been caused, this plan of action is the best way for the Administration to demonstrate a willingness to do better.

    3. The definition, expansion, and clarification of LMU’s hate speech policy
      LMU’s Freedom of Expression policy does not define hate speech nor the consequences of engaging in it. This needs to be rectified immediately. Hate speech must be clearly defined as a verbal attack on the basis of gender, race, sexuality, disability, documentation status, and/or religion. LMU should create a safe platform for students to report hate speech, acknowledge the harm that hate speech causes to victims, and establish severe consequences for perpetrators. This policy should be enforced and made public knowledge in order to protect students from hate speech.

    4. The disaggregation of student admissions data and statistics
      Currently, LMU’s figures and statistics fail to differentiate the diverse countries and ethnicities that make up the Asian diaspora, instead lumping all students under the umbrella term “Asian.” Such an approach undermines the members and struggles of underrepresented ethnic groups (Cambodians, Hmongs, Laotians, etc.) within the API community in favor of more prominent ethnic groups (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc.). In order to truly provide equitable opportunities, LMU must disaggregate the data to identify marginalized students who need it the most and utilize the OMBC standard of data collection and reporting. Disaggregating the data should include, but is not limited to: breakdowns by specific ethnic group, income level, and major and college department. Students should also be able to check more than one racial/ethnic category as opposed to solely a “multiracial” or “other” box. Relevant portions of this breakdown should be included in all identifying questionnaires, such as COVID-19 testing procedures, student profiles, and general surveys.

    5. Acknowledge that these demands are living and breathing
      As circumstances shift, these demands will also adapt to them. As we know more, we will continue to demand for equity in the LMU population. These demands are living and breathing

    6. Meetings to communicate with the admin
      We demand biweekly meetings after April 13th (statement deadline) between students and admin so that we can be in communication as these demands are brought to fruition. Timothy Law Snyder or Provost Thomas Poon must be at each meeting.
  • There is a highly concerning lack of positive API representation within LMU. Examples of poor representation at LMU include describing food at the Lair as “oriental” and the Bali Club, which promotes white saviorism. Furthermore, it is essential for students to learn from a variety of perspectives, yet the representation of API perspectives within faculty, staff, and university services is lacking and scarce. We demand more API representation at LMU which aims to empower our community.

    1. The expansion of API faculty and staff
      As of the time this document is written, March 2021, there are only 5 faculty members listed on the Department of AAAS Faculty directory , with four of those faculty being men. This lack of representation and diversity does not provide the Asian Studies education that the API students of LMU demand or deserve. More space for API professors who represent a diversity of Asian ethnicities is a necessity in order to create more class options, optimum academics, and inclusive learning environments.

      This is also a necessity for all departments at Loyola Marymount University. LMU makes it a priority to emphasize social justice work in the classroom and by extension the study of different ethnic cultures in courses outside ethnic studies departments – for instance: TV Anime (FTVS 446) and Managing Diversity (MGMT 3640). However, we demand that these courses be taught by BIPOC professors. Well-meaning white professors are not equipped to create course curriculums whose content derives from a culture outside their own.

    2. More diversity in higher administration
      While we deeply value the labor, contributions, and care of Dr. Jennifer Abe and Provost Thomas Poon as API admin, these two individuals do not represent the diversity of our API student body. We demand that additional API admin be elected who can represent the needs of our entire API Community.

    3. More transparency about the Human Resources department
      Information on LMU’s HR department’s staff is not readily available for the public to know. We demand that statistics of HR staff be made public for full transparency.

    4. API representation within Student Psychological Services
      Currently, there are only two API therapists at LMU, and while we appreciate all of the work that Dr. Mimi Hoang and Dr. Hung Tran do for students, putting the psychological needs of all API students on two people is unacceptable. This is only emphasized by the fact that Dr. Mimi Hoang is also one of two queer therapists and the only queer therapist of color at SPS. We demand that more API therapists be hired to meet the needs of API students at LMU. Specifically, we demand that the SPS therapists are hired on the basis of intersectionality: trans and queer API therapists, API women therapists, etc.

    5. Job security for API staff and faculty
      Many API staff and faculty need to be systemically supported at LMU through job security. They should not feel pressure, like social alienation from other faculty members, to censor themselves or speak out. HR should make a statement guaranteeing that API faculty are free to openly discuss topics like the lack of racial representation. Diversity in teaching is valuable to student learning outcomes and LMU should seek to increase the amount of tenured API faculty positions. Additionally, we demand non-tenured track faculty to be given year-long and multiple year contracts that guarantees their financial stability.

