A mixed tradition
I'm half white, half Asian, so I would say it's pretty important to me. The thing is that my high school I went to was, I think it was like 50 or 60% Asian. So I lived in like a very high Asian population area. But I would say in my house, we didn't really partake in a lot of like Asian traditions. Occasionally, like maybe like once every four years on Chinese New Years my mom would pull out the red envelope. So although I am like culturally Asian I feel like I don't practice a lot of the cultural aspects. And especially compared to a lot of the kids at my high school I wasn't as into a lot of their cultural traditions that they had. But also I would say that given my appearance that a lot of people can't really tell necessarily that I'm half Asian right off the bat, I don't really get a lot of that racial discrimination.
I would say on campus, I wouldn’t say it's not bad by any means, it's not like it’s a rough racial climate, but I guess just in terms of Asian students on campus, there's not a lot. I would say that a lot of the Asian students on campus, when I see them, we talk about how we're both Asian and how there's not a lot of Asian students at Notre Dame, which I think is like kind of a unique thing but I'm not sure. I mean I guess I know like a lot of the Latino kids all like hang out together and I wouldn't really say it's like a bond like that or anything. I definitely don't feel discriminated against because I’m Asian on campus at all. That’s not it. Mostly, it's kind of interesting, and I know Notre Dame has a very low like Asian population.
Across the US, I don't know. It's hard to say. I would say that specifically for me, being Asian, I don't feel like targeted or anything. But I know that my mom has gone through times when the Stop Asian Hate has been like a big headline and she's kind of felt unsafe. I think that also, given the fact that I'm mixed and not super Asian looking.
So for example, I'd say with like the Asian Allure show, that's something that I definitely heard about and have been thinking about a lot. So I feel like I haven't, from like my point of view, I haven't seen like a lot of explicit racism on campus necessarily. I think it’s more so the race relation issues that we're seeing more so come from the overwhelming number of white kids versus colored kids. And I don’t know, this is a kind of like a separate note, but I think it's very interesting that for my tours, that's something that they put on like the guide that they want us to emphasize. So I just found that really interesting, especially because out of all the like different ethnicities on campus that they did tell us to emphasize the Asian Allure show.
Ashlyn Rafferty is a junior studying Accounting at the University of Notre Dame. Rafferty was raised in San Diego, California.