Creating community through ‘Connections’

The Asian American Student Association's new magazine was inspired by 'Eastern Tide,' a publication shared at Brandeis three decades ago.

Connections magazinePhoto/Brandeis Asian American Student Association

The cover of 'Legends,' this semester's edition of Connections magazine.

When Peter Wong '89 visited the Asian American Student Association, he brought with him old copies of Eastern Tide, a campus magazine he collected as an undergraduate and president of the Asian American Student Association, because he wanted to share the importance of its legacy. It inspired current students to honor the publication with a magazine of their own, three decades later.

“Eastern Tide was a way for the Asian students on campus to come together and get creative,” said Wong. “It was a point of pride for everyone involved.”

The magazine, created in the 1980s, ran for over a decade before publishing its last issues in 1991.

“It focused on experiences like the bigotry as a result of the Vietnam War, racism against the Asian community, and life on campus over time,” said Amanda Lui ’23, co-editor in chief of Connections. “The magazine gave the Asian community at Brandeis the opportunity to reflect on important moments in their lives that were becoming history.”

Eastern Tides
Photo/Brandeis archives

Eastern Tide magazine covers

Students quickly connected with the work, deciding to give the magazine a new life on campus, reviving it with a new name, Connections.

“We wanted to connect this new project to the history of Eastern Tide. We try to pay homage to the work created before while also focusing on the future,” said Co-Editor in Chief Alexandra (Allie) Smith ’24. The first edition of Connections magazine, published last spring and titled “Roots,” celebrated this history.

“It’s quite amazing seeing all that Connections magazine has achieved so far,” said Wong.

The magazine aims to depict the experiences of the Asian community on campus through paintings, photography, articles and poetry. All Brandeis community members can submit their work to be featured in the magazine.

“I want our audience to look through each of the pieces carefully — each painting, poem and prose — and feel the pride, joy, sorrow and any other emotion that the artists decided to share,” said Hannah Park ’23, the team’s creative art director. “Having a platform to share our art and uplift our own unique experiences shows how there’s growth at every word and joy with every brush stroke.”

The magazine is still in early stages, but has received positive feedback from the community. After a year of creating an entire magazine virtually through zoom meetings, Connections staff began meeting weekly in-person this semester. “It’s been an exciting transition getting everyone together in person,” said Smith.

The upcoming edition is called “Legends,” and features campus contributors sharing what being a legend means to them.

“This year we wanted to focus on uplifting the powerful image of what it means to be Asian,” said Lui. “In the midst of all this Asian hate we needed to provide something that reminded us how beautiful it is to be part of this community.”

Categories: Alumni, Arts, General, Student Life

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