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The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

Fullerton College works to improve AANAPI student support

President Biden’s last-minute proclamation on Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions week left the college with no time to prepare events, yet, new funding creates opportunities for AANAPI students to still feel represented.
Almost+three+weeks+ago%2C+President+Joe+Biden+proclaimed+that+Sept.+25+to+Oct.1+would+be+National+Asian+American+and+Native+American+Pacific+Islander-Serving+Institutions+Week.
Pedro Saravia
Almost three weeks ago, President Joe Biden proclaimed that Sept. 25 to Oct.1 would be National Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Week.

Fullerton College President Cynthia Olivo honored Hispanic heritage with the celebration of her investiture two weeks ago. However, on Sept. 22, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden proclaimed that the same week of Sept. 25 to Oct. 1 would be National Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institutions Week. This left no room for the college to create AANAPI events with such short notice.

To be recognized as an AANAPISI-serving institution, at least 10% of the student body must identify as Asian American or Native American Pacific Islander. In the 2021-2022 school year, 15.8% of Fullerton College students identified as Asian American or Native American Pacific Islander.

On Sept. 25, Fullerton College made an Instagram post sharing that the college is an Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander-serving Institution.

“Fullerton College is proud to celebrate AANAPISI Week 2023,” said Dean of Enrollment Services Albert Abutin. “We are excited for the possibilities at Fullerton College.”

Abutin is part of the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American Advisory and Support Team at Fullerton College. He identifies as Filipino.

The APIDA Advisory and Support Team was formed in fall of 2022. They support the planning of Asian Pacific Desi American support programs at Fullerton College.

Fullerton College has demonstrated support for AANAPISI students prior to the team’s formation. In March of 2021, when the COVID-19 pandemic led to racially motivated violence and xenophobia against Asians and people of Asian descent, the college released a Statement of Solidarity, emphasizing the institution’s support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander Community.

Since Fall 2022, the APIDA Advisory and Support Team has coordinated events on campus to celebrate Asian Pacific Islander Desi American heritage including a Lunar New Year celebration in Jan. 2023 and Asian American, Pacific Islander, Desi American Heritage Month in May 2023.

The APIDA team has also hosted check-ins, focus groups for students and cultural movie nights.

“Our very own Dr. Naomi Abesamis will be featured in a webinar this month for an effort to support Fillipinx Students,” said Olivo in an email to The Hornet.

The college was given a grant through application for AANHPI achievement that totals $120,000 from the Foundation for California Community Colleges. The plan is to use these funds for developing support services for AANAPI students on campus.

The APIDA Advisory and Support Team will host their first event of the academic year, the APIDA Student Forum, on Nov. 14.

“The future is bright for our Fullerton College students and community,” said Abutin. “To our APIDA Students, We see you. We value you. We are here for you.”

*This story has been edited for accuracy and re-published with new information about the types of AANHPI grants accepted by Fullerton College*

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About the Contributors
Guadalupe Gonzalez, Copy Editor
Guadalupe Gonzalez is a first semester staff reporter and Copy Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. When not writing, she enjoys sewing, reading, and watching thriller or horror movies and spending time with her two cats. Her goal in journalism is to be a news reporter for a newspaper media outlet.
Pedro Saravia, News Editor
Pedro Saravia is the News Desk Editor for The Hornet Newspaper. He previously wrote for Inside Fullerton magazine. Pedro is a JACC award winning journalist for his work investigating Title IX issues at Fullerton College. Pedro enjoys going to the gym, playing and watching soccer, and hanging with his brother. He aspires to be a politics and sports reporter.

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