Category Archives: Diversity

Take Back Your Prom 2014

Nov 18, 2014 | Author: Elaine Paravati

Last Friday, the Utica College Gay-Straight Alliance and the Utica College Programming Board teamed up to host “Take Back Your Prom.”

The very handsome Elliot and I at prom! Elliot is a member of both the UCGSA and UCPB, so while he was working for both of those orgs, he was also workin' a great bow tie.

The very handsome Elliot and I at prom! Elliot is a member of both the UCGSA and UCPB- while he was working at the event on behalf of those organizations, he was also workin’ a great bow tie.

The event was held at a local banquet hall named Valentino’s from 8 until midnight, and transportation was provided to and from the event. There was a photo booth, a candy bar, appetizers, a DJ and dance floor, and even an area where students could have cheesy staged prom pictures taken. Best of all, admission was totally free for UC students!

Three UC Bloggers (and WPNR DJs!) at prom- Laura, Karita, and I.

Three UC Bloggers (and WPNR DJs!) at prom- Laura, Karita, and I!

“Take Back Your Prom” is a pretty popular event on other campuses, so the UC GSA was really excited to host our own here. The idea is to allow students the opportunity to reclaim their prom how they wanted it to be the first time around. Often, students wear different outfits or take different people, since they now feel more comfortable, accepted, and safe than when they were in high school.

My best friend Sarah and I were really excited to have an occasion to wear fluffly, sparkly dresses!

My best friend Sarah and I were really excited to have an occasion to wear fluffly, glittery dresses!

The UC students who attended the event (over 240!) said it was “the prom they always wanted,” which really attests to what a strong, accepting community we have at Utica College. As the Vice President of the UCGSA, I felt so great to have been a part of the organization that threw such a successful event. It was an honor to have helped students make the prom memories they deserved – and a night of dancing and sparkles is always a great time!

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Photos week

Nov 3, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

Photos week was epic they through an amazing banquet that had great food, performances and great people it was nice to be apart of a great event and it was even more meaningful that I was able to be award sat with an award from one of the biggest leaders on this campus in every part of Utica College making it better and better every day. The award that I was given was the friendship award and it means a lot to me not just because it’s a great award but because of the people who gave me the ward so thank you so much to the brothers of Phi Iota Alpha fraternity, INC.

What an amazing weekend

Nov 3, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

 

This week was great, it was our first and only weekend without a football game this year and it just so happened to be Halloween week. Last year around this time I didn’t have as much fun has I have done this year and I guess due to the fact that you got to learn I mean as a freshman, I was the type of person that was ready to have fun, but I was uptight still and this year was little better I let things just work themselves out and I just enjoyed every day at being at school. And this week made it great was just the best weekend I have ever had school so big ups to everyone who throw a great party and ups to the city of Utica on knowing how to have fun , party, and keep it all safe

What Did You Do This Weekend: Asa Gray Picnic 2014

Oct 6, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The Asa Gray Biological Society is one of the oldest academic organizations on campus. It is  geared toward volunteering and planing activities that have to do with biology in some way, shape, or form. Basically, it is an organization that is open to all students on campus who have an interest in joining a club related to the natural world.

I, personally, have been a member since my first year here at Utica, and even have the privilege of being an eboard member for this year.

This past Sunday, the club held one of its annual events, The Asa Gray Picnic. This is an event that is open to all club members, and all first-year biology students. Professors and students get to interact in a more relaxed setting. Every year, there is guaranteed to be free food, games, and a fun atmosphere for everyone to partake in.

Typically the event is held at a bio professor’s house, and this year, it was held at the home of two professors: Dr. Wise and Dr. Buchanan in Trenton Falls. Their house is something you would expect to see in a magazine about beautiful country homes. It was completely secluded and had a large yard which, was ideal for yard games.

People took advantage of the sunny yet brisk day, by sitting around a fire, playing frisbee, and enjoying the free food. The students were all encouraged to sit and chat with their professors, and fellow students. Funny stories of test stresses, long labs, and general classes were shared by everyone. Even topics not related to school were discussed. The picnic was a time where people could just come and relax.

If this annual event sounds fun to you, feel free to check out an Asa Gray meeting sometime soon. There are numerous other events they put on, and new members are always more than welcome!

 

Leadership Weekend 2014

Oct 1, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

This past weekend, I was given the opportunity to attend Student Senate’s annual Leadership Weekend. The purpose of the event was for student leaders to develop leadership skills within themselves and when working with other people. The weekend was held up on Raquette Lake at Camp Huntington, which is a secluded property owned by SUNY Cortland. We left from Strebel at 2 p.m. on Friday and returned at 3 p.m. on Sunday.

