Category Archives: Diversity

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.

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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!!!!!!!!!

Expand Your Horizons: Study Abroad

Apr 3, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

It’s Thurday, so here’s a throwback.

During the Fall ’13 semester I studied abroad in Dublin, Ireland. I’m Irish, and I’ve always wanted to go, so I started looking into the study abroad program at Utica during my freshman year. The process is easy once you decide where you want to go. Utica College connects to multiple universities around the world, and they even connect to the schools that Syracuse University connects to; the countries you can choose from are nearly endless.

Before I left the United States (my first time out of the country by myself!) I made a promise to myself, that I would be open to any opportunity. I wasn’t going to waste an opportunities!

I took pictures with e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g. I didn’t want to miss out on the super touristy things, so I wasn’t afraid to stop and grab a picture at any time. This was one was on our way home from class.

 

I was lucky enough to book a trip to France, and was able to see Paris. I also took a crazy amount of pictures there.

…I did all the “touristy” things in London as well.

My friends and I toured the Guiness factory, something I would have thought would be crazy boring…but beer being made is actually a really interesting process. Plus, the view from the top of the building, of the entire city of Dublin, is amazing.

I attended “tea” with the United States Ambassador to Ireland in Oscar Wilde’s home….and then took a picture with Oscar Wilde’s bust.

I hiked anywhere you could in Ireland…as soon as someone suggested a trip, I was down for it.

Bascially, this post is more than a backdoor brag. Studying abroad was one of my favorite things that I’ve ever done…because it allowed me to do so many things. As soon as someone suggested something, I was down for it. I didn’t see a point in sitting around in foreign country and doing nothing. I went to museums, fairs, comedy clubs, and just wandered around. I was able to immerse myself in other cultures, and I think I am all the better for it. I (like to think that I) am more outgoing, more open minded, and more willing to try different things.

So. Seriously. If you want to expand your viewpoint, and broaden your horizons, look into studying abroad.

Whats the weekend looking like

Apr 3, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

Sorry guys for these late blogs this week, football started up and the amount of homework was crazy this week but im back and today this blog is to talk about some of the major events that is happening this weekend that i know the campus has been buzzing about and cant wait for. First up the OMIGHTY OMICRON ALPHA CHAPTER of PHI BETA SIGMA Fraternity are hosting a Evening of Theatrical Expresssions. The event will be held at the Holiday Inn located at 1777 Burrstone rd New Hartford, NY 13413. Its dress to impress so please bring out your best outfits i know i will. Its Free for UC students and shuttles will be provided, also guests are allowed to come it will be 15 dollars at the door. This event again being hosted by your boys in blue on Sat April 5,2014. The next and last event that the campus has been talking about is the OM Awards coming live on April 4 2014 at Strebel Auditorium being hosted by none other than you know Open wait on it YES! Moments. Admission is 2 dollars and there will also be a specail proformence by the Hamiltons Speak Easy. Now In the famous words of the
Great BIG papa “if aint know now you know” whats going on This weekend on UC campus.

Long Hair/Short Hair – Who Cares?

Mar 28, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

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Being a young adult in college means trying to figure out who the heck you are, inside and out. You’re trying to find a personal style and nail down what makes you, you. Plus, you’re trying desperately to distance yourself from the frizzy-haired, braces-wearing awkward teen you were in high school. That means you’re experimenting with new choices, whether it be clothes, make-up, fitness, or hair.

When I wanted to cut my hair, someone very close to me vehemently urged me against it, telling me quite frankly how ugly and unfeminine I would look if I did. It had nothing to do with how the actual cut would look on me, but was merely because the person telling me this thought all females look bad with short hair.

Spoiler alert: I cut it anyway and received more compliments on my hair than I have in my entire life. I had a new found confidence and freedom, a sophisticated look that better suited my personality.

The initial skeptic still wasn’t happy, and I of course encountered others opposed to the look. They couldn’t believe I chopped off my “beautiful long hair,” and seemed personally offended by the choice, like how dare I make a decision about my appearance without their approval? The nerve I had to choose short hair when others would’ve killed for my long hair.Fall '138

Here’s the deal with all the hair haters: it’s none of anyone’s business what I, or anyone else, decides to do with their hair. Short hair might not be your favorite thing, but that doesn’t mean somebody with a shorter cut is any less beautiful for choosing it. And maybe you wouldn’t want long hair that dangles all the way down to your butt, but some people do, and they like it that way.

There’s no need to judge someone on the street because they dyed their hair a hundred hues of pink, purple, and green. People are so quick to cry, “How unprofessional!” Or “What was he/she thinking?” I’ll tell you what they were thinking: this is something I want to do, and I’m going to do it for me. Their personality is not suddenly less mature or professional because their hair color changed. I mean, think about that for a second. Some people just love to experiment, and maybe those against it are just envious that they don’t have the guts to do so too.

