On the University of Minnesota campus, if you go up to the third floor of Appleby Hall, take a left, and stop at the end of the hallway, you will see room 311 in front of you. This is the Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC). Open the door and enter the room. You will be greeted with a modern, sleek-looking room that looks way better than any room you’ve ever been in before. Make sure to greet the two receptionists at the front desk and sign in—maybe take a look at the colorful assortment of pamphlets and flyers laid out on the desk. Perhaps something might catch your eye? This lounge-library-tutoring service-computer lab-kitchen-conference room in front of you is APARC.

What is APARC?

APARC is funded by the AANAPISI grant. Instead of me elaborating on what the Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC) is, it’s better to let APARC explains itself: “The Asian Pacific American Resource Center (APARC) is a community committed to affirming the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander students and their diverse communities. Join us to strengthen your leadership skills, receive support with school, participate in professional development activities, and connect with other AAPI students.”

As a resource on campus, APARC is committed to serving AAPI students (more info below). It operates on a number of pillars:

  • Academic Success: ensuring that AAPI students are retained, succeeding, and having access to resources.
  •  Building a community: providing a space where students can hang out, socialize, study, and many more.
  • Awareness Building: helping students learn their history and promote a better understanding of the AAPI culture on the U of M campus.
  • Leadership Development: engaging students to become leaders in the AAPI community.
  • Storytelling: empowering students to share their stories about self-identity through storytelling.

How Does APARC Define AAPI?

APARC defines Asian American and Pacific Islander students to be everyone whose heritage originates from Asia and the Pacific Islands. This includes but is not limited to East Asia (China, Korea, Japan), Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Hmong, Laos), South Asia(India, Pakistan) and Pacific Islands (Samoa, Native Hawaii). In addition, this is inclusive of people who are multiracial, mixed, and transracial adoptees. That said, APARC believes in self-identification because AAPI is incredibly complex and diverse and it is important for people to have power in defining themselves.

Tomorrow, I will introduce you to the services that APARC provides, the programs that students can partake in, what kinds of students it serves, something you should know about APARC, and how to stay connected to APARC! Check out part two here!