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spring 2005

LET’S TALK
POLITICS
The cur
currrent political state and wwha
state ha
hatt
it means for Asian Americans
communicASIANS
spring 2005, v.iv, issue no.2

cover graphic by Tracy Li Cheung

FEATURE CommunicASIANS is published quarterly


by the Asian American Activities Center.
Views expressed in CommunicASIANS are

3
Another 4 Years..............................................................................................3 those of the writers and do not necessarily
What George W. Bush’s re-election means for Asian Americans represent the opinions of the a³c.
CommunicASIANS welcomes all signed
Executive Order................................................................................5
letters of opinion, which are subject to
Excerpts from Executive Order 13339
editing for length, accuracy and grammar.
Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself?.................................................................6
The recently passed Patriot Act has many Americans wondering: will this be a contactcommunicasians@lists.stanford.edu
repeat of Executive Order 9066? Asian American Activities Center
Old Union Clubhouse, Room 13
Why I Voted for Bush.............................................................................................7 Stanford, CA 94305-3064

8
.... A Stanford Republican reflects on what it is like to be one of the few
You Are Priceless................................................................................................8 STAFF
Why every APIA vote DOES count EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Separate Identities and Invisible Communities...........................................10 STEPHANIE NGUYEN
How the issue of gay marriage affects the Asian community on a variety of levels LAYOUT EDITORS
Hot or Not................................................................................................12 TRACY LI CHEUNG
The politics of outsourcing to Asia and its effects on the 2004 Election JULIE KIM
COPY EDITORS
THE NEWS

14
ASHNI MOHNOT
In Memory of James Hsu...........................................................................13 JESSICA WANG
A tribute to the Graduate School of Business student lost in the tsunami disaster CONTRIBUTERS
Subordinating to the Integretity and Definition of a Nation........................14 STEPHEN BOR
The future of the Singaporean media DENNIS JIANG
STEFANIE KIM
The Tale of a Country: China’s Accession to WTO...........................................16
Over the years, WTO has been criticized for only benefiting wealthy countries
TING QIAN
ALICE SIU

20
VOICES BRYAN TAN
JESSICA WANG
Poetry by Stephen Bor: English.......................................................................17 JILLIAN WAHMEI WONG
Ashni Mohnot: Three Months and Counting...................................................18 ROBBIE YAN
CHRISTINE YANG
Stefanie Kim: Graduation and the Art of Denial....................................20 JERRY ZEE
A
EDIT OR ’ S L ETTER
DITOR A C STAFF
A3C
3
STAFF
Welcome to communicASIANS. To be honest, I am not entirely sure how this little gem
of a magazine fell into your hands. Perhaps you found this in your mailbox and are DIRECTOR
looking for the phone number to cancel your subscription to this magazine that you don’t CINDY NG
even remember subscribing to in the first place. Or, maybe you found it in your Asian ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
roommate’s trashcan and were intrigued by the giant picture of George Bush’s face. Or, SHELLEY TADAKI
even better, perhaps you are an avid reader of communicASIANS and would rather skip all ADMINISTRATIVE AASSISTANTS
of your IHUM sections and PWR classes than miss reading our latest issue. That, my friend, CYNTHIA LEE
is loyalty. FLORENCE LEE
Regardless of how you got a copy, as your new Editor-in-Chief, I am extremely glad that TIMMY LU
you are reading it. MARC RILLERA
Why? AIM COORDINATOR
The Editorial Board and I have worked hard to create a magazine that is relevant and JAMIE FUNAMURA
interesting to you. As the recent national Election drew the highest percentage of young ASIAN AMERICAN STUDIES
voters on record, we decided to explore the current Bush administration and its implications JENNIFER KONG
for Asian Americans. After all, these are the people that will be running the nation for the COMMUNICASIANS
remainder of our college experiences. We also explore recently raised political TRACY LI CHEUNG
controversies, such as gay marriage and the legitimacy of the U.S. Patriot Act. One of my STEFANIE KIM
personal favorites is an Op-Ed by Dennis Jiang about being the lone Republican on a JULIE KIM
campus overwhelmingly dominated by Democrats. His editorial almost makes me believe
ASHNI MOHNOT
that Republicans can be rational, intellectual people. Almost.
STEPHANIE NGUYEN
However, I have an even more important reason for why I am glad you are reading
JESSICA WANG
communicASIANS. Let’s be frank. I am quite vain. Many people,
including me, have put in countless, exhausting hours into this COMMUNITY BUILDING
publication and I want people to admire it. Are you admiring it? HAIBINH NGUYEN
photo by Vic Gaur

Great. COMPUTER SERVICES COORDINATOR


And now, as any good Editor-In-Chief, I must end with a little bit BRIAN NGUYEN
of groveling to you, the reader: CULTURAL PROGRAMMING
The one thing that I have learned in my last three years is that SHALLENE CUA
Stanford students have a lot to say. Yes, we can actually think for RATHUL NARAIN
ourselves. *Gasp.* Yes, we can do more than just regurgitate facts TIFFANY TENG
and tell our professors what they want to hear. Yes, when we see FACILITIES COORDINATOR
something we agree with or something that we disagree with, but JENNIFER YANG
more often the latter, we sure make our voices are heard. My plea is FROSH INTERNS
that you to continue to do just that. communcASIANS is a great way CATHRYN CHU
to express your views to hundreds of students across campus. JULIE KIM
Unsure what you can write about? Anything. If you have an YANG VA LOR
opinion, we want to hear it. BEIJIA MA
That’s my bit. Enjoy! AMY YU
GRAD STUDENT PROGRAMMING
MICHELLE WON
PROGRAMMING COORDINATORS
S TEPHANIE N GUYEN , E DITOR - IN -C HIEF
“That, my friend, is loyalty.” CYNTHIA LEE
FLORENCE LEE
MARC RILLERA
Upcoming Events
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PUBLICITY COORDINATOR
JULIA LEE
Look out for the Stanford Asian American Awards 2005, May 12, 2005. Deadline to nominate April 7. For more SPEAKER SERIES
information visit the website at http://a3c.stanford.edu or email cindy.ng@stanford.edu. TAMMY PHAN
JEFF ERFE
The Asian American Graduation Banquet will be June 11, from 5-7pm at Ricker Dining Hall. Seniors will be SPECIAL PROJECTS
presented with a certificate and a gift honoring their time and service to Stanford and the AAPI community. KEVIN GAO
WEBMASTER
Correction to Fall 2004 issue: Steven Chu is the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. AMY YU
2 communicasians
A
a3c news

What George W.
Bush’s re-election

4
means for Asian
Americans

Another
Years?
A
by Jessica Wang

s President George W. Bush begins his second term in office, everyone in America –
including the fourteen million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) living
in America – is watching closely to see how the Bush administration’s policies will
affect them. There are several issues that are of specific concern to AAPIs, including hate
crime, immigration laws, voting rights, and foreign policy.

communicasians 3
A
feature

Last quarter the a3c, in conjunction with many other student groups, sponcored From 9066 to 9/11. This program sought to raise awareness about the
horrors of the Japanese Internment and to speak out againt Bush’s current Homeland Security Act. (See Is History Doomed to Repeat Itself? on page 6).