    (Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon boat to get there!)

(Camp Huntington is so secluded that you have to take a pontoon to get there!)

The biggest attraction of the weekend were the high and low ropes courses, which were done Saturday afternoon. Individuals were split into two groups, and then went through a series of obstacles designed to test a multitude of skills associated with leadership ability. On the low course, the main take back was that of teamwork; people had to help out their team, and had to be encouraging if someone was having difficulties. The high ropes course was more about challenging yourself, and overcoming any personal hesitations you might have had.

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold...while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

(One of the low ropes course obstacles was being led around while wearing a blindfold…while your teammates also had on blindfolds.)

 

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

(I was terrified of going up on the ropes, but I was proud of myself that I did it.)

Throughout the weekend there was also free time to kayak, canoe, swim, and even paddle board. The weather was beautiful (not a rain cloud in sight!!), so everyone took full advantage.

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

(My friend, Elaine, and I loved kayaking with everyone else.)

The other main focus of leadership weekend is for the students to think of ideas which may better the school, prepare presentations on them, and then present their proposals to various Utica College dignitaries who were invited up to the camp on Sunday afternoon. Several ideas were thrown around, but eventually three ideas became the prevalent ones, and were presented by the groups on Sunday afternoon. The proposals were:

1.) Better Handicap accessibility on campus. (Including shoveling snow more thoroughly in the winter, fixing the elevators in the academic and residential buildings so they break down less often, and allowing for better handicap seating in classrooms.)

2.) Updating IITS issues. (Printers placed in every residential hall, schedules put up outside of computer labs when they are in use, and the Strebel computer lab getting a bit of a “face-lift.”)

3.) Helping to integrate commuter students more easily. (More programming for commuters, and a lounge which contains lockers, a refrigerator, seating areas, etc. so they have somewhere to go on campus.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

(A group presenting their proposal on how to improve Utica College.)

The ideas were all good ideas, and presented very thoroughly. The various Utica College officials took notes, and will try to implement some of the students’ suggestions.

 

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

(I love love love loved Leadership Weekend 2014.)

Leadership weekend was probably one of my favorite things to have done on campus, and to quote my friend Elaine, “I’ve done a lot.” It is a beautiful place to go and spend a weekend, and I highly encourage it. Even if the ropes course freaks you out (like it did me!) think to yourself, “When am I ever going to get this opportunity again?” A completely free weekend spent in the Adriondacks challenging yourself, and thinking of ways to make your school better – I can’t think of anything better.

SORRY!

Sep 29, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

HOW ARE YOU GUYS DOING !!! I know it’s been a while since I posted a blog and I’m sorry schools and football has just been so crazy. I just want to thank everyone for coming out and supporting us this past sat at the game and helping us go 4-0 we play for you guys and the whole city of Utica.  Today’s blog is about managing time over this past week I found out that I wasn’t doing my best job of managing my time I was so stressed and I never want to feel like that again because it really  screws up a lot of other things just like a domino effect. So make sure you’re using your Sundays wisely to get all homework done make sure that you have your week plan out and maybe even get a nice jump start on some later projects.

Try New Things! No, Seriously. Try Them.

Sep 26, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

Everyone says college is about trying new things, and leaving your comfort zone…well, listen to them; it’s a cliche for a reason. My first semester on campus, I was the typical commuter; I went to class, and went home. I joined one organization and prayed their meetings weren’t later at night so I wouldn’t have to drive back to campus. Now, I rarely leave campus…which may be considered not so good, looking at my sleep schedule. But looking at it from my own perspective, sleep aside, I enjoy college much more now, and *bonus* know all of the places to get coffee on campus. Plus, I feel more at ease with my surroundings, and love all of the organizations of which I am a part of.

I credit my current involvement with the personal philosophy I adopted my second semester freshmen year, and even more so when I studied abroad the fall of my sophomore year. If I see something that looks interesting to me, I do it…or join it. I don’t let my own fears hold me back from doing something I want. So, you shouldn’t either!

(Mentors involved with the Transitions play during my first year of orientation, Summer 2013.)

I joined Orientation the summer after my first year and learned so many useful techniques about interacting with people. I even made friends I consider to be friends for life. When I was applying for the position I was unsure, and a little nervous about joining in with a group of people I had never really met before. Now I know every single mentor and wouldn’t hesitate to say hi if I saw any of them in the hall between classes.

(The Dublin Zoo was so fun to visit, it was definitely worth the hour walk.)

My fall semester, I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I had planned on going abroad since I applied to UC. However, I had never lived away from home for more than a few weeks, let alone many months. Plus, the only foreign country I had ever been to was Canada.

