There were more than 3,800 hate crimes committed against Asians in the past year, including the murder of six Asian women at spas and massage parlors in Georgia last Tuesday.

Many Asians and Asian Americans feel more unsafe than ever about living in the United States. Do we feel safe at Purdue?

Last year when Purdue started to shut down the campus due to COVID-19, I, an Asian and a Korean woman, was on the bus going to campus when three white male students approached me and told me to “go back to your country.” I was afraid and had to get off that bus without saying anything.

I blamed my racial identity and felt so vulnerable from such an attack that I could not share my experience with anyone.

I heard countless stories from my Asian friends at Purdue that they were told to “go back home” or “get out from this country” from white students. Many of these stories were not reported to Purdue because victims felt numb and vulnerable after being attacked. In addition, it is hard to believe Purdue will take action on such random attacks given the history of their lack of response to previous racist assaults on campus. Black students reported feeling left out and unsupported by Purdue’s lack of response to Black Lives Matter Movement. Purdue also ignored student outcries when a Puerto Rican student was denied cold medicine by CVS workers after showing a Puerto Rico ID in 2019.

As Purdue is planning to operate in person for Fall 2021 with increasing safety plans with COVID-19 pandemic, I urge the administration to ask our students, staff and faculty of color, do we feel safe to return to campus? Does Purdue have a safety plan for the racism pandemic?

— Seoyoung Lim, third-year graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts

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