According to www.johnkerry.com, AAPIs The implications of the administration’s defense equipment to Taiwan despite China’s
have been worse off since Bush took office. treatment of Muslims and other immigrants warnings against Taiwanese independence.
AAPI’s family income has dropped by $3,635; are of concern to AAPIs whose relatives may On the other hand, Bush has taken steps
240,000 more AAPIs have fallen into poverty be in the process of immigrating to the U.S. and action to cater to the AAPI community,
in the last year; and 96,000 more Asian Ameri- On the issue of immigration, under the particularly with the creation of a commission
can and Pacific Islanders went without health Bush immigration plan, undocumented devoted exclusively to AAPI issues.
insurance. immigrants who register as guest workers On May 13, 2004, President George W.
Hate crimes against AAPI have risen since have to return home if they do not have Bush signed Executive Order 13339, renewing
9/11, but Bush has not come out in support of continual employment or if they do not renew a previous Executive Order which established
the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes their visas in the program. The plan also does the President’s Advisory Commission and a
Prevention Act, which would expand the not provide any new means of directing federal Interagency Working Group on Asian
number of hate crimes covered by federal law immigrants who are currently living and Americans and Pacific Islanders.
in addition to providing local law enforcement working in the U.S. to the path to legal The Commission is composed of fourteen
agencies with more resources to investigate residency. individuals who have historically been
and prosecute hate crimes. And finally, AAPIs are concerned about involved in AAPI communities from fields
Another issue of concern for AAPIs is U.S. policy toward nations in Asia, a hot spot such as health, economic and community
Bush’s War on Terror and the Homeland that has received a lot of attention the past development, and business. The Commission
Security Act. The Justice Department has few years. Particularly with North Korea’s is chaired by Mrs. Betty Wu of New York City.
detained and deported thousands of Muslims nuclear policy in its current state of The stated purpose of the commission is
who had no connection to terrorism through uncertainty, Korean Americans are concerned to increase economic opportunities for and
special liberties granted by the Patriot Act. with how the Bush administration will respond, improve the quality of life of Asian Americans
John Ashcroft asserted that illegal immigrants especially if it responds in the same way it did and Pacific Islanders living in the United
can be detained indefinitely if they posed a towards Iraq. U.S. policy towards China and States. The Commission provides
threat to national security. Taiwan remains an issue of consideration as recommendations to the President on the
well, as the U.S. continues to sell military mandates of the executive Order to:

“ According to www.johnkerry.com, AAPIs have been worse off since Bush took office... ”
4 communicasians
A
feature

1. Develop, monitor and coordinate federal Pacific Islanders, A People Looking address AAPI health disparities. Now, the
efforts to improve Asian American and Pacific Forward. The report detailed the preliminary Commission is focused on the need for
Islander participation in government findings and recommendations of the economic and community development within
programs; Commission based on town hall meetings, the AAPI population.
2. Foster research and data collection for community roundtables, literature reviews Thus the Commission is a reflection of how
Asian Americans and Pacific Islander and information provided by federal agencies. Bush is taking steps toward addressing
businesses and communities; and In 2003, the Commission released another concerns of the AAPI community; however,
3. Increase AAPI participation in the report outlining major health issues among whether their recommendations are put into
national economy and community AAPIs and recommended policy steps to policy remains to be seen. „
development.
So far, the commission has
released a few major reports. In
January of 2001, the first Bush
Commission released an Interim
Report to the President and the
Nation: Asian Americans and

EXECUTIVE ORDER
Increasing Economic
Opportunity and Business
Participation of AAPI

On May 13, 2004, President


George W. Bush signed Executive
Order 13339 to increase eco-
nomic opportunities and improve
the quality of life of approxi-
mately fourteen million Asian
Americans and Pacific Islanders
living in the United States and
the U.S.- and Pacific Island juris-
dictions. Below is an excerpt
from the Executive Order:
President George W. Bush signs an executive order renewing the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian
By the authority vested in me as Americans and Pacific Islanders as the Executive Assistant to the Senior Advisor, the Director of the White House
President by the Constitution and Initiative on APIA, and the Associate Director of the Office of Minority Business Development Agency look on.
the laws of the United States of
America, and for the purpose of Islanders (Commission). The cific Islander businesses through in the national economy and their
providing equal economic oppor- Commission shall consist of not ensuring equal opportunity to economic and community devel-
tunities for full participation of more than 15 members appointed participate in Federal programs, opment.
Asian American and Pacific Is- by the President, one of whom and public-sector, private-sector
lander businesses in our free mar- shall be designated by the Presi- partnerships, and through the Section 10. For the purposes of
ket economy where they may be dent as Chair. collection of data related to Asian this order, the term: (a) “Asian”
underserved and thus improving American and Pacific Islander includes persons having origins
the quality of life for Asian Ameri- Section 2. The Commission shall businesses; and in any of the original peoples of
cans and Pacific Islanders, it is provide advice to the President, (b) ways to increase the busi- the Far East, Southeast Asia, or
hereby ordered as follows: through the Secretary, on: ness diversification of Asian the Indian subcontinent; and the
(a) the development, monitor- Americans and Pacific Islanders, term (b) “Pacific Islander” includes
Section 1. There is established in ing, and coordination of executive including ways to foster research persons having origins in any of
the Department of Commerce the branch efforts to improve the eco- and data on Asian American and the original peoples of Hawaii,
President’s Advisory Commission nomic and community develop- Pacific Islander businesses in- Guam, Samoa, or other Pacific Is-
on Asian Americans and Pacific ment of Asian American and Pa- cluding their level of participation lands. „

communicasians 5
A
feature

Is History Doomed
Just as America is finally coming
to terms with the repercussions
of Executive Order 9066, the

to Repeat Itself?
recent Pariot Act is has caused
many to wonder:
by Christine Yang who suddenly had their constitutional rights Asian American Activities Center, Muslim Stu-

