Boise State’s first inclusive excellence zine is being brought to life to emphasize and encourage student art. The Inclusive Excellence Student Council (IESC) is producing the zine and is accepting admissions from any students on campus. Zines are commonly small-circulated prints of original works that can include any type of art.
Alyssa Wainaina, a sophomore double majoring in sociology and ethnic studies, is a part of the council and originally sparked the idea to create the zine. With the community having little to no zines, Wainaina felt that creating a Boise State zine could be both educational and influential on campus.
“I think that it would be really cool for us to have our own kind of representation of the students at Boise State who are for inclusivity and diversity and equity and different expressions of that,” Wainaina said. “I personally have been in a lot of organizing spaces where we’ve used zines to uplift certain messages or share art in a way that’s very accessible, because you can make as many copies as you’d like and distribute it for free.”
Submissions are open to all students at Boise State and can be anonymous if preferred. When coming up with the idea of a zine, Wainaina wanted to make sure that it was very open to interpretation when it came to pieces being submitted.
“We really wanted to leave it open to everyone because we know that by putting specifics on it that can be exclusionary,” Wainaina said. “So we are welcoming things like poetry, paintings, we are welcoming sculpture, any type of artwork, any type of creation, anything that represents inclusivity at Boise State can be submitted.”
Joel Weisel, a senior majoring in interdisciplinary studies, is also involved with the idea and production of the zine. Once they heard the pitch for the zine, Weisel knew it could be a great contribution to the community.
“I had talked about the need for a space for people from frontlined communities to express themselves artistically,” Weisel wrote in an email. “Alyssa brought this to the table and I was incredibly interested and immediately voiced my approval.”
Brian Wiley is an assistant professor for graphic design and has had positive experiences with zines, even incorporating them into his curriculum. When it comes to zines, he feels they can be an important platform.
“From my perspective generally, I think a zine gives voice to anyone who has something to say,” Wiley said. “Historically people from any non-dominant culture don’t always get to say it with the same volume, and I think a zine can be a really great way to show different perspectives, ideas and viewpoints.”
The zine has many purposes: one is to create a space for artists who may feel unheard or criticized. While the submissions may be anonymous, it allows for the art to have the exposure it may not have received before.
“We are talking about narratives around diversity and inclusion on campus and I think this zine is a great chance to engage with narratives that are constantly left unheard,” Weisel wrote in an email. “Alyssa has made it a point to find ways to get all mediums of art engaged. There is an opportunity for every kind of artist to showcase their work.”
The deadline to submit pieces for the zine is Jan. 31.