The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Asian students experience prejudice

Cox School of Business is one of the top business schools in the country. (Courtesy of SMU)

SMU is notorious for a plethora of things. The school holds titles for being one of the most beautiful campuses in the nation and the most expensive school in Texas.

The most famous title SMU holds is being ranked #21 for Best Undergraduate Business Schools, according to Bloomberg Business Week.

The Cox School of Business stands on a pedestal at SMU. Located between Hughes-Trigg Student Center and Boaz Commons, the school offers majors in accounting, finance, management and more.

It is no secret that a majority of SMU students are Caucasian, especially in Cox. The campus profile states that there is only 27.5% minorities enrolled in the school as of Fall 2012.

The diversity at the business school supports many organizations for minorities. A few are the National Black MBA Association National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and the National Gay & Lesbian MBAs.

SMU Cox also hosts an annual Diversity MBA Conference with other student organizations at SMU and ones in the Dallas business community.

Out of all the minority groups SMU Cox supports, there is currently no Asian organization that is listed even though there is one on campus.

ASCEND, “a non-profit Pan-Asian organization for business professionals, executives, and students in North America” has an active chapter at SMU.

President Cherish Guo commented that there may be a mistake as to why Cox has not listed ASCEND on their website, since the group only formed one year ago.

Despite the exclusion of ASCEND on the Cox website, ASCEND members and current Cox students have had some unpleasant experiences in and out of the business school because of their race.

Sophomore Matthew Lee says although he’s never personally encountered racism while in Cox, but he knows international students from Asia in the Delta Sigma Pi business fraternity who have.

“Some people make fun of the international Asian students, but not really so at the Asians who are more Americanized or can speak English,” Lee said.

Junior Truc Luong is an international student from Vietnam and is in Cox. She has not had any personal stories of conflict but lacks self-assurance in her classes.

“My professors [and the students] at Cox are nice and kind; sometimes I just don’t feel confident with my English.” said Luong.

Luong also has not had any bad experiences at SMU regarding race. However, sophomore Aveline Chan has.

“Last year, I was deeply hurt and shamed during a racist incident,” Chan said. “Experiencing discrimination for the first time made me afraid and closed-up.”

From what she’s witnessed, Chan feels that some international students have a hard time adjusting, especially when their American peers are around.

“It is very rare for me to see international students being reached out to by their American classmates, and most big social functions at SMU are not very friendly to international students,” Chan said.

While it may seem as if international students from Asia may have a harder time assimilating on campus, both American-Asians and international students have felt uncomfortable because of comments regarding their race.

Lee believes that not all questions or comments students and professors make are meant negatively. He says it depends on the tone of how people ask.

“If the situation did arise, I would say ethnically I’m Chinese, but I was born in Plano, Texas,” Lee said. “I wouldn’t feel anything if it’s genuine curiosity; however, if the tone is negative or insulting, I would be defensive.”

The underlying problem at SMU and at Cox for Asian students seems to be the fact that not all American students welcome the unfamiliar. While no one may be intentionally mean to an international or Asian-American student, being close-minded and unfriendly generates the same feeling of uneasiness for minorities.

Lee says the obliviousness of people who are intolerant to those who are different is a big issue. If students were to become more open-minded and less judgmental, this problem could be resolved.

“If people become more cognizant of this small intolerant community that exists, I feel SMU would become much more accepting,” Lee said.

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