O
violated simply because of their ethnicity. It dent Awareness Network, Okada House, Per-
n December 7th, 1941, the Japanese was a terrible, shameful event in American his- sian Students Association, Sanskriti, Stanford
launched a surprise attack on Pearl Har- tory, one that should never be forgotten, and Asian American Activism Coalition, and
bor. Two months later, on February 19th, certainly never repeated. Stanford University Nikkei, co-sponsored the
1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Ex- However, it seems history is doomed to re- event: From 9066 to 9/11: Community and
ecutive Order 9066, authorizing the relocation peat itself. Identity in Wartime America. The program
and incarceration of Japanese Americans. The On October 26th, 45 days after the Septem- featured cultural performances and had four
order went into effect as soon as the United ber 11 attacks of 2001, Congress passed the keynote speakers: Banafsheh Akhlaghi,
States declared war on Japan, uprooting thou- U.S. Patriot Act. Just like Executive Order 9066, Narinder Singh, a Muslim attorney represent-
sands of Japanese–mostly American citizens– the Patriot Act also allows the bypassing of ing detainees; a representative of the Sikh
and sending them to internment camps. constitutional protection. Among these in- Coalition; Ms. Kiku Funabiki, a former detainee
It took two years before the act was re- clude the First, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, and of the Japanese camps; and Sylvia Yanagisako
voked and the Japanese Americans were re- Fourteenth Amendments. from the Department of Cultural and Social An-
leased. But it wasn’t until 1988, when Presi- Since the enactment of the Patriot Act, thropology.
dent Ronald Reagan issued an apology and about 8000 Arab and South Asian immigrants The Justice Department is currently dis-
offered restitution, that the government of- have been interrogated because of their reli- cussing what they have dubbed the “Patriot
fered any meaningful compensation. By this gion/ethnic background. Thousands of these Act II.” If it passes, the new bill will exempt
time, however, half of those incarcerated had men have been detained for weeks to months, the government from having to reveal detain-
already died. many without charges leveled against them. ees as a part of a terror investigation until
Executive Order 9066 permitted the military American citizens suspected of terrorism are charges are filed; give local police greater free-
to bypass the constitutional protection given being held indefinitely in military custody, with dom in spying on religious/political activity;
to all citizens in the name of national defense. no charges filed against them and given no allow the government to obtain credit reports/
However, not one Japanese American spy was access to lawyers. The FBI has also been given library records without a warrant; allow wire-
found. The only result of Executive Order 9066 greater authority to procure records of Ameri- taps to be used for up to 15 days after a terror
was the mass betrayal of thou- can citizens without probable cause, and attack without a court order; leave individuals
sands of loyal citi- those subjected to surveillance are never no- engaging in civil disobedience vulnerable to
zens, tified of their compromised privacy. losing their citizenship; and allow Americans
The parallels between Executive Order 9066 to be extradited, searched, and wiretapped at
and the USA Patriot Act are fright- the request of foreign nations without a Con-
ening. Both deny the gress-ratified treaty.
basic rights of Executive Order 9066 was repealed a few
U.S. citizens, and years after it was signed into effect, and at-
without any evi- tempts for compensation were made. America
dence or probable learned its lesson then. Unfortunately, a mere
cause. Both have half-century later, this mistake and the sorrows
roots in ethnic dis- it caused seems to have been forgotten.
crimination, and both The Patriot Act has caused thousands of
have had tragic conse- individuals, including American citizens, to be
quences. detained and deprived of their rights under
Thousands of Ameri- the pretense of protecting this country. It re-
cans remain in detain- lies on a false premise that doing away with
ment, their whereabouts a checks and balances will make this country
complete mystery. Fortu- safer. But instead of directing its attack at real
nately, many have been pro- dangers, both the Patriot Act and the Patriot
testing this violation of con- Act II are attacking the foundations of this
stitutional rights. On Febru- country’s democracy.
ary 10th, several campus orga- This mistake has been made before, and
nizations, including the Asian the results were tragic. Hopefully this lesson
American Studies Program, will not have to be repeated. „
A
feature

Why I Voted for by Dennis Jiang poverty and that nationalized healthcare is a very bad idea. I base

I
those beliefs on what I think to be the most effective and most efficient
remember eating in the dining hall with my dorm friends one day solutions to intractable social problems, not because I’m a greedy
soon after the election. Most of them were moping about the capitalist that dislikes helping poor people and hates paying taxes.
election’s outcome, and sometime during the conversation I men- In fact, I really don’t think average liberals and average conserva-
tioned that I voted for Bush. A friend of mine, with a shocked look on tives are that different in terms of what they want. Very few people
his face, immediately responded “What? You’re a Republican? But want children to receive a sub-par education or for the United States to
you seemed like such a reasonable guy!” invade one country after another. Even fewer want to see the environ-
Although I had received all sorts of reac- ment destroyed or see poor people starve on the street. The differ-
tions to my political views from my peers ence between liberals and conservatives lies in their approach
around that time, this incident was to solving problems.
particularly memorable. Is it re- I personally voted for Bush because I agree broadly
ally impossible to be a ratio- with many of his policy aims. I believe strongly that
nal human being and also a our public school system needs to be reformed,
conservative, as my friend like with No Child Left Behind, and that our
implied in his comment? immigration policy needs to be re-
Of course, I certainly do vamped, like with Bush’s immigra-
not think so. However, tion reform proposal. I believe
I’ve discovered that this that abortion is an immoral
sentiment may be more solution to a much larger,
common among societal problem and I be-
Stanford students, and lieve that the United
Democrats in general, States needs to be pro-
than most people would active in countering the
like to admit. threat of terrorism, even
It’s not that I think if we encounter set-
Democrats are all high- backs and act without
minded about their views; the support of our tra-
it’s usually the opposite. But ditional European al-
at a place like Stanford, I find that lies.
it’s really easy to become out of touch It isn’t that I support
with the views of the average American. the Bush Administration
When I talk to friends from places like Califor- on everything. For in-
nia or New England, it almost seems like the con- stance, I don’t agree with
cepts of being pro-life or for the war in Iraq are so its approach on environmen-
foreign to them that they feel no reasonable and edu- tal issues or gun control. But by
cated human being could ever feel that way. and large, I believe that George W.
Being a church-going Asian American that grew up in the Bush is the best person to lead our coun-
relatively conservative suburbs of Cincinnati, I can’t exactly say that try for the next four years, however unpopu-
my upbringing and environment didn’t play a role in the development l a r that decision may be here at Stanford. Many of you might not
of my political leanings. Many of my moral beliefs stem from the way I agree with the outcome of the election, but understand that the major-
was raised, and those moral beliefs are certainly a factor in my political ity of the country is not somehow intellectually inferior to you be-
affiliation – but they aren’t the only factor. For instance, I believe that cause it doesn’t agree with your reasoning. I can assure you that
free markets are our best long-term solution to the problem of global having that attitude won’t win you very many future elections. „

“ What? You’re a Republican? But you seemed like such a reasonable guy! ”
communicasians 7
YOU
A
feature
NOVEMBER 2 was a national campaign aimed at
increasing voter registration for the 2004 election.

