Laura Misumi 0

Demand the Yuri Kochiyama Lounge

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PLEASE SIGN, COMMENTS ARE WELCOME AND ENCOURAGED Division of Student Affairs Diversity Statement: The University of Michigan Division of Student Affairs is committed to students' learning and the development of the whole student in a diverse and multicultural campus community. The Division seeks to engender a diverse community that is accessible, safe and inclusive. We value a community that appreciates and learns from our similarities and differences. We pledge our commitment to support the success of all community members. We will continue meeting the needs of students of color to invest in their educational success. DSA's commitment to diversity and to a diverse campus community continues. At the beginning of this semester, the Housing Administration, which is a part of the Division of Student Affairs, started enforcing their policy on space use restrictions in the Residence Halls. What this means is that no student organization may reserve any lounge in a particular Residence Hall for a meeting time during peak hours (5:30-midnight) more than four times a semester. Unfortunately, all of the Multicultural and Minority-Cultural Lounges, (Ambatana, Yuri Kochiyama, Cesar Chavez, etc.) are located in the Residence Halls and the groups that are being affected are those that have long-standing ties to those lounges like United Asian American Organizations, the Black Student Union and the Latino Students Organization among others. United Asian American Organizations has had a long history with the Yuri Kochiyama Lounge in South Quad. Since the lounge's dedication, UAAO has always held its weekly assembly meetings, APA101 mentorship meetings, and the Yuri Kochiyama Mentorship Program meetings in South Quad. This is an important tradition to the Asian Pacific American community, not only because of the established relationship with the lounge, also because Yuri Kochiyama, whom the lounge commemorates, and Maya Lin, the designer of the lounge, are important figures in the APA community. Yuri Kochiyama is a human rights and civil rights activist, who has fought for the Japanese American reparation, and is a mentor to many APA activists. Maya Lin is a Chinese American architect, who has designed the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall and the Wave Field on North Campus. United Asian American Organizations stands against the University of Michigan Housing Administration's unreasonable enforcement of their space use policy as it pertains to access to the Yuri Kochiyama Lounge and other Multicultural and Minority-Cultural Lounges. UAAO believes that in order to uphold their Diversity Statements, the Housing Administration must allow unrestricted access to the Multicultural and Minority-Cultural Lounges to those students of color organizations that have long-standing relationships with them. In a post-Prop 2 campus climate, UAAO advocates for the preservation of a safe space in which students of color are encouraged to meet and foster their individual identities and values. UAAO stands in solidarity with and in affirmation of other organizations for students of color that are also facing similar difficulties establishing their presence and keeping their place on campus recognized. We feel that in order for the University of Michigan to uphold its various statements on diversity, that the right of students of color to have a central space on campus must be upheld. Such spaces are essential to our development as a community and to our educational experiences as individuals. UAAO will not consider this campaign successful unless all student organizations that are being affected have their access to the Multicultural and Minority-Cultural Lounges restored. Thank you all for your support, please leave a comment if you can!


United Asian American Organizations is a coalition comprised of 30+ Asian Pacific Islander American student groups on campus. We take the lead in advocating major issues on campus that affect the broad spectrum of people in our community. We also serve as the communications "glue" for the hundreds of events that our organizations sponsor annually. The members of our organization consist of our 8 board members, the 30+ student organizations we represent, and students "at large"--that is, students that are not affiliated with one of our member organizations but are actively involved with UAAO activities and functions. The United Asian American Organizations is established to work in unity to provide education on issues facing Asian Pacific Islander Americans, to promote awareness of Asian Pacific Islander American cultures, and to establish a communication core for the Asian Pacific American organizations and individuals at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor
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