University of Iowa

In the news: UISG hosts Asian Discussion circle to build bridges

September 19th, 2017
Students converse during the UISG Asian American Discussion Circle at the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The event served as an outlet for Asian UI students to explore identity and express issues related to Asian student

Students converse during the UISG Asian American Discussion Circle at the Asian Pacific American Cultural Center on Monday, Sept. 18, 2017. The event served as an outlet for Asian UI students to explore identity and express issues related to Asian students. (Lily Smith/The Daily Iowan)

By Sarah Watson, The Daily Iowan

The University of Iowa Student Government hosted an Asian discussion circle in which students talked about the difficulties of bridging the gap between Asian-American students and international students and their differing cultures.

Junior Sanjeev Thangarajah, a student from Sri Lanka, led the discussion, which centered on such topics as Asian identity and solutions to issues pertaining to Asian Americans and Asian students.

“Asia is very large and has a lot of diverse communities, so during the discussion circle, I was able to get a lot of diverse perspectives,” Thangarajah said. “One of the issues I would like to focus on is the issue that Asian Americans are very different from international students.”

Thangarajah said UISG is looking to elect an international constituent, and he thinks the discussion will help provide student vices in support for the additional position.

“Like some of the people here said, the only way you will be able to include everyone is by focusing on people’s issues separately, because while there might be overlap, a lot of Asian communities are very different,” Thangarajah said.

In 2016, 4 percent of the incoming class were Asian-American students and 7.5 percent of the class were international students, including students from Asian countries.

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