Why every
by Alice Siu

A
sian cultures
particularly value loyalty
and commitment. And,
I truly believe, it is these strong
values that make Asian civic
participation priceless. If you
are young and Asian, your
political involvement is
especially priceless.
Here’s why. Political
participation among Asians is
priceless because once Asian
Pacific Islander Americans
(APIAs) are registered voters;
they are the most likely voters
to vote on Election Day. If you
are young and Asian, you are
even more likely to vote on
Election Day. Out of the 2
million youth (ages 18-24) in
the US, only one-third are
actually registered to vote. But,
get this, two-thirds of
registered youth actually vote!
Once registered, youth have
the highest rate of voting.1
While I have not done field
experiments or surveys to
determine whether the values
of loyalty and commitment in
cultures actually yield higher
1
Statistics from Asian and Pacific Islander
American Vote, http://www.apiavote.org
PRICELESS
ARE A
feature

with twelve Asian-


interest Greek

y APIA vote DOES count


organizations to
create the APIAVote
Greek Alliance for the
2004 Election. All
three of Stanford’s
national Asian-
interest Greek
organizations
voter turnout, I have a strong feeling about Choice platform and promising to further Pro- participated in the Alliance. During the month
this. There must be something there. Choice issues. If the APIA or youth of October, as a part of the national campaign,
So, the big question is, if civic participation community had specific issues, candidates alpha Kappa Delta Phi Sorority (kdPhi),
among Asians and youth are priceless, why would work to seek our votes. Unfortunately, Lambda Phi Epsilon Fraternity and Sigma Psi
are they not voting? I bet you’ve got about we do not have a voting bloc and therefore, Zeta Sorority (SYZ) collaboratively canvassed
several reasons rolling off your tongue right candidates, will often, brush our votes aside. in White Plaza to increase voter registration
now. Here are a few reasons: “my vote doesn’t Solution? We must form a voting bloc by on the Stanford campus. As a member of SYZ
count,” “I’m too busy,” “I’m not into politics,” registering people to vote! When candidates and the campus coordinator for the Alliance,
and perhaps, “I just don’t care.” If any of see that there are a significant number of I believe that the Alliance made a difference
these are your reasons, or excuses rather, I
truly hope that you do not complain when
you drive over annoying pot holes on the
road, do not have the right to choose, or in
the future, when your child’s classroom is
overcrowded. Many of us are privileged to
attend a private university like Stanford and
we often neglect to look outside our bubble.
Public universities, especially in California, are
suffering financially. When universities have
difficulties making ends meet, imagine what
the students have to deal with. Politics not
only is about the major issues such as social
security, the first amendment and national
security, but it also is about your daily
commute, your investment in education and
many small aspects of your life that you
perhaps take for granted.
When thinking about Asian issues in
politics or youth issues in politics, not many
Asian-specific or youth-specific issues
actually come to mind. If I had to choose, I
would say education is an important youth
issue and the economy and immigration are
important Asian issues. But the bigger Senior citizens comprise one of the most influential voting blocs in the nation, while youth
question remains: why aren’t there more (ages 18-24) are one of the least influential.
specific issues for these groups?
My answer is that the APIA community Asians and/or youth registered to vote, they on the Stanford campus. While we may not
and the youth community have yet to create will begin to address our issues. have registered all APIAs on the campus, we
a voting bloc. A voting bloc is a group of Asian and Pacific Islander American Vote did effectively raise awareness and increased
voters with common interests who have a a.k.a. APIA Vote is one of the many nationwide APIAs civic participation.
tendency to vote alike on issues. For example, campaigns that are seeking to increase APIA I do not know why Asians and youth have
many women are Pro-Choice; therefore they political involvement. For the 2004 Election, such high voter turnout once they are
formed a voting bloc. When candidates are APIA Vote actively campaigned various API registered voters. But regardless of what the
seeking office, they will attempt to capture communities including the APIA youth to reason may be, we should take advantage of
this voting bloc by campaigning on a Pro- vote. In particular, this organization worked it. After all, we have nothing to lose. „

communicasians 9
A
feature

Separate Identities and Invisible Communities

Queer Asians?
by Jerry Zee and the failure of queer rights groups to react

T
to it, implicitly denies the validity of the
he much-publicized gay marriage issue is cited by many as demonstration. The neglect of the mass
being a decisive factor in a hard-fought and close election. media has rendered Asian American populations voiceless in any
This we know. The issue of same-sex marriage may seem foreign. meaningful broader scale. The silence of queer groups only supports
Perhaps it seems like it does not belong with other “Asian American this, as the only rationale for a failure to respond is the belief that an
issues,” beyond a loose parallel in comparing two marginalized Asian American demonstration would have no impact, that Asian
communities striving for some kind of social justice. However, the Americans are not a threat, regardless of how many gather to protest.
issue of gay marriage, as it relates to the Asian American communities A protest of the same magnitude, but carried on by white Americans
highlights several crucial issues within these communities, from which would have received huge media attention. However, the same event,
both sides can learn. by Asian Americans, is
Many Asian Photo courtesy of Rick Yuen ignored, rendering the

photo courtesy of Dean Rick Yuen


Americans have community voiceless
never heard about the and powerless. This is
largest anti-same-sex nothing short of racism
m a r r i a g e on the part of mass
demonstration that media and the
was held in San mainstream queer
Francisco last April. organizations, and
The majority of reflects a historical
demonstrators were trend of the
Chinese and Chinese devaluation and
American Christians. silencing of Asian
We do not know American voices.
about this because Moreover, the
we have not been protest reveals the
told. Despite the size s i g n i f i c a n t
of the march, many homophobia within
major news outlets Asian American
failed to cover the communities. There is
event, and beyond more gay Asians than
that, the mainstream you think. But in Asian
LGBT organizations A m e r i c a n
in America failed to communities, they are
provide any overlooked due to
Dean of Judicial Affairs Rick Yuen helps a gay couple tie the knot at San Francisco’s City Hall
response, effectively culturally-sanctioned
making it as if the homophobia. In queer
protest never communities, they are
occurred in the first place. ignored by the white mainstream. The system as it stands forces
The failure by mass media to cover such a momentous event, one people to make a choice: in Asian American groups, deal with the
which was particularly Asian American in character and demographic, default heterosexuality and suppression of sexual identity, or in the

“ Thepopulations
neglect of the mass media has rendered Asian American
voiceless in any meaningful broader scale.

