Editorial: We must support the WFU Asian community

The Old Gold & Black encourages Wake Forest to show solidarity


Courtesy of NBC News

Mourners gather in Half Moon Bay to commemorate the lives of those who died in a Jan. 23 mass shooting.

Editorial Committee

This year’s Lunar New Year celebration, which started on Jan. 21, is a time of refreshment and delight for nearly 1.5 billion people globally. Yet, for many Asian students on campus, this festive time can bring a sense of loneliness and isolation.

The recent violence only added to this emotional toll. The tragic mass shootings in Monterey Park, Calif., on Jan. 21 and Half Moon Bay, Calif., on Jan. 23 casted a shadow over the local Asian community as they celebrated the Year of the Rabbit, which is supposed to bring longevity, peace and prosperity. 

Eleven individuals lost their lives in a Monterey Park, while six others were killed in Half Moon Bay. Tragically, most victims in both incidents had Asian heritage. As the Old Gold & Black looks back on a January marred by at least 39 shootings nationwide, it is more crucial than ever that we come together as a community to support and understand our own Asian community on campus during this time of renewal and celebration.

This year, that celebration was touched by tragedy. For a news article this week, the Old Gold & Black spoke to multiple Asian students who were shaken by the shootings last month. Those students committed to celebrating, however, and we applaud them for doing so. The Asian Student Interest Association (ASIA) will also be hosting an event on Feb. 11 to celebrate the Lunar New Year anew.

However, many Asian students experience the Lunar New Year far from their homes and cannot celebrate with family. The Old Gold & Black encourages the university community to help lift up those who might feel homesick during this holiday.

This means making an effort to celebrate with those who observe Lunar New Year. For example, the Wake Forest 2022-2023 Religious Days of Observance Calendar recorded Lunar New Year as a holy day observed by many students, staff and faculty members. They deserve a break from the demands of academic life, and these rights — for which we commend the university — should be better publicized to students. 

This also means taking time to learn about and understand the customs and traditions associated with Lunar New Year. Multiple campus organizations such as the Chinese Students and Scholars Association and ASIA are hosting events that honor the traditions of the Lunar New Year. We at the Old Gold & Black urge everyone to make an effort to celebrate with those who observe the holiday.

The holiday is a time for reunion and sharing, which is much needed in this tumultuous time for our nation. Let us do all we can to support and understand our Asian community — both domestic and international — to build a more inclusive and welcoming campus environment for students, faculty and staff alike.

The Old Gold & Black’s editorial committee writes the paper’s weekly editorial. The above editorial expresses its opinions and the editorial voice of the paper. The committee is chaired by Online Managing Editor Aine Pierre and also comprises Opinion Editors Sophie Guymon and Shaila Prasad, Assistant Opinion Editor Lauren Carpenter and Staff Writers Ashlyn Segler and Hope Zhu. The content of all editorials is reviewed by the Executive Board of the Old Gold & Black before publication.