Ashland University President Issues Statement Regarding Asian Americans

03/29/2021 ASHLAND, Ohio - Ashland University President Dr. Carlos Campo has issued a statement that reaffirms the University’s ongoing and unchanging pledge to treat all Asian students, faculty, staff and visitors with the respect and dignity they deserve.

“This statement attempts to distill some of the concerns and feelings recently expressed by members of our campus community regarding this issue,” said Dr. Campo in releasing the statement. “Our campus has been shocked and dismayed by the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans across our nation. We join in solidarity with our Asian students and citizens of this country to say in one voice that there is no place for racial hatred or violence on our campus or in our nation.”

Dr. Campo’s message also noted that Ashland University “unequivocally condemns violence in all forms against Asian Americans, and commits to a renewed awareness of any prejudice that may exist on our campus. We continue to aspire to the highest aims of Christian virtue that provide true hope for a more just campus community and society at large.”

“We acknowledge that there is a long history of xenophobia and violence against Asian people in the U.S., and while we have made progress over the decades, we must always be diligent and ensure that we never become apathetic when members of our community are suffering from racial bias and its dehumanizing consequences,” Campo noted in the message.

“At the very start of the Coronavirus pandemic, we specifically reached out to our Chinese students to reinforce our love and respect for them, and our determination that we would not tolerate any mistreatment of them on our campus.”

In his message, Dr. Campo also noted the long history of Asian students attending Ashland College/University.

“In 1906, Ashland College welcomed its first students into its new ‘Theological Department.’ Like many of its first classes, most of the students came from Ohio, with a smattering of young people from neighboring states. Yet, one entry stands out from the others recorded that year, “Housan Irza, Persia.” Mr. Irza became our first Asian student at Ashland College that day, earning an “ED” in 1909, while excelling as a track star. His tuition was fully paid by the Brethren Church. 

Mr. Irza also initiated Ashland’s proud legacy of celebrating Asian students on our campus, students who have enriched our community, and gone on to represent our values of acceptance and respect that have defined the Ashland U experience for over a century. 

Then, as now, our Brethren heritage grounds us in the belief that every individual has value, that we are created in God’s image, with a destiny and purpose to fulfill. Our core value of “Accent on the Individual” grows out of our foundational belief in the “imago Dei” we see in every student, a cherished life that we will honor and celebrate as we always have.” 

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) offers each of its student constituencies The Ashland Promise, including “teaching students how to think, not what to think”. Committed to affordability, the University now offers incoming residential freshman the Tuition Relief Scholarship, as well as a variety of new forms of financial assistance for both new and continuing students. ###