10 communicasians
SF Mayor Gavin Newsom poses with two brides shortly after
Two protesters in SF marching in the name of love gay marriages had been legalized in mid-winter 2004

queer community, leave ethnicity


behind. This is disorientation to the
greatest degree: having to value one
part of identity more than another,
having to leave one community to have
a voice in either, and even then, being
rendered invisible.
Queer Asian Americans are almost
invisible, and neither community fully
acknowledges their existence or
addresses their particular issues. At
Stanford, the Asian American
community is the only one without an
ethnic queer organization, even though
it is the largest minority. In individuals,
the expressions of identity do not fall
so neatly into categories. Having Asian
American groups and queer groups, but
no queer Asian American groups denies
the existence of queer Asian Americans,
relegating them to some third space, part
of but separate from both identities, and A puppet version of City Hall parades at a San Francisco protest
largely overlooked by both
communities.
Dealing with such issues is difficult
because of cultural homophobia. In Taiwan, there are no gays, only
men who have sex with men. If Asia is homophobic, why should
Asian America be accepting? But it is our duty to be an accepting
community, an open community, an inclusive community, and above
all, a safe community, one that embraces free expression of identity,
whether it be ethnic, cultural, political, or sexual.
If anything, the issue of gay marriage has brought to the surface a
subgroup that until now has been quiet. Same-sex marriage is not
merely a queer issue, but an Asian American one as well. Only by
deconstruction, challenging, and reform of these old traditions can
we come to progress, and this includes not only changing one’s own
community or cooperation with other communities, but the
understanding that other communities and our own overlap in ways
that we do not see, because no one has listened to us, and because no Seventeen years and still waiting...
one will show us. „

communicasians 11
A
feature

Hot or Not: The Politics of


Outsourcing to Asia
Outsourcing’s effects on the 2004 Election and the Current Administration
by Ting Qian While corporations are excited about the Bush took a different stance, and did not back

C
prospect of expanding overseas, many any federal anti-outsourcing proposals.
all customer service at American Americans do not share in their glee. About In the end, however, the outsourcing issue
Express, and you’re speaking with a 100,000 “white collar” jobs are lost each year, played a small role in the 2004 election.
representative in India. Ask for medical with the technology sector being the hardest Perhaps it is a sign of acceptance of the
transcripts, and you’re speaking with hit from outsourcing. Considering America changing economy; acceptance that this trend
someone in the Philippines. The blue chips already suffered from the high tech boom and of outsourcing will continue whether
used in technology in America are bust of the 90s, outsourcing must have been Americans liked it or not.
manufactured mainly in Taiwan and China. a bitter reality to face for many.
In this time of worldwide globalization, Current Administration
outsourcing labor and manufacturing is Election of 2004 Some members of the Bush administration
becoming the norm. It is estimated that 3.3 In theory, jobs overseas should generate have made attempts to mitigate outsourcing.
million jobs will move abroad by the year 2015. more jobs and higher incomes within the However, because outsourcing means better
Many bewail the loss of “white collar” jobs in United States. However, the effect has not profit margins for corporations, it is unlikely
information technology and customer been visible because of the current sluggish that the administration as a whole will move
services such as medical transcription, tax economic growth. Thus, many use this to stop this trend. Also, the administration
preparation, and financial services. However, opportunity to argue that outsourcing is a hopes that by engaging countries like China
this backlash hasn’t discouraged the practice, direct cause of high unemployment. in America’s economy, it will encourage them
not even in the last election. By 2004, the economic recovery still did to shift to a capitalist system – and
Before we begin our discussion, we need not generate as many jobs as expected, and subsequently, a more democratic system.
to unravel certain myths about outsourcing polls showed that the public was increasingly Outsourcing might be here to stay; but
to Asia. Ask anyone and they’ll point the trend wary of the jobs lost abroad. Aware of these what is the best way to guide and control the
to cheaper wages rates – but Asian companies fears, policy makers supported laws to restrict practice without hurting too many American
can also offer superior performance. For government’s ability to sign contracts with workers? The answer is currently unknown.
example, by providing vastly shorter time to foreign firms. Contrary to myths, outsourcing is not an
handle incoming calls, eTelecare – a customer During the election, most believed that the issue overblown by the media and a few
service company based in the Philippines – key issue for the swing states was the rising interests groups. This concern is a passionate
generated three times as many sales than the unemployment rate, and consequently one for tech workers. This concern is also an
average company in its third week running. outsourcing. Both parties wanted to make their important one for Asian American politics, as
Services offered in Asia are also distinctive. stance. we sympathize both with the need to help the
Aisan companies focus on different aspects Early in the campaign, John Kerry promised significant number of our population in the
of manufacturing – such as production to create curbs on high tech business as well as the need for
efficiency – whereas American or outsourcing. He stronger economic ties to Asia. „
European companies tend to focus more was cheered on by
on production features. many labor unions.

12 communicasians
A
the news

In Memory of James Hsu


A farewell to the GSB student lost in the tsunami disaster
After graduating in 2001, Hsu pursued machine. Hsu also found time to begin his
opportunities in business, working for a own import company last year with his sister,
variety of companies. Among these Peggy. They founded Tray6, a firm focused
companies, he worked at Kick.com, a on product design.
burgeoning music technology company. He In his second year at Stanford, Hsu
also helped raise $6.5 million from Utah planned a trip to Thailand. With his career
Ventures and Sony. goals firmly established and exciting prospects
After gaining work experience in the for his life ahead, Hsu decided to take this trip
business realm, Hsu decided to attend the to Southeast Asia to search for new business
Stanford Graduate School of Business to opportunities related to manufacturing and
further his education and earn an MBA degree. technology.
As a student, he shared the position of co- However, in December of 2004, Hsu
financial officer for the Stanford Business became one of the over fifty thousand victims
School Student Association. of the horrific tsunami that struck the Koh Phi
Although he was a full-time Phi island in Thailand, among other places in
student with a very busy the Indian Ocean.Though other Stanford
photos from The Stanford Daily

schedule, Hsu augmented his Business School students found each other
business expertise by working in the aftermath, Hsu remained missing. After
for companies including an unsuccessful attempt by his sister to find
Yahoo!, Sun Microsystems, him, his family planned a memorial service in
and D.I.M.S. where he worked his honor. Students in the Stanford Graduate
with the touch-screen voting School of Business have since raised funds
by Jill Wahmei Wong in honor of their fellow classmate. (For more

I
information see below.)
t’s difficult to imagine As the Stanford community mourns the
accomplishing as loss of James Hsu to the tragic tsunami, the
much as James Hsu in Stanford staff and students are continuously
only twenty-five years. reminded of his achievements and dreams that
Yet, the motivation, courage, and intellect that have helped shape his experiences at the
Hsu possessed allowed him to strive for Stanford Graduate School of Business and
success beyond the ordinary endeavors of a contribute to the intellectual life on campus.
young adult of our time. For the Asian American community at
James Hsu was born in Merced, California. Stanford University, James Hsu is a role model
He attended Golden Valley High School, and and a legacy. „
excelled in both academics and tennis.
Remarkably, James graduated in only three Donations are welcome in honor of James
years and was valedictorian of his high Hsu in order to aid those in South Asia that
school’s first graduating class in 1996. James have been afflicted by the disaster. For more
continued his education at the University of information on how to donate to Red Cross
California Berkeley where he studied political in Honor of James Hsu, go to the GSB website
science. At UC Berkeley, Hsu was a member http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/
of the Venture Capital Club and the hsu_howto_donate.shtml. The goal, as a com-
Entrepreneurship Club among other munity, is to raise $50,000.
prestigious business organizations.

