Asian-American freshmen now have a resource to call their own as they find their way on campus this semester.
A new magazine targeted to those freshmen came out with its premiere issue on Monday. The magazine “Foundations” aims to educate the community in the history of the Asian-American student population and cultural groups at Yale. Distributed to approximately 240 Asian-American members of the class of 2009, the magazine was created by the Asian American Students Alliance in association with the Asian-American Cultural Center. The bulk of the funding for the magazine came from the Asian-American Cultural Center, said Christopher Lapinig ’07, the AASA moderator.
Jennifer Suhr ’07, Foundations’ editor in chief, said the central goal of the magazine is to increase knowledge of the issues and history of the Asian-American community.
“There’s really not an awareness in the community of the problems in the Asian-American community,” she said. “They are seen as a ‘model minority.’ People don’t think they have issues.”
The 34-page inaugural issue includes entries from the founders of more than 10 cultural groups with a large Asian-American presence, including the Muslim Students’ Association and the Taiwanese American Society, among others.
The issue features a discussion of controversies the Asian-American population has faced at Yale, including a 2003 incident in which Katherine Lo ’05, an Asian-American student, was harassed after hanging an American flag upside-down outside of her suite window in protest of the war in Iraq.
“Foundations” also includes two reflections from members of the Class of 2005 and a profile of this year’s five ethnic counselors.
Suhr said that she hopes the magazine can have a lasting presence on the Yale campus and there are plans for the release of a new issue every fall for the incoming freshmen.
“Hopefully, this is something that we can revise every year,” she said. “Each page of the magazine works toward the goal of getting people involved.”
Lapinig said he hopes the magazine will excite freshmen about campus cultural groups as a venue for action and change.
“We really would like this to inspire more freshmen to get involved and become more active in the community,” he said. “There’s more to these organizations than [just] an excuse for people to hang out with people who look like them and eat Asian food. There’s a purpose for these organizations.”
Lapinig is a staff reporter for the Yale Daily News.
There are plans for additional copies of the magazine to be distributed to other factions of the community. While a number of students approached by the News said they were unaware of the existence of the magazine, Lapinig said there has already been much positive feedback from the ethnic counselors who have read the magazine and from other cultural groups on campus.