Articles, Letters October 8, 2014

Short End of the Stick

by Kai L. Chan

Letter to the PAW in response to: Undergraduate Yield Up, Grad Yield Down

Published on October 8, 2014

Students of Asian descent at Princeton (and elsewhere in the United States) seem to get the short end of the stick on campus, as highlighted by two articles in the June 4 issue. With respect to the racial composition of the school (“Undergraduate Yield Up, Grad Yield Down”), Asians are touted by school administrators as “minorities” in order to add to the diversity count of the class. Yet it is also well known that administrators place a higher bar for Asian students in admission to college, where they have to outperform not only their minority peers on entrance examinations (by large margins) but also whites (as highlighted by the research of sociology professor Thomas Espenshade *72) to have the same chance of admission.

And on campus, even though the single largest racial minority group is Asians, discussions about race, discrimination, stereotypes, etc. never seem to include them (“Student Dispatch: Encounters With Racism, Captured on a Whiteboard”); yet there are many negative prejudices that the group has to deal with. Too bad the whiteboard campaign did not include an Asian student holding a sign proclaiming: “I am not a boring math geek with tiger parents” or “I get the downsides but not the upsides of being a minority.”

Kai L. Chan *08
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Letter as it appeared in the PAW

Princeton Alumni Weekly
© 2014 The Trustees of Princeton University