“ With his career goals firmly established. . . Hsu decided to take this
trip to Southeast Asia, searching for new business opportunities.

communicasians 13
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the news
○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○

SUBORDINATING TO THE DEFINITION AND INTEGRITY OF A NATION:


THE FUTURE OF THE SINGAPOREAN MEDIA
by Bryan Tan government maintains over its media contrasted alongside a workforce

“S
of such unquestionable caliber. It has been said that the rapid
ingaporean, you say? Well, what was the biggest cultural advancement of technology in Singapore, coupled with the rising
shock for you upon arriving in America?” If I had a dime awareness of her citizens, dictates that the future of media in this
for every time I was asked that question, I’d probably be small island-state will be stunted, and the country will lose its
tanning myself on a yacht in Monte Carlo, smoking a Cuban. There competitive edge because of the government’s stifling influence.
came a point in time when, as a result of sheer repetition, I had my However, this proliferation of technology and information to
answer to that question down to a science. Each time, I’d suddenly Singaporeans will over time result in a natural and inevitable
stiffen my body, warily cocking my head, and glance alertly all around liberalization of the media.
me, before whispering cautiously, “T-t-that whole… f-f-freedom of s- The history, and to a great extent, the current state, of Singaporean
s-speech thing… I g-guess.” The belief in the fundamental right of media censorship was carved in large part by Singapore’s first Prime
people to express themselves without fear of sanction—one of the Minister, Lee Kuan Yew. When Singapore was still a British colony,
core tenets of American liberty—wasn’t something I was intuitively Lee, at the time an outspoken political activist who headed the People’s
used to. Action Party (PAP), criticized the colonial controls on the press and
Singaporean media censorship is perhaps one of the biggest social the people. Ironically, since the PAP took power in 1959, Lee has
paradoxes of the First World. In no other developed nation will you
experience the ludicrous extent of influence the Singaporean

n
tesy of Br yan Ta
photos cour

tory Curre
-day rags-to-riches s nt Pri
me M
ern
gapore is truly a mod cerem inister Le
ony o e
Sin f a Sin Hsien Loo
gapo n
rean g
Prim
14 communicasians
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the news

himself refined and applied the same tactics to dealing with his political emergence of a new breed of intelligent, sophisticated Singaporeans
adversaries and in trying to moderate his citizens’ exposure to who dared to question the system. Soon after Lee Kuan Yew’s son,
unwholesome influences. Lee Hsien Loong, was sworn into office as the new Prime Minister of
At the beginning, this was a methodological and very practical Singapore in July 2004, he delivered a speech in which he underlined
means of combating internal dissent. Singapore’s legislation was his new government’s intention to slowly but surely allow more freedom
amended periodically to accommodate laws which meted out severe of expression: “I have no doubt that our society must open up further...
punishments for those who used the media to defy or even speak up Nanny should not look after everything all the time.”
against the administration. Today, Singapore is officially recognized If the PAP does not start heeding popular feedback, they will see
as a democratic republic, but the PAP is still the dominant force in themselves being elected out of power. The internet’s increasing
Singaporean politics and continues to own and control the Singapore sphere of influence as part of the tumescent advent of digitization
Press Holdings, which has a monopoly on the nation’s press. and the gradual awareness of invigorated Singaporeans to their own
The problem with censorship in Singapore is one of anachronism. plight will surely play their parts in helping the leaders of Singapore
Simply cutting explicit scenes out of a television show were simple realize that freedom of speech and a reasonable censorship standard,
enough back in the day, but with the exponentially increasing suited to the ever-changing personality of the population, are the
importance of the internet, it is becoming difficult for the Singaporean constructive paths forward for the future of the Singaporean media. „
government to regulate content accessibility. For every Singaporean
Sources
banned from owning a personal satellite TV dish, a thousand other Hughes, Owen. Singapore System Makes an Uncommon Splash,
Singaporeans are legally subscribing to mind-bogglingly quick
Multichannel News. v16 n28 p14(2). 10 July 1995.
broadband internet connections. It’s simply a matter of time before
Wrage, Stephen D., supra note 2.
the Singaporean government realizes that it is fighting a losing battle Lee, Hsien Loong. Building a Civic Society (Speech at The Harvard
for a cause which is of debatably stale importance, and starts to relax
Club of Singapore’s 35th Anniversary Dinner).
some of its censorship laws.
United Nations Online Network in Public Administration
For the past thirty years, the Lee Kuan Yew-led PAP had placed a and Finance (UNPAN). 1 August 2004.
heavy emphasis on education, recognizing that this was an effective
way to quickly lift the fledgling nation out of the cesspool of poverty.
Economic prosperity resulted, but with an interesting side-effect: the

hest stan-
hig
y one of the
jo d.
’s people en g in the worl
Singa
pore of livin
dards
g atte
nd
mary s the ope
Scho ning
ol communicasians 15
The Tale of a Country:
China’s Accession
to the
are many benefits that China
WTO
How has it been since 2001?
would attain by joining the China is now the fifth largest export market of
international trading the U.S., up from eleventh in 2001. The volume
community: For one, China of export has grown by 80% since then. China
would receive “most favored has implemented extensive tariff reductions
nation” status (also known as and legal reforms to cater to WTO’s
“normal trade relations”) from all requirements. The country has not made much
WTO members. This would clear improvement in certain other fronts, however.
tariff barriers between China and The most serious problem seems to be the
these other countries, allowing Chinese administration’s inability to
higher volume of export out of China. significantly reduce the rate of piracy and
By relaxing its own tariff and other counterfeiting. We are hopeful, however, that
quantitative restrictions, China would progress is in sight and that the world’s most
see a surge of foreign investments into populous country’s leadership will fulfill its
the country, which would further WTO obligations.
invigorate its economy. In terms of
specific industries, traditionally weak How does China’s accession to the WTO
industries heavily subsidized by the impact the U.S. and global economy at large?
government such as telecommunication The top five categories of commodities that
and financial services would get an the U.S. exports to China are transportation
adrenalin shot from foreign investment. equipment, fertilizers, electrical equipment,
by Robbie Yan With quotas and duties slashed, many office machines and computers, and general

