As part of its ongoing effort to develop more resources for Asian-American students on campus, the Asian Pacific Student Coalition will submit a budget for a student center to the president and provost tomorrow. The proposal for what would be called the Pan Asian American Community House has been under serious consideration by the administration since the APSC met with University President Judith Rodin last semester. Associate Provost Barbara Lowery said the University has been in favor of the plan. "In general, we've been fairly supportive of having a center," she said. "We're certainly talking about having the University fund it." But Penn still has to review the budget which the APSC was asked to revise after initially submitting it in December. According to Lowery, the previous budget was not specific enough about the various costs of the center. The roughly $212,000 annual budget for PAACH calls for the hiring of a full-time director, along with an administrative assistant, a program coordinator and an academic coordinator. Also in the budget are provisions for a pre-freshman orientation for Asian-American students, a resource library, a lecture series, alumni networking events and other programming and infrastructure expenses. APSC Chairman Sammy Sugiura, a Wharton junior, said the costs are still subject to change and added that some expenses would also be covered by other sources such as the Asian American Studies Department and the Greenfield Intercultural Center. Lowery said she could not determine how much the University would be willing to give and how much would come from alumni donations and from other sources. Former APSC Vice Chairman Jennifer Wound, a College junior, said along with the budget, the APSC will also submit space requirements for PAACH, which will be passed on to the Locust Walk Advisory Committee. The APSC hopes PAACH will be open by the beginning of fall semester. Economics Professor Roberto Mariano was one of the faculty advisors consulted for the PAACH proposal. He said the Christian Association building was one of the locations being considered for the center, although several other groups were also vying for the location. Mariano said he felt the Asian-American community had a great need for the center because of the size of its population. Asian Americans currently constitute 25 percent of the undergraduate student body. He said current spaces such as the GIC were not enough for such a large community. "Kids were spilling out of the room," he said, describing an Asian-American event at the GIC. GIC Director Valerie DeCruz also said she was in support of PAACH. She said the Asian-American student body was so large and diverse that it became difficult for the GIC to cater to its needs along with the needs of its other minority constituencies. Srilata Gangulee, an assistant dean of the College of Arts and Science, has also been involved in the proposal for PAACH. Gangulee was instrumental in creating the Asian American Studies minor in 1997 and is now pushing for the resource center to complement it. She said the center would have strong ties with the ASAM Department. "There needs to be a solid academic grounding," she said. Sugiura also emphasized that PAACH would work closely with the ASAM Department by drawing faculty to the center and encouraging student and faculty interaction as well as providing resources to students in the department. He also said the center's central location would increase visibility and interest in Asian-American studies for both Asian Americans and other students. APSC Vice Chairman and College junior James Yoo said although several schools on the West Coast had Asian-American resource centers, very few schools on the East Coast had them. "Establishing a resource center would heighten Penn's reputation," he said.Comments powered by Disqus
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