The Vermont Connection


Viraj S. Patel


As one of the fastest growing Asian American populations, South Asian Americans have a noted presence on college campuses. Coming from a variety of backgrounds, students’ ethnic identity development is constructed and challenged through participation in both historically White institutions, such as the Greek system, as well as ethnic student organizations. This article explores immigration histories and racial constructions of South Asian Americans, the relationship between South Asian American ethnic identity and Asian American racial identity, the impact of the Model Minority Myth, and notions of ethnic authenticity in South Asian American student organizations. The article also includes three models of identity development to consider when working with South Asian American students and concludes with recommendations for future research.