College campuses are supposed to be rollicking hotspots of passion and activism for idealistic and determined youth. Unfortunately, it often seems like our generation, despite good intentions, is more interested in Xbox and ‘The Hills’ than awareness and community. Enter Incite Magazine, a publication that makes a splash in the puddle of the status quo at UC Irvine, by targeting apathy and focusing on making a difference. It is worth your attention and time to locate an issue if your pulse spike when the option of change, self-improvement or even a departure from the norm presents itself.
The glossy-covered first issue of the magazine is available on UCI’s campus and it seems as though it is not short on popularity, as newsstands have already been stripped of the issue. To those who have not yet seen a copy of the new magazine, it is available for your reading pleasure on its Web site, http://www.incitemagazine.net, designed by the magazine’s Web/graphics designer Patis Lee.
The magazine, first distributed on Sept. 24, 2007 and officially launched on Oct. 12, was founded by several Anteaters: Kristin Ladd is the editor-in-chief, Joanna Clay the writing director, Anna Nguyen the design director and Ashley Rallos the layout designer. The staff, as listed on their Web site, is made up of 17 people who share the common goal of cloaking social awareness under the pretense of fun and community to the general college public. Ladd said regarding her staff, ‘We do it half out of the goodness of our hearts and half because we wanted to start something new and fresh that was not yet on campus.’
The strengths of Incite are its simplicity, professionalism and directness. This is not a publication that is blindsided by bias or distracted from its mission by immature writing and inadequate publishing. Rather, it is refreshing in its presentation, clean, well-organized and a pleasure to flip through. Though the first issue is rather small, totaling 22 pages, it feels complete, unified and, to my delight, devoid of fluff pieces. The goal of the magazine is simple, as editor-in-chief, Ladd writes in her first address to Incite readers: ‘The magazine was created solely for you to get a bit more information that I hope you will find both interesting and informative.’
The group’s mission statement is a more professional, paraphrased version of Ladd’s statement. It cites as their goal, ‘[c]reating awareness beyond our common cultural community in an effort to unify people and transcend barriers (through social and political issues, activism, the arts and youth subculture).’
Friday, Oct. 12 marked the day of the official magazine launch party, an affair held on campus in the courtyard of the brand new Student Center, which was fitting for the launch of a brand new publication. Though the turnout was not overwhelming, it drew the attention of schoolweek stragglers and passersby alike. The party featured performances by local bands, a UCI a cappella group and the spoken word group ‘Uncultivated Rabbits.’ One of the Rabbits described themselves and the crowd watching their show, ‘We’re not really bad rappers, just artsy-fartsy people.’ This professional diagnosis well described the crowd gathered at the launch party that Friday night: a group of individuals that do not fit into any one social category. Though the oddness of several performances may cause viewers to deem them beatniks or hipsters, and the intentions of the magazine may conjure up images of the crunchy granola and Birkenstocks world-savers, attendees shared only the interest of uncovering more about our world.
One of the noblest goals of Incite is its devotion to social awareness. Much of the first issue covers topics of student life not limited to lecture halls and MTV, an article about the group ‘Invisible Children,’ written to bring awareness to underprivileged global youth, and various ‘green’ goals to make our planet a steadily improving place to live. Future issues will share this vibe of change and improvement, with the once-quarterly publication’s sophomore issue due out in January. It will focus on environmental issues, global activism and noble non-governmental organizations.
Ladd says that what makes her proudest of the publication is that ‘we are able to do so much. This process [of creating a magazine] made me realize that in college you can do anything you want, you can start things and it is all possible. The best thing is finding out that you can really do something and it can be everything you want to do in your future.’