Asian History Month events planned

by Cassie Lauterbach

The month of April brings more than just showers to Iowa; it also brings Simpson’s celebration of Asian History Month.

Simpson’s Multicultural Students Alliance is organizing the events to celebrate in April.

“[MSA] is attempting to highlight contributions of the Asian culture and dispel some common misconceptions about the culture,” said Walter Lain, the assistant dean for multicultural and international affairs.

While Asian History Month has been recognized nationally in past years, this is the first time any group at Simpson has decided to plan events to celebrate Asian culture.

Students involved with MSA have already begun work to call Simpson’s attention to Asian History Month.

“We all got together and discussed possible events to have available to students,” said junior Ashley Finestead, MSA’s public relations manager.

MSA has scheduled a Bruce Lee movie marathon for this week and has contacted a Tae Kwon Do instructor. Students also passed out fortune cookies around campus with a purposeful message.

“We want to point out a common stereotype of the Asian culture,” Lain said. “Many people don’t realize that fortune cookies were developed right here in the United States.”

Planning for Asian History Month at Simpson began months ago.

“We do have a number of students with some Asian background on campus,” Lain said. “From the very beginning of the year, we decided we wanted to spread recognition to other cultures as well.”

Although MSA sponsored Black History Month earlier this year, the organization’s efforts weren’t well-received by the campus community.

“I think there was some criticism this year because our Black History Month events were down from about 12 last year to about four this year,” Lain said. “What people didn’t realize is that we are trying to do other things like Asian history and Hispanic history as well.”

Junior Isabel Howell-Stephens, president of MSA, agrees with Lain.

“Our goal is bring awareness of diversity on campus,” Howell-Stephens said. “Minorities deserve recognition and hopefully students can take away a little bit of knowledge from this.”

Ultimately, MSA wants to ensure that students are exposed to and accepting of a community of many cultural experiences.

“That’s what diversity is – creating a campus community that appreciates the contributions of many different people,” Lain said.