Help a Mawrter Out!

As students of color, we feel that it is very important to help Cecilia Seo-Yeon Lee, a student who previously attended BMC, out in any way we can and, instead of us working in small pockets, if we can all work together and help Cecilia, we think that this would be a phenomenal opportunity to continue to show that we matter and we care.

We are in the works of planning a campus wide fundraiser with many AMO Groups, Student Clubs, International Student Advising, the Pensby Center etc. tabling and selling various items that would go toward Cecilia’s campaign.

Please consider donating.

(Pictured: Cecilia curling hair for a model in the A/ASA Culture Show Fall 2013)

All Black Lives Matter: Die-In, March, & Vigil on the Mainline

There will be a three-part demonstration starting at Pembroke Arch to protest recent jury decisions in Ferguson and New York City. We encourage everyone, whether people of color or allies to people of color, to support the cause in whatever way they see fit.

Race is and has always been a complicated issue for Asians and Asian Americans. (This article highlights many prevailing concerns specific to Asian Americans.) We will continue this conversation at Monday night’s meeting by discussing how Asians and Asian Americans fit in to the complex system of racism in this country, specifically in light of recent events.

Below is a message from Haverford ASA about sign-making, which will take place at Dalton’s study tables at 4:20pm.

“Dear HASA, Hyphen, SAO, and fellow Asians and Asian Americans,

Tomorrow (Monday 12/8) afternoon, Tri-Co students are holding a die-in, march, and vigil to call for the importance of All Black Lives in our communities.

HASA invites all Asian and Asian American students to join us for sign-making beginning at 4:20 in Bryn Mawr Dalton Hall’s lower level study tables (directions below). We will walk to Pem Arch at 4:45, in time to depart with the group at 5pm. Haverford students can take the 4:10 bus.

Even if you cannot come to the sign-making, you can show your support by wearing all black. Finally, please remember that we are expressing solidarity — we are allies entering a space that seeks to highlight Black voices. “Speak Up, Not Over” when expressing Asian American support for the Black community.”

Updates can be found on the HASA and Hyphen Facebook pages.

Name Change

In light of recent events surrounding race and identity on campus, Asian Students’ Association (ASA) has decided to change our name to Hyphen (Asian-American Students’ Association).

Two major changes have been made: the new title, Hyphen, and the addition of the –American to our subtitle.
  1. The name Hyphen was chosen to represent the space between Asian-American, a space which is not necessarily hyphenated but is one that Asian Americans must constantly negotiate, reclaim, and redefine.
  2. This is also why we chose to add the –American to our subtitle; part of negotiating our identity includes struggling with American racial dynamics and the “Model Minority” myth and “Forever Foreigner” stereotypes, among others. These stereotypes falsely homogenize the Asian-American experience by erasing the prejudices we face as people of color from a diverse group of cultural minorities.Despite our name change, we still welcome those who do not identify as Asian-American. But our club mission remains the same: to start conversations about Asian American identity and its intersections, especially within Bryn Mawr College; to serve as a general safe space for Bryn Mawr College’s Asian-American community; and to stand in solidarity with those who must also identify as a –American.


Foxwoods’ attemps at building slots parlor in Chinatown has been stopped!


Lovely news! As you may or may not know, BMC ASA has been involved in the past with the Anti-Casino Campaign in Philly, which aimed to stop the building of a slots parlor at The Gallery in Center City. Recently, Foxwoods’ slots license was extended on the condition that the casino stay at the Waterfront. Regardless, many Philadephians are still against the building of ANY casino in the city due to the harmful effects a casino have on community members. The following is taken from the AAU (Asian Americans United, an organization which became the forefront of the Anti-Casino Campaign) website (, please read up when you have time, thanks!!!

Stopping Foxwoods in the Heart of Our City. Continuing the fight on the Waterfront.

No Casinos photo

We have achieved one of the major goals of our campaign. We stopped Foxwoods from building a slots parlor in the heart of our city.

At a public hearing on Friday, August 28th, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board extended Foxwoods’ slots license for another 21 months, with the condition that Foxwoods stick to its licensed site at the waterfront in South Philadelphia.

  • Foxwoods’ attempt to locate in center city has been rebuffed.
  • Foxwoods investor, Ron Rubin’s attempt to become Foxwoods’ landlord as well has been foiled.
  • Philadelphia’s political elite’s attempt to force a Center City casino on Philadelphian has been denied.

Now, as Foxwoods faces the choice of building at the waterfront or no place at all, it does so in an extremely weakened state. The casino industry is tanking nationwide. Here in the Philadelphia area, we see more and more casinos scrapping over a limited customer base. The tribe that is partnering with local investors to run Foxwoods needs to restructure $2 billion of debt and is at risk of defaulting on its loans. The credit market is tight, limiting almost all new construction. Foxwoods’ credibility is at an all-time low; even casino-boosters like the PA Gaming Control Board are questioning Foxwoods’ capacity and will to get a slot parlor up and running.