      We demand an active holistic support for international faculty in immigration procedures through monetary support and reimbursements for any immigration-related expenses. Additionally HR must reevaluate its failure to support international faculty and staff. The process for international faculty to teach at LMU must be transparent and fluid. We demand that LMU take an active role in securing quality professorships for API faculty.
  • It is necessary for LMU’s academic programs to address the needs of the API community. Courses and programs must be expanded to include API experiences and stories, and teachers should address anti-Asian policies and approaches within their materials. Sinophobic material in LMU curriculum and correspondence is unacceptable. We demand that LMU academics better reflect the API community’s diversity and create a safe and inclusive learning environment for API students.

    1. Suspend all live attendance policies and require the recording of lectures by April 13th until LMU resumes in-person classes at 100% capacity
      According to LMU’S Office of International Students and Scholars, 8 out of the top 10 countries of enrollment are located within Asia. Since LMU’s announcement of remote learning, international students living outside of America have faced struggles when it comes to synchronous classes. For instance, a course taking place at 2:00 PM PST would require a student living in Indonesia to be up at 4:00 AM WIB. This is an unrealistic standard to place on students, especially when teachers make attendance mandatory for their classes. We demand that any attendance policies for remote learning be suspended. Furthermore, we demand that all classes are recorded in order to assist students in different time zones.

    2. The expansion of API courses
      While the creation of the LMU Department of Asian and Asian American Studies (AAAS) in the Fall of 2016 remains an appreciated and important step towards API scholarship, the university must continue the work to expand and improve the classes offered by the department. Within the two programs provided by the department, Asian and Pacific Studies (ASPA) and Asian Pacific American Studies (APAM), there are very few classes whose curriculums exist outside the realm of East Asia. While the education and learning of East Asian countries such as China, Japan, and Korea are important, it is also important to create courses that offer the learning of more historically underrepresented cultures.

      We demand that LMU Asian and Asian American Studies be expanded to offer courses that educate students on all regions of Asia, not just East Asia; this means Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and Western Asia. Furthermore, many of the department’s offerings approach their courses’ topic holistically; for instance: classes such as Intro to Asian Pacific American Studies (APAM 1117) and Asian Mythology (ASPA 4870). While there is merit to this approach, we demand that the Department of AAAS offer more courses that focus on specific ethnic cultures, such as Filipino American Experience (APAM 4453), in order to provide more in-depth learning. Lastly, it is imperative that the department continue to expand on their curriculums that study the intersectional identities of Asians, such as Women in Asia (ASPA 4600). While this course is a great start to learning more about intersectional Asian identities, these intersections must be explored more critically in the classroom. We demand that courses continue the work of uplifting intersectional identities such as API women, queer and trans API, API sex workers, undocumented API, and lower socioeconomic API.

    3. Address anticommunist and sinophobic rhetoric in curriculums
      It is foolish not to acknowledge that the past year’s increase in violence against the API community is rooted in sinophobic, or anti-Chinese, rhetoric (calling COVID-19 the “Chinese Virus,” constant anti-communist propaganda and fearmongering against China, etc.). This is oppression deeply rooted in US history (the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Yellow Peril caricatures, etc.), and it is essential for our curriculum to be proactive in educating Lions about this. Professors at LMU, especially those within the History and International Relations department, should reevaluate how they navigate presenting anticommunist ideas throughout history. We demand that all teachers address anticommunist and sinophobic rhetoric within their curriculums in order to better educate the student body in an effort to help decrease violence against API people.

    4. Expanding wider API language courses
      We demand that more API language courses are offered for students. Currently, Mandarin is the only API language offered as a major in the Modern Languages department. We demand that the API section of the Modern Languages department be expanded to offer a variety of languages and create major and minors for these languages. Examples include: Tagalog, Hindi, Japanese, Cantonese, Thai, Vietnamese, etc.
  • API Student Programming is ignored and unsupported, leaving Asian Pacific Student Services, API student leaders, and API student organizations to plan, execute, and publicize events completely on their own. LMU needs to treat our community events as a priority, not an afterthought. We demand that campus life include and empower API Students.

    1. Include APSS events in LMU Communications line
      We demand that all APSS and API events be promoted along with other major events occurring on campus. Not sharing APSS and API events through the direct marcom line treats them as separate and “other.” Events coordinated by the API community at LMU are important and must be amplified along with all other events.

    2. Separate Lunar New Year from the basketball game
      We demand that the diversity of ways in which various API cultures celebrate Lunar New Year be honored and respected at LMU. Because each culture celebrates this holiday with different purposes and traditions, each respective API organization needs to be designated a separate space for celebration. In the past, Lunar New Year has been placed in front of the basketball game, with an overemphasis on Chinese New Year. We are not a monolith and each of our communities deserves a space to celebrate. Lunar New Year is one of the most important holidays for many API cultures, and it should exist independently, outside of a sports game.

  • LMU has failed to address the financial needs of API students. There is a severe lack of monetary support for API student programming and scholarships. We demand that necessary funding be allocated to API students, faculty, staff, clubs, and organizations.