W
product manufacturing and distribution industrial machinery and equipment. The U.S.
hat is WTO? centers would move from neighbor countries will see more exports into China, especially in
WTO stands for World Trade in Southeast Asia into China. In addition, farming products and equipment in the coming
Organization. Created in 1995 to China would also speed up on its legal and years. As foreign capital pours into China,
replace GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs political reforms to cater to the market- the country’s vast and cheap labor will attract
and Trade), the WTO aims to promote oriented economy. After all, having a political investments away from other East and
economic globalization and free trade. The party (Chinese Communist Party) heavily Southeast Asian countries such as South
organization defines trading rules and settles influence the country’s economic policies is Korea and Taiwan. On the other hand,
trading disputes between its 148 member not something that other WTO members however, as its foreign-backed domestic-
countries and states. Over the years, however, would like to see. During negotiations based industries grow, China will likely import
the organization has received criticism that between China and the U.S. prior to China’s a massive amount of machinery and vehicles
many decisions it has reached only stand to accession to the WTO, China also agreed to from neighboring Asian countries, driving
benefit multi-national corporations and crack down on the country’s rampant their economic growth.
wealthy states like U.S., Japan, and the intellectual property violations in order to
European Union. protect the interests of many foreign- China will become the dominant economic
investment-backed corporations in China. player in the world in this century. The World
When and why did China join the WTO? Bank projects that China will become the
After its 15-year quest, China officially became second largest trading economy in 2020. Let’s
a member of the WTO in December 2001. There wait and see. „

“ China is now the fifth largest export market of the US . . . ”


16 communicasians
A selected work from Rice University Spoken Word

photo by David Huang


Poet Stephen Bor:
English

Stephen Bor is a Sociology and Public Policy


major at Rice University in Houston, Texas. He first performed
spoken word poetry to avoid flunking out of Chinese school (he
flunked out), and began performing spoken word (in English) in
March of 2002. Earlier this year, Stephen published On History,
Grapefruit, and Crickets, a chapbook of his poetry. For more
information or to order the chapbook, visit www.stephenbor.net.

T he first week of elementary,


the school board labeled me mentally retarded.
the principal wrote a letter to my parents:
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bor
I desperately wrestled with the words,
I wanted to tell her that my tongue does not bend in that direction
and that these impossible inflections left me drowning
in my saliva and all I could spit out was, “No!”
We are placing your son in the special education program, in classes with But see now, ten years later, and I have become
students closer to his level. Your son’s behavior indicates that he would benefit the wrath of my mother’s womb.
more in classes taught for children who need more attention in aiding their I speak, because every time my father was asked,
skills of communication. I understand we may not speak the same language, “Yoo speaka ingleeesh, meester chung kung pao!?”
but it is best if we spoke English. I hid my face from him
Sincerely, because I was afraid to see his shame.
Mike Murphy I speak because I have been stolen by this
Principal, McCormick Elementary language of trained submissiveness,
Or was that it, Principal Murphy? these words towel around my vowels,
Was it because I did not speak English, Principal Murphy? crunches into copper penny consonants,
So yes, I got in trouble, this language has conquered me,
for making faces at my teacher because slapped me good and declared triumphantly,
all the Down syndrome kids did it, “Stephen, you my bitch!”
and I wanted to fit in. And I turned to English and said, “Yo, word!”
So my mother and my father taught me to read at home,
in fifth grade, a book called “The Last One In is a Rotten Egg.” But now there’s a difference:
I read every word of that book out loud, I refuse to be a man trapped inside my name,
words wriggling like crickets in my mouth. and even though I may be the Last. One. In.,
I wrote every word of that book, the only thing rotting is the forgotten memory of my father’s shame.
copied after my father’s military handwriting, So I break into the deep
so I went to school, hand in mama’s hand, end of the English Channel,
to the Green reading class. “My son can read,” she said, walk upside down on the underside of my tongue,
so Mrs. Brantley sat me down with a book- breathing water and treading freely beneath my skin,
much thinner than “The Last One in is a Rotten Egg.” I king my own freedom,
She told me to read one paragraph, and I rose, and I rise,
so I read in my head, I finished, and I closed the book. and I curl the sky under my elbow sing,
so I teach English that my thoughts are the flesh of its words,
She looked at me, little Asian boy with a Dutch last name, and said, and one day, I’m going to take my mother’s hand,
“You didn’t finish yet.” go back to McCormick Elementary,
I looked at her, petrified, and she said again, and tell Mr. Murphy,
“No, you can’t read that fast, you have to read it out loud.” “We speak English, you and I, but not the same language.” „

communicasians 17
A
voices

photos courtesy of Ashni Mohnot


Three
Months
Counting:
&
I wish I could go back
to college. . .
Last week, I met with perhaps even by the time the Class of 2010 is financial aid, freshmen programs and
John Pearson, chosen. I’ve inherited the tradition of Undergraduate Research Opportunities
Director of Bechtel generations of impassioned international (URO). We were here for the last year the O-
International Center, advocates before me who’ve worked for an show was held in gorgeous MemChu, for the
to talk about unforeseeable, undefined future. It’s last year of “Branner sucks” before the largest
international financial happening now, I said to Mr. Pearson, and freshman dorm on campus started looking like
aid. Since my previous we’re ecstatic because there is no more a hotel, before Meyer was infested with sleek
article on this issue, uncertainty. white Macs and adjustable monitors.
much has happened – Mr. Pearson told me, “You were here at the We were here when people actually used
Ashni Mohnot the next Capital right time; the class of ’05 was here at the right the paper Facebook to stalk their crushes,
Campaign of Stanford time.” We were here before we had to rely
University will raise money from a donor to when freshmen and on an online
fund need-blind aid for international students. sophomore seminars “It is a thrilling moment in community to
This issue has finally become a priority. were in their element. remember each other’s
It is a thrilling moment in University history; We were here when Uni
Univv er sity histor
ersity y; it will
history; birthdays. We are here
it will rewrite the composition of the student OSP started rewrite the composition of at the incipience of
body for years to come. Despite my busy programs in Australia international financial
schedule, I threw myself into the student end and Beijing. We were the student body for aid. We were here
of this campaign – the International Financial here to see the advent y ear s to come
come.. ” during the worst years
Aid Committee, an affiliate of the ASSU. I of wireless on of the economy and
couldn’t resist the pull of contributing to a campus and rejoice in we will leave when it
movement that has brewed quietly and the removal of the coin-operated laundry is no longer as hard to find jobs.
fruitlessly for years but has finally gained machines. We arrived in September 2001 right after
momentum in the past few weeks. We were here when diversity reached an the worst attack on U.S. soil; we arrived one
International need-blind financial aid won’t all time high in admissions; we were here at week after a momentous point in history. We’ve
happen in my lifetime at Stanford, but perhaps the conclusion of the Campaign for been here through a war started on tenuous
it will by the time my brother applies to college, Undergraduate Education that refurbished evidence, through a polarized election,

18 communicasians
Below and Bottom Right:
Hammarskjold Special Wine
and Cheese
Top Right: The first Bing
Dinner at Corpus Christi
College, Oxford

5K Run/Walk to raise
money for the fight against
hepatitis B and liver cancer

April 30, 2005


Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Food, entertainment, raffle prizes, gifts


for pledge-raisers & participants …
And above all, a great cause!
photo courtesy of Ashni Mohnot

Register online at http://


liver.stanford.edu/liveright or pick up
a registration brochure at the a 3c
NOW.

