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

Ashlyn Rafferty is a junior studying Accounting at the University of Notre Dame. Rafferty was raised in San Diego, California.