Testimony to Mills College Board of Trustees: incoming ASMC Student Affairs Chair Mi Rae Park

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June 24, 2017

(Photo courtesy of Chad Lutz) Student Affairs Chair Mi Rae Park testifies before the Board of Trustees in oppositions of proposed faculty layoffs at Mills College on June 22, 2017.

(Photo courtesy of Chad Lutz)
Student Affairs Chair Mi Rae Park testifies before the Board of Trustees in oppositions of proposed faculty layoffs at Mills College on June 22, 2017.

Hello Everyone,

My name is Mi Rae Park. I am the incoming Student Affairs Chair of ASMC (Associated Students of Mills College).

And I’m sitting here today to do my elected duty to represent the Mills students’ voices and our voices are saying to you, the Board of Trustees to vote against this inadequate plan.

Why, might you ask?

It because the moment you say yes to this plan, you are taking away our mentors, our educators and the very members of our community that not only Mills students depend on but their education depends on.

As you can see I’m East Asian, and what most of you can not see is that I am Queer and what I can see from here is a majority of whites faces looking back at me. And what I’m seeing is the only East Asian Queer professor (Vivian Chin) being on the chopping block along with one of my very own advisor Marc Joseph and other faculty members who are all valuable to our community.

Professor Chin, a Mills Alumnae themselves, are we really going to let one of our own down?

My representation on this campus is being dismantled before my eyes as you’re firing the only East Asian professor in the ethnic studies department, as you’re firing only Asian professor in philosophy department, as you’re firing the only East Asian professor in the history department, as you’re firing the only Black professor in the music department. These decisions are undeniably racialized and as an aspiring professor myself, a East Asian Queer, this week has been the most disheartening Mills experience so far, and I know that this doesn’t not reflect at all what Mills represents.

I refuse to learn from a White person my very own culture. I’m not going to take Asian Art history from someone who isn’t a person of color. I have waited years through high school to finally learn about Asian history in America, Asian culture. But now, when I have signed up for Professor Chin’s Representation and Politics in Asian American Literature in fall 2017, how ironic, it is now being taken away due to this plan.

This plan states that student demand is key, so we demand that this financial plan be thrown out.

When I finally had a chance to speak to Professor Chin after the list of ‘at-risk’ faculty were leaked, what they told me is a testimony to their character; they told me to stay strong, that everything was going to be okay. They were comforting me when it wasn’t my job that was on the line, but theirs.

Mrs. President, you have your Ph.D in history; you know what happens in history. Don’t repeats mistakes from the past. That is the very purpose of learning history. But I guess Mills College will continue to repeat its mistakes, as its very own history department is being whittled down by this plan.

Here in my hand, I am holding all the CVs of every faculty member that is at risk of being fired.

Can anyone in this room raise their hands if they are an expert in Asian Diasporic literature? Has anyone written a manuscript for Asian Diasporic literature called “Unreal Origins, Cosmopolitan Vampires, and other Myths of the Asian Diaspora?” (Professor Chin)

Has anyone in this room contributed multiple entries in the Global Encyclopedia about multiple Asian people? (Professor Cheng)

Is anyone in here a Jazz legend, and recorded over 100 albums? (Professor Mitchell)

Does anyone know modern metaphysics of value? Because if you take away the philosophy department, no one is going to know what that is (Both Philosophy professors).

Does anyone in this room have a 50-page CV? I couldn’t even print that out because it was too long. (Professor Radcliffe)

So — listen to Mi and vote against this plan.


Testimony to Mills College Board of Trustees: incoming ASMC Student Affairs Chair Mi Rae Park was published on June 24, 2017 in Article with Best Photo, Breaking News, Featured - News, Front Page, Headline Story, Institutional Changes, Mills in crisis, News, Opinions

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