Content material warning: This message references anti-Asian violence/racial violence.
Earlier this quarter, a person was discovered and detained on campus after threatening to enact violence towards Stanford’s Vietnamese group. After posting a sequence of on-line threats and racially charged feedback towards Stanford’s Vietnamese college students, the person bodily confirmed up on campus — and was positioned whereas making lively threats of direct hurt to a graduate pupil. But, regardless of the severity and proximity of the specter of violence throughout this occasion, Stanford by no means issued a College-wide announcement about what occurred. Within the aftermath, we within the Vietnamese group are left questioning: are college students meant to bear the accountability of retaining our group protected and knowledgeable?
All through the month of March, Stanford’s Vietnamese Pupil Affiliation (SVSA) obtained a sequence of racially violent and hateful feedback on its public Instagram account. The nameless feedback expressed sturdy self-loathing and hate in the direction of the poster’s personal Vietnamese identification and included demise threats in the direction of members of SVSA. One remark acknowledged, “When you carry a Vietnamese final title, you’ll die first. This can be a promise.” Others included threats corresponding to “You’re not coming dwelling” and “I shall be pulling as much as your occasions in particular person and exacting my revenge.”
SVSA leaders notified the Division of Public Security (DPS) after receiving every wave of hateful feedback, asking for steering on whether or not it was protected to proceed with the affiliation’s annual Tradition Night time present. DPS decided in coordination with Stanford’s Risk Evaluation crew that there was not a right away menace to SVSA and indicated that they believed the threats weren’t racially motivated. DPS recognized a doable suspect on the East Coast and suggested that SVSA was protected to maneuver ahead with Tradition Night time with further safety measures. Throughout this alternate with DPS, a number of city halls have been held the place pupil group leaders bore a majority of the stress and accountability for responding to this menace, with little to no assist from senior College management.
The state of affairs escalated in early April when SVSA leaders have been notified that the non-Stanford affiliated suspect had been found on campus, and actually had seemingly been at Stanford for a number of weeks. The suspect was detained by DPS on April 6 after posting a menace on social media in the direction of a Stanford graduate pupil, which indicated his real-time location on the Graduate Faculty of Enterprise. The suspect, confirmed as a Vietnamese-American male, admitted to posting the aforementioned threats on the SVSA Instagram account and shared he held a grudge towards Vietnamese individuals. Whereas the suspect had no weapons in his possession, he was transferred to a hospital for analysis out of concern for his psychological well being and wellbeing. Three days later, the suspect was launched from psychiatric maintain and issued a “stay-away order” from Stanford. As of April 14, the person has allegedly returned to his household on the East Coast. Amidst intense considerations of bodily and psychological security, SVSA leaders made the troublesome resolution to cancel SVSA Tradition Night time.
This occasion has been severely distressing and traumatizing for a lot of members of Stanford’s Vietnamese group, significantly those who have been instantly threatened and people who bore the accountability of urging the College to reply. Anxiousness and concern gripped our group as the specter of racial violence hung over us for over a month. Repeated on-line threats culminated within the bodily presence of a suspect on campus. Nevertheless, regardless of the severity of the occasion, Stanford has but to challenge a College-wide announcement about what occurred or denounce this act of racial hate and intolerance. This left college students feeling remoted and unsafe as many alternative methods and folks representing the College proceed to fail us. Although a group letter from the Asian American Actions Middle (A3C) was despatched to Asian-interest mailing lists, no announcement was despatched to the College at giant, leaving the vast majority of college students, a lot of whom are themselves part of the Vietnamese group, wholly uninformed and largely alone to cope with the impression of hurt perpetrated.
When Stanford fails to deliver consideration to anti-Asian violence, they fail to acknowledge the very current racial hate that persists on this campus. They decrease the lived experiences and considerations of marginalized communities of coloration, they usually endanger college students who deserve to learn about threats of violence towards their group. Occasions corresponding to these have an effect on our group at giant, and the College ought to have printed a College-wide announcement rebuking racial violence and hate, whereas affirming Stanford as an establishment that values and helps college students of all marginalized identities to really feel protected and to thrive. Their failure to publicly denounce this act of racial hate indicators that the College doesn’t take considerations like this critically. It minimizes the extent of the hurt achieved to our group. And it sends a message that anti-Asian violence is an Asian/Asian American challenge, not a College-wide one. The College’s silence equates to complicity.
Might was Asian Pacific American (APA) Heritage Month, and within the aftermath of those occasions, these of us in Stanford’s Vietnamese group are reflecting on the character of anti-Asian violence that has and continues to happen on this campus. We surprise how and why Stanford management and methods failed to actually see and defend college students. When the College stays silent on an occasion corresponding to this, it’s troublesome to really feel that the College takes transgressions towards its APA group critically. This occasion has raised critical questions in regards to the College’s “selectiveness” by which points and communities benefit consideration from the very best ranges of College management, and that are ignored.
It’s clear that Stanford prioritizes defending its popularity. However how unhealthy do issues must get earlier than the College can’t ignore it any longer? How extreme will the subsequent hate incident towards APA communities on campus be, and can the College stay silent then, too?
Britney Tran ’24, Dwight Hua ’23, Kyle Nguyen ’23