While I lived in Ireland, I told myself that I would not let a day go by where I did not do a single thing. Luckily, one of my housemates had the same philosophy, and we made sure to do at least a little thing every day. We went to museums, little shops, parks, and the zoo; really, we went anywhere we could. However, this philosophy doesn’t have to be used in a different country. Do it here! Do something different everyday. Whether it be as small as trying a new sandwich for lunch, or as big as going to the next town over and exploring, just try new things.

(The first pic I ever took in the radio station. This was taken from the Divaa Hour’s first show.)

The spring of my sophomore year, I randomly decided I wanted a radio show. So one of my friends, Karita, and I created The Diva Hour. We would play music from all of the great divas, classic to modern. It was fun, and we even got our other friend, Elaine, on board with it. Then, this year, we decided to make a new show, and titled it “3BL.” It’s fun to do, and fun to listen to (at least according to our mom’s it is…). Our show is even going to be featured during the upcoming college radio day, which we’re super excited about! So, if making a radio show is one of the new things you want to try, go talk to the staff at wpnr!

Utica College is a diverse campus with loads of activities and things to do. So, go out there and try some new things, it’ll make your college experience that much more exciting. Trust me.

 

 

Clubs, orgs, and greek life? Oh my.

Sep 11, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

The yearly organization fair was held in the Strebel lounge yesterday, September 10th, and “Meet the Greeks” was also held later that day in the same location. Both events were opportunities for first year students, and upperclassman, to get an idea of what there is to do on campus.

These events can be intimidating for students (myself included) because there are so many organizations. If you are also like me, you have many diverse interests; there are so many organizations that may fit with what you like! Attending these informational events is as easy as going and walking around. Picking which ones you actually want to be a part of, now that is a struggle.

Here are some tips to help you decide what organization is right for you.

(The Asa Gray Biological Society is an organization which focuses on biology-related activities and events.)

It is for your major/future career aspects. If an organization is dedicated to a certain type of student, and you fit the bill, for sure join! For example, joining the pre-law society makes it so you are surrounded by future law students aka people who understand your struggle. It’s great to have friends in your major because then you can compare professors, classes, study together, and have a support system.

(The Utica College Gay-Straight Alliance puts on a yearly drag show with professional Kings and Queens which is fun and entertaining.)

You enjoy the activities they do. If an organization is established for a hobby of yours, join! The Outing club is an organization on campus which focuses on going outside and doing things! If you love the outdoors and wilderness, then join! Same goes for any other thing you may like.

And here are some tips to help you decide what organization is not right for you:

(Summer Orientation isn’t really an organization, but it is something you can get involved in! I joined my first year not knowing practically any mentors, now some of them are my best friends.)

All of your friends are in it. Okay, great for them. But are you actually interested in the organization? Do you like doing what they are doing? If not, it’s okay to not join. You’ll meet other people in things you do decide to do. You can always hang out with your friends later.

(Alpha Phi Omega is a service fraternity on campus dedicated to volunteer work, and leadership.)

It will boost your resume. This is true of every organization you join! We’re college students, we’re all working toward having a good resume!! But, the key is to not join just because you think it will look good. Join because you actually are interested in the org, the resume stuff can come later.

Joining organizations is not supposed to be a tiresome process, it should be fun! You can always go to a meeting, see if you like it, and if not, don’t join! The Greek organizations all have informationals during the semester to let you know about their events and activities, so go if you want to know more! If you aren’t comfortable going in person, you can always check out PioneerPlace which is a website which compiles all of the organizations on campus, and allows you to browse through.

So, whatever organizations you join, good luck. The process may be daunting, but the friends and memories you make will certainly be worth it.

SORRY

Apr 25, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

How you guys doing again its a beautiful day in Utica and a even better day at Utica College today’s our Midnight cookout. We will be have so much food , drinks and music ! …. You have to love this campus for the events that are thrown because it always ends with everyone being together have a great time I can’t wait for later guys and next week I will be posting three helpful blogs for you guys it get down to the end of classes and close to summer

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weekend recap

Apr 14, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

Good Morning everyone ….. this past week was great. With Miss UC and the crossing of the new PBS members was amazing. Nothing but great vibes and good times on Utica college campus. But the best thing that happen this week was the amazing weather that we were blessed with. Everyone was out on the quad relaxing playing can jam , throwing baseballs , footballs , kicking soccer balls everything you could name the quad had it was jumping. I think thats what makes Utica a great place like people form relationships on days like these because people are just so open i made a lot of new friends today and i got to increase my all ready founded friendships. This week was has we say LIT!!!!!!!!!