Normal Noise asks students to explore self-perception and individuality

In 2014, a group of students decided to create an on-campus magazine that would focus on cultivating the arts and humanities student scene.

A few years and some name changes, the publication became known as Normal Noise, which is produced once a semester, publishing content submitted by ASU students. Magazines are usually 20-30 pages with 4-5 articles per issue.

Despite the unprecedented difficulties of the pandemic, the Normal Noise team published four issues in 2020 and 2021. Each issue centers on a unique theme that the editors select together at the start of each semester.

Each magazine aims to address how the arts and humanities can play a role in shaping political, social and cultural life, said Claudine Inocencio, freshman computer science major and Normal Noise arts and marketing intern. .

Last spring, the editorial board met to develop a theme that could relate to all students while emphasizing the importance of the individual.

The magazine’s most recent issue, Self Issue, asks students what exactly it means to be an individual, a question everyone in the community should be able to answer.

“The Self Issue specifically offers a variety of interpretations of human existence and what life means to the artists involved,” Inocencio said.

Surabhi Sajith, a first-year medical major and the magazine’s literary editor, thinks this semester’s topic is open to many interpretations, allowing students to be as personal as they wish or as broad as they choose to go with their work.

“To me, the word ‘self’ means how we identify and respond to external stimuli, because our responses are based on our self-confidence, our doubts and our identity,” Sajith said.

Even though the prompt is personal, the topics covered will be relevant to many students, said Helenna Gu, marketing and social media intern for Normal Noise and sophomore in graphic information technology.

“I think for our readers, these articles will affirm their own experiences, challenge them to reflect within, and gain insight and compassion for the experience of others,” Gu said.

Dunya Mostaghimi, the magazine’s editor and first-year economics student, said this year’s work continues the quality and purpose that has led her to join the magazine since reading the Money Issue published in the spring. 2018.

“Some of the ideas addressed in the writings include issues of self-perception related to wealth and social class, how individuals see themselves in characters in different media as well as how our identity is shaped by groups of fans,” Mostaghimi said.

Kay Northrop, a A fourth-year Barrett student majoring in business data analysis and psychology, started with the magazine during his second year as a nonfiction writer and editor before becoming editor of Normal Noise.

“We really wanted to focus on encouraging critical reflection on our micro and macro environments and how the arts and humanities shape the cultural life of the individual and the ASU community,” Northrop said. .

Kelsey Phillips, a fourth-year drawing and painting student, is responsible for both designing the magazine and overseeing all individual art submissions.

During her two years at the magazine, Phillips witnessed both continued success and unprecedented struggle, particularly when trying to promote submissions for the publication during the pandemic and virtual schooling. .

“We mostly promote ourselves through posters and flyers on campus, and when people don’t see them or can’t see them, obviously we won’t get as many submissions,” Phillips said.

In the next issue, Northrop hopes to not only showcase the community, but also help it.

“Over the past semesters, especially with COVID, we’ve had a lot of personal narrative pieces that seemed very appealing to people right now, and that’s a big part of why we chose to do the Self Issue “said Northrop. “We really wanted to look at what specifically affected members of our community, how we could elevate marginalized voices, help build community and add to the narrative.”

The personal show is expected to be posted online by the end of the month.


Contact the reporter at dmendrzy@asu.edu and follow @D3V0NWard on Twitter.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on Twitter.


Devon Mendrzycki echo reporter

Devon is a junior studying management.


Continue to support student journalism and make a donation to the state press today.


James C. Tibbs