UC FOB Opens New Forum Magazine

The term FOB generally conveys a negative connotation as an acronym for immigrants who are, so to speak, ‘Fresh Off the Boat.’ To highlight its diverse campus members, the UC Irvine First Order of Business (FOB) club held a release party for its new magazine, UC FOB, in the form of a fashion show entitled Global Stylin’ on Wednesday, Jan. 16 in the Student Center. The magazine’s primary goal is to provide an open forum for students of different racial backgrounds to express their opinions on a variety of topics ranging from politics and history to religion and current events.
‘The name [UC FOB] reflects an attempt to empower the word,’ said third-year anthropology major Shehzad Popat, the publication’s president. From poems to articles to book reviews, subjects that discuss 9/11 to the cultural generation gap to animal cruelty, the 45-page magazine hopes to establish itself as a place for anyone to voice their ideas on what is important to them and how it affects the surrounding community.
The magazine is a product of a transformation of what was previously known as the South Asian Journal. Popat expressed that the magazine, at that time, was too exclusive, and the articles were less student-friendly and more scholarly. ‘Students have so much to read that we felt like the South Asian Journal was something they may not be inclined to read through, even if they pick it up,’ Popat said.
Building upon the ideas on which the South Asian Journal was founded and taking into account its flaws, the UC FOB team put together a whole new magazine. On-Site Representative Salima Ali, a second-year biomedical engineering major, further explained the long-term goals of such media on campus and in our community. ‘We’re trying to humanize people, going beyond their ethnicity and getting to know who they are. We want to highlight every single person and allow them to speak their mind,’ Ali said.
The UC FOB team titled their first edition, ‘Voices Around The World’ in order to draw attention to the different ethnicities on campus. The magazine aims to help students who are struggling to find a balance between maintaining cultural traditions, but at the same time accommodate the Southern California lifestyle. In a letter published in the Editor section of the magazine, Sobia Saleem, editor-in-chief and third-year English major, expresses that her best experience from working on the magazine came the day she received hundreds of responses yielding support and the students’ willingness to find a place to express their opinions to an eager audience.
When asked how she believed the magazine could affect the campus, Ambreen Basria, third-year public health and psychology and social behavior double-major, expressed hope for the publication. ‘[The magazine] would unite underrepresented groups that previously haven’t had the chance to speak their minds,’ Basria said.
As the co-host and head coordinator of Global Stylin’ she and eight others made up the Fashion Show committee, which was primarily in charge of putting all arrangements for the night in place. She mentioned that their preparations began as early as last summer, and their months of hard work were clearly demonstrated. From spoken word to foot-tapping Bollywood numbers to Salsa dancing, the night was filled with an eclectic set of performances that brought together an audience of about 70 people. Free pizza, snacks and drinks were also provided.
The UCI Paleros kicked off the night with two Salsa dances, ranging from fast-paced to slow and sensual. Next on stage were five members of the Pakistani Student Association showing off the intricate designs of traditional Pakistani clothing, which attracted the audience’s attention. This exciting display was followed by two performers from the Uncultivated Rabbits, a student organization that promotes underground forms of art such as spoken word, slam poetry and performance art. The stage was then turned over to the Indian Subcontinental Club, whose members proudly wore colorful cultural costumes from various regions in South Asia, while dancing to a mix of music from each region. Finally, UCI’s Hindi Film dance team, Sitaare, performed a highly energetic routine to several popular Bollywood songs.
A portion of the night’s proceeds went to Dream Generation (www.dreamgeneration.org), a foundation that aims to help underprivileged children seek an education and follow their dreams.
The UC FOB is a quarterly magazine that is available free of cost. Contact editor-in-chief, Sobia Saleem, (ssaleem@uci.edu) for more information.