You joined us in a fight that everybody said could not be won. Since the start of this struggle, we have understood the powerful array of forces lined up against us. And despite all the naysayers who said that we should be quiet and accept the inevitable, we have added our strength to those who have kept casinos from breaking ground in Philadelphia to date. Foxwoods’ forced retreat from Chinatown and Center City marks one more important step in the long battle to drive predatory gambling from Philadelphia.

There is More Work To Be Done
It is our Coalition’s stand that slots parlors do not belong near any neighborhood. It wasn’t right for Chinatown and Center City to be saddled with casino. Neither is it right for the people of Pennsport, South Philadelphia, Fishtown or Northern Liberties to be saddled with one.

We also understand that casinos profit by promoting addiction and impoverishing their customers, and the threat of this predatory business extends beyond neighborhood boundaries.

We also need to be vigilant and guard against future casino intrusion into Center City. If Foxwoods fails to meet the conditions of the Gaming Control Board, their license would be revoked and new casino developers sought – which might mean a return to the center city site.

We are encouraged by the recent events, and we are inspired to press on to eliminate the threat of predatory gambling in our city.

Posted by: Cynthia K.

Helen Zia at Bryn Mawr mentioned in the Bi-Co News!

Former Ms. Editor Helen Zia Speaks at Bryn Mawr

By Cho Park

The Asian Student Association welcomed Helen Zia to Bryn Mawr College on Wednesday, April 24. An activist for Asian-American, gay, and women’s rights, Zia talked about the importance of student activism.

To give the audience an idea of how she came to be an activist, Zia spent time describing her childhood. She was born in New Jersey to second generation immigrants at a time when few Asian Americans were living in the United States.

“Names I got to know very well were ‘chink,’ ‘gook,’ ‘kamikaze,’ ‘Hindu,’ ‘slit,’ and ‘dragon lady.’ You see, I was taught to be proud of my heritage from my immigrant parents, but they didn’t know how to teach me [to be] American,” she said.

Growing up, Zia’s parents taught her about many aspects of Asian cultural. Of these traits, her family considered obedience to parents, female submissiveness, and the three obediences of Confucius—the daughter must obey the father, the wife must obey the husband, and the widow must obey the son—to be the most important.

“Even as a girl, I knew something was very wrong with this system. However, even when I wanted to speak up, I always got messages from the society that it didn’t really matter, so I didn’t,” said Zia. “That’s why I feel like today, the biggest challenge for groups that aren’t marginalized within society, especially women, is to trust [them]selves and tell the truth of [their] lives, even if we’re so bombarded by these messages from society.”

While learning about internment campuses, the result of unfair discrimination against the Japanese during World War II, and the struggle for women’s rights, Zia discovered that, if she did not like the world the way it was, she had an obligation to change it.

This realization eventually led her to defy her father and go to college instead of becoming a stay-at-home mother. It also led to Zia’s decision to drop out of medical school and move to Detroit, which she had heard was the heartland of America. Zia believed she could truly make significant social change there.

She worked at a plant for two years until a recession led to downsizing in the 1980s. It was during this time that Vincent Chin was murdered in a hate crime and Zia found her role as an activist. Chin’s murderers were sentenced to probation even though the evidence clearly indicated their guilt.

“Asian Americans truly started getting together because of this, even those who had never communicated together before. Even other races that had not cared before, people of consciences, came together to work for basic human dignity and justice. I was very privileged to be a part of that,” Zia said.

Other issues that Zia addressed concerned gay, ethnic, and women’s rights. She challenged the idea that there is no fluidity between activist movements, that a person can only work for one cause. Anyone who works for any type of rights are part of one movement, she said.

Zia also emphasized early action, and not waiting for a ‘big’ issue to galvanize people into action. Instead, it is important to be unified and organized to bring about change.

She said, “Even if you look at issues today, there are no lack of ‘big’ issues, if ‘big’ even exists. There are constant issues that affect the Asian American community.”

Zia concluded with a take home message for everyone:

“This is a critical time to be a college student, as an Asian American , as a woman, and as a person. In the midst of the most demographic shift that this country has ever had, we can start to look at Americans as a race with no majority race at all, but all minority. We don’t know what history is going to record about this great time period. However, this is your time and whatever you do today and these years is critically important. I really hope you all raise a lot of hell.”

This article is © 2008 The Bi-College News. The material on this page is free for personal or educational use, but may not be reproduced, reprinted, republished, redistributed, or otherwise transmitted to a third party without the express written permission of The Bi-College News, 370 Lancaster Ave, Haverford, PA 19041.