South Asian Awareness Net. clarifies objectives

To the Daily:

Due to recent articles in The Michigan Daily the Chairs for the South Asian Awareness Network wanted to clarify the goals and purpose of the South Asian Awareness Network.

The purpose of South Asian Awareness Network (SAAN) is to empower South Asian students to have an active role in their community throughout college and beyond. SAAN accomplishes this by showing students the possibilities they have to excel and empower themselves to expand upon and maintain the origins of their culture. The vehicle accomplishing this is our conference. The mission of the conference is to produce a forum through which students can use their diverse experiences and knowledge to educate each other. In addition, we will introduce the expertise and wisdom of successful, influential professionals within the community as speakers in our workshops. The conference provides this forum to promote and inspire the integration of cultural awareness and activism within the University community. Our vision is to create a cycle whereby cultural awareness and activism will facilitate the development of an identity increasing pride, confidence and respect for oneself and one’s community. This inspiration will foster our cultural activism, thus ensuring the continuity of our culture.

We encourage members of the University community to visit www.umich.edu/~saanconf to learn more about the SAAN Conference and how they can actively participate.

Mona Patel, Priya Kothary, Chethra Muthiah and Vikram Vaishya Co-Chairs, South Asian Awareness Network

Lott’s comments on Strom Thurmond’s presidential bid should inspire outrage

To the Daily:

I am writing to share my disgust with the words of incoming Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.), at the 100th birthday of Sen. Strom Thurmond. Lott said, “I want to say this about my state: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.”

When Strom Thurmond ran for president as a Dixiecrat in 1948, he ran with “Segregation Forever” as a central platform issue. By not only condoning, but also endorsing this ideology, Lott expressed his true colors – racism, bigotry and a longing for the days of legally-sanctioned segregation. What are the “problems” that Lott so euphemistically speaks of? I can only guess, and urge you to do the same.

Both Republicans and Democrats should be ashamed to call Lott a national leader. And all Americans should be outraged at the lack of response that his comments have provoked. We owe it to ourselves and the principles that we hold dear to make an issue of these bigoted words.

Jennifer Nathan

LSA junior

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