Student plagued by prejudice prank calls

By Rosemarie Gonzalez
April 24, 2003

Lauren Joseph

As the light fades away and darkness sets in, sophomore Anh Nguyen begins to show signs of skepticism, but makes an attempt to relax in her cozy, House Three room. Whether she is lying in bed and watching some television, listening to music or trying to get some work done, she has gotten a prank call from the same girl almost every night, for about a month.

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, Nguyen spent her childhood years up until the age of nine, there. She doesn’t recall too much about her days in Vietnam, but her parents decided to immigrate to the United States, in order to live a better life, according to Nguyen.

“Since Vietnam is a communist country, we didn’t have the opportunities that we have here. No matter how hard you try, if you’re poor, you tend to stay poor. I came here for a better future,” Nguyen said.

Without much knowledge of the English language and in living in a foreign country for the first time, Nguyen had to learn to adjust as of 1992. Moving into an Asian community made her feel at home and less afraid of having to fit in because she happened to live around other Vietnamese kids her age.

Nguyen began to attend English as a Second Language classes, better known as ESOL, and saw that she was feeling down most of the time. She could not speak without a comment being made about her accent or bring some Asian food to school, for lunch, without having people mention the fact that it was different.

“Just because we were in ESOL classes, they treated us as if we had a problem; like we were mentally retarded or something; like we needed them to speak so damn slowly in order for us to understand what they say,” Nguyen said.

The recent incidents that have occurred in House Three have proven to be just as bothersome and self-depleting to Nguyen, as the things she went through as a child. She receives prank calls, every night, from an unknown source between the hours of 10 p. m. and 12 a. m. This person continually calls and asks to speak to Nguyen so that she can make fun of her accent and then hangs up.

“I think she’s ignorant, whoever calls my room every night, and makes fun of my accent. It hurt my feelings, and they should realize that it’s not cool to do that,” Nguyen said.

Since it has become routine, it is natural for Nguyen to be expecting to get a phone call at least once a night. She has even had to unplug her phone line a few times from so many phone calls that she could get in one night. She has notified Public Safety and written a statement on what has happened and how long it has been going on.

“They did help me, and I think that is good, but I think that they should put more effort into this and give me a quick response if they caught the person who did this. They should check up on the girl since this has happened so many times,” Nguyen said.

Public Safety chose not to comment on the matter.

But as the school year winds down, Nguyen is hoping for the prank calls to end, dependent on Public Safety’s assistance.

Posted to the Web by Lauren Joseph

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Rosemarie Gonzalez

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