    1. Create both need-based and merit-based scholarships dedicated specifically towards API undergraduate students and graduate students
      The API communities are systemically impoverished by white supremacy, and therefore, academia is inaccessible to a majority of low-income and middle-class API who are not the highest achieving in terms of GPA and ability to participate in extracurriculars. Combating the model minority myth would require an acknowledgment of low-income API students. We demand LMU do this through systematic monetary support in place for low-income API students to receive need-based scholarships. Low-income students do not have access to the same education as higher-income students at LMU, and it is unacceptable for there to only be merit-based scholarships when low-income students must constantly be forced into ideals of them being the “most exceptional” and “highest achieving.” Holistic care abolishes grading hierarchy through need-based scholarships.

    2. Create an APAM scholarship for students
      The Department of APAM (Asian and Pacific American Studies) needs a scholarship incentivizing students to study the AAPI experience. As of right now, LMU only offers students scholarships in the Department of ASPA (Asian and Pacific Studies). Anyone who majors or minors in ASPA is able to receive a scholarship regardless of their racial identity (i.e., a white student would receive this scholarship if they chose to study Asian Studies.) While this does promote the studying of Asian cultures, not having an APAM scholarship implies that LMU only values studying the continent of Asia and not the AAPI experience. Not having an APAM scholarship limits the holistic understanding of API culture for AAPI students and encourages the erasure of the history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

    3. Give APSS and API-affiliated RSOs more monetary support for major cultural holidays, API Overnight, and API heritage month
      Monetary support is one of the most effective ways of directly combating inequity. When we talk about accessibility of education and student programming, a majority of these problems can be solved if these groups received more money. It is important for these major cultural holidays to be properly spotlighted and celebrated, especially in how it relates to LMU’s pillar of Becoming a Global Citizen.

    4. Ensure that 40% of SAFAB funds go to RSOs dedicated to marginalized communities, such as Queer Film Club, Na Kolea, BSU, etc.
      RSOs dedicated to marginalized communities should not have to raise money for events meant to educate and care for themselves. A majority of API RSOs fundraise for their own annual events, which adds greater exhaustion and pressure on these communities and draws away from the energy allocated to sustain their other programming.

    5. Give EIS and APSS a larger budget without withdrawing funds from staff income and student programming
      EIS is the largest source of community for a majority of marginalized students. Staff at EIS deserve a larger budget to work with in comparison to offices such as CSA and Campus Ministry,without the allocation detracting from EIS staff’s pay. After the pandemic, the budget of EIS was reduced. We are demanding APSS receive an extra $4,000 in their yearly student programming budget, EIS staff receive higher and equal pay, and EIS offices receive at least a 20% increase in their student programming budget. For examples on what this money would go towards, reference demand #3 in Monetary Support.

    6. Create more T-Work positions and merit-based and need-based scholarships dedicated specifically for international students
      International students are not eligible for work study or financial aid. LMU must support international students financially through continual monetary support both through LMU jobs and paying off portions of their tuition.

    7. Give API staff and faculty a higher pay
      API staff and faculty should be compensated for the emotional labor white faculty and staff inflict on them, especially because LMU does not directly pay for their mental health services. LMU should have a dedicated pool of grants and resources for faculty who specifically research API cultures. Pre-tenured professors should be provided with non-competitive summer grants and stipends of a livable wage every year. All visas for faculty who do research in other countries should be reimbursed. We specifically would like to thank Dr. Curtiss Rooks, Professor Arnab Banerji, Jacqueline Leung, Aristotle Mosier, Angelina Lee, and Dr. Mimi Hoang for their immeasurable and unconditional support of API students and the API community at LMU.
  • A statement must be released by April 13th by LMU Communications with an apology for the year-long silence and delayed acknowledgment of anti-Asian sentiment and a concrete plan of action to address every single one of these demands, detailing specific dates when each demand will be met. After this statement by LMU Communications, we demand biweekly meetings between admin and students to address each section of this list, the first meeting occurring the week after April 13th.

    API students deserve better.

This document has been reviewed and endorsed by the LMU API Student Coalition and the following LMU student clubs, spaces, and organizations:

Asian and Pacific Islander Student Coalition Han Tao
Isang Bansa
Nikkei Student Union
Na Kolea
Vietnamese Student Association
Saisei Taiko
The Chinese Circle
Korean American Student Association C.R.I.M.E (Caring Radically In Marginalized Environments)
Black Queer Space
Black Student Union
Intercultural Facilitators Program
Spanish Club
Jewish Student Life
Student Honors Advisory Council
Magis Service Organization

Ignatians Service Organization
Gryphon Circle Service Organization Agape Service Organization
Belles Service Organization
Espérer Service Organization
Delta Kappa Alpha
Storytellers of Color
Queer Film Club
Radix Dance Crew
ECO Students
MAPS (Minority Association of Pre-Health Students)
LMU Pokemon Go Club
LMU Arts and Advocacy Program
LMU French Club