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College food service worker speaks Japanese to Asian-American student — and microaggression is reported to campus bias team


'This implicit bias needs to be addressed'

Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Image

It appears a campus food service worker at the University of Minnesota may have been guilty of extending the wrong kind of friendly greeting to a student last fall.

What happened?

Seems that an Asian American student happened upon a restaurant in the Coffman Memorial Union for a snack — and a food service worker at the register uttered something that left the student clueless, the College Fix said.

The confused student wondered what the worker meant, the outlet said, and the worker replied that the utterance was "hello" in Japanese.

To make matters apparently more uncomfortable, the worker asked where the student was from, the Fix reported.

Oh boy.

Umm, not Japan

"Wisconsin," the student replied, according to the outlet.

The Fix said the cashier laughed and told the student to have a nice day — but instead of also laughing off the faux pas, the student took action.

I hope you know that this will go down on your permanent record

In fact, the outlet said the student reported the cashier to the campus Bias Response and Referral Network, saying "these type of microaggressions occur too often on campus" and "this implicit bias needs to be addressed."

With that, the Fix said that the bias team referred the incident to dining services and referred the complaining student to the campus "Ethical Advocate Program" in case the student wanted "to talk further about the experience."

The outlet said it recently obtained a University of Minnesota bias incident report through a public records act request, noting that there were 51 such reports filed last fall. All personal identifying information on the documents were redacted, the Fix added.

You can read about other bias incidents in the Fix's complete piece here.

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