You hear about 5K runs and walks


taking place across the nation every
through mistreatment of Sikhs and Muslims professor, perhaps the last you ever will. Work day to support all sorts of worthy
in post-9/11 America, through INS detentions really hard for the last class you’ll ever take as causes. However, LIVERIGHT is the
eerily reminiscent of Japanese internment an undergraduate at Stanford. Check out first and only 5K run/walk to raise
camps. Through all this we have been books you’ll never read after graduation. Use awareness about hepatitis B and liver
sheltered and we have lived in a university your library card; it won’t work after June 2005. cancer for the API community.
where freedom of Ask out the guy
speech was revered, down the hall that Did you know that as many as 1 in 10
where idealism still “This was our 60s, our you’ve been Asian Americans are chronically
raged strong at one of
the lowest points in
str ugggle and this will be our Go to the Stanford
ug
strug crushing on all year. infected with hepatitis B? Most are
not even aware that they are infected.
American history. This memor
memoryy and our le legg ac
acyy. ” theatre. Have the chai Hepatitis B causes 80% of all liver
was our 60s, our latte at Moonbean’s; cancer cases and has been labeled the
struggle and this will it’s the best I’ve ever greatest health disparity between
be our memory and our legacy. tasted. Asian and Caucasian Americans.
For each of us that made it to Stanford, Befriend freshmen and tell them how lucky Although hepatitis B is entirely
about eight people didn’t. It has been a they are to be here, how 2008 will be here before preventable through vaccination, lack
privilege to be in a place where the intellectual they know it. Go to the Mausoleum, the cactus of awareness has made it a silent killer
life of the mind is prized above all else, where garden, the Herrin butterfly greenhouses, in the Asian community.
academics form only a small portion of the real Hanna house at the end of Mayfield. Check
learning that takes place, where everyone will out the Thursday night concerts at the CoHo. Our mission is to educate the public.
happily admit that they were nerds in high Go to Pub Night. Thank your parents. YOU can help us.
school. We’ll never again be in a community And when you leave Stanford, make a
where everyone is smart, opinionated, contribution to the world because you can, For more information, visit http://
motivated and intellectually interesting. It’s because you have tasted privilege and liver.stanford.edu or call the Asian
our year to leave but we still have three months because with privilege comes a great Liver Center at (650)724-2923.
for those last opportunities, those last rites. responsibility to use its gifts wisely. „
Go to office hours and get to know a
A
voices

Graduation and the Art of Denial:


Reflections of a Jobless Senior
When I think about graduating from replies, saying she understands, it happens to everyone. She
Stanford in a mere couple of months, I am laughs, I laugh, and I stumble downstairs for a bagel. I can’t imagine
filled with a sense of nausea. My heart that this behavior would be appropriate with any sort of legitimate
beats erratically, my eyelashes ache, and off-campus employer. I’m assuming showing up to work in footie
the gag reflex begins to kick in. Therefore, pajamas is probably also not kosher.
I try not to think about it. I have been I spent the last two years of my undergraduate career
pretty successful in my denial so far but complaining about the “lame” frat parties which I used to anticipate
now that I have been commissioned to with great eagerness, and escaping to the city every chance I
write an actual article all about goodbyes could in an attempt to liberate the hipster within. Yet now as I
Stefanie Kim a n d leave, I have to
farewells, I admit I’ve started
am forced to bring my thoughts Top and Bottom Left: Casa Italiana Progressive
to appreciate the
Bottom Right: Getting ready for a night in the city
toward the reality of impending Stanford social
doom. scene. It has
Perhaps the most depressing part toughened me
about leaving Stanford is the part up, thickened my
where I’m supposed to contribute skin. Watered
something meaningful to society down, overpriced
while at the same time contributing drinks? Bring
my money to pay for things. I’m them on. Yuppy
pretty sure that this will require a v e n t u r e
deus ex machina of capitalists? Yes,
some sort, whether those too. The
photos courtesy of Stefanie Kim

it be winning the sweet is never as


lottery or honing sweet without the
the ability to sour, and I
manipulate the rich have known
and powerful. And the sour.
that little Latin M o s t
phrase which I deeply and
learned just last f o n d l y
week brings to mind nestled in my
another reason nostalgia
why I am reluctant however, are
to leave. For as memories of
much as I complain my friends.
to anyone who will Whether it’s
listen about the m a k i n g
academic woes that homemade
befall me toppings to bring to Yogurt Stop, commiserating about our
constantly, buried respective theses, or having full access to multiple wardrobes,
deep inside my cold little heart is a glowing ember of intellectual these are things I will never be able to experience again. In one fell
curiosity. To put it directly, I’m really going to miss learning. I’m swoop, my shoe options will decrease by 300 percent.
going to miss reading poems about goats and fields and obsessing For now, I will stubbornly remain in a sea of blissful ignorance,
over the period versus the semi-colon. Sure, the accumulation of dependent on the notion that things have always worked out, and
knowledge continues beyond the classroom, but the classroom is therefore they will continue to. While my peers rush around in
one of the very things I’ll miss the most. their fancy button down shirts and resumes, I will remain still, like
Sometimes, when I set my alarm for p.m. instead of a.m. and a wise and patient cow, lowing dumbly. I should be moving forward,
sleep through the first two hours of work, I simply send off an but I’m enjoying looking back, if only for a precious few pre-graduate
email to my boss, explaining my predicament and apologizing. She months. „

20 communicasians
communicASIANS spring 2005 Non Profit Org.
U.S. Postage Paid
Palo Alto, CA
Permit No. 187

***TIME VALUE PLEASE EXPEDITE***


Published by the Asian American Activities Center, Old Union Clubhouse, Room 13, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305
(650) 723-3681 http://www.stanford.edu/group/a3c