On a similar note, if somebody wants to do absolutely nothing with their hair for their entire life, that’s totally cool too. There’s no law that says you have to constantly chop and color according to the latest trend.

We’re in 2014 now, and an ultra-short cut doesn’t have to be any less feminine than long locks on a chick; nor does flowing hair on a guy need to be less manly than a buzz cut. Sometimes, the other extreme fits your lifestyle better, and that’s what your choice should be about, not gender norms. I workout and sweat everyday, so short hair’s a breeze for me, plus it suits the shape of my face. Another girl might prefer long hair she can constantly style differently.

Guys, it’s hair. It grows, it changes, and mostly, it just hangs there. Do what you want with it, whatever makes you feel beautiful, and don’t let anyone else make you feel any less so.

UC changed me

Mar 24, 2014 | Author: Juwan Wilson

My freshmen year is coming to a close and has cliché as this may sound , utica college has changed me for the better. Although my stay has just begun this small but not so small place has taught me knowledge yes within the classroom but also knowledge outside of equations , writing skills and all the other occupational skills we hope to acquire when we enter college. This knowledge that was provided to me was about me. It seems crazy but Utica College provided me with knowledge about myself.
I know that sounds even crazier that a place especially a institution taught me about myself and none of the information that was taught has anything to do with books but UC did just that. It provided me with new friends that help provide me with something new. By new I mean poetry events , monologues , talent shows , forms , fraternities , sororities , walks for different causes and so many different things I really don’t have the time to speak about. Before I stepped foot on utica college campus I was all about football and only football. With these new influences on my life I’m now about football , poetry , owning my own fashion company , writing blogs and yes making sure that my grades are where they need to be. I’m thankful for this new thought process UC has given me. And I guess the saying is true “when you think you know everything about yourself you learn something else … It just takes the right time , people and place to revel it”

Ally Week: How Utica College’s Gay-Straight Alliance is Spreading Equality

Mar 4, 2014 | Author: MaryEllen Fitzgerald-Bord

March 3rd-7th is Ally Week here at Utica College! Throughout the week (Monday, Wednesday, and Friday) the Gay-Straight alliance will be posted outside the caf from 12-2. There you can find a photoshoot area, complete with rainbow flag, where you can take your very own “No H8″ picture.

(My own “No H8″  ally picture.)

The concept of the photoshoot comes from the successful campaign venture started in California, by the No H8 campaign organization, in protest of “Proposition 8.” Proposition 8 was a state constitutional amendment by the state of California which, many felt, violated the rights of LGBTQIA individuals. The proposition was passed in 2008, and then ruled unconstitutional in 2010. Despite the proposition no longer being relevant, the idea behind the campaign still remains valid: Equality.

(No H8 supporters, Francis S. Bartkowiak and Georgie Archundia)

The club encourages EVERYONE to come out and show your support; support for the equality of ALL people. The emphasis is on “Ally” week, however, and if you are an individual that identifies as straight, you are equally encouraged to come take a picture!

(Karita Rawlins, Courtney Hryniowski, and Me: Straight Allies)

(Jesse Haggerty, Proud GSA Member)

So come on out this week (March 3rd-7th) and help encourage people to love, and live, freely.

 

The Blame Game Won’t Fix Negative Female Body Images

Feb 5, 2014 | Author: Colleen Bierstine

short and fat pooh

In one of my communication classes, we have a lot of interesting discussions about gender differences and the effects of these differences on American society. In one of our conversations the other day, I watched the blame game play out: men vs. women arguing over whose fault it is that women feel pressured to meet an impossible physical appearance standard.

It’s no secret that these body image issues are particularly prevalent in college-age women. Eating disorders are frighteningly common among college students, and according to Brown University, “74.4% of the normal-weight women stated that they thought about their weight or appearance ‘all the time’ or ‘frequently.’”

Photo by Brittney Sabo

Photo by Brittney Sabo

But can we really say this is because men have unrealistic expectations of women, or conversely, that women pressure each other into looking a certain way?

As I watched my classmates go back and forth defending their own gender and condemning the other, I realized herein lies the problem. If all we ever do is declare that the fault belongs to someone else, then we ourselves will never change.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my short 20 years, it’s that you cannot change people who don’t want to change. The most you can do is work on improving yourself.

Of course, changing yourself isn’t much easier than changing someone else. In the past year, I have done a lot of work on self-improvement – not physically per se, but mentally. I used to be like many other women who look at 6-foot, stick thin models and flawless celebrities and felt the crushing self-criticism as I analyzed every difference, every thing I thought I lacked.

I’m 5’1″ and not stick-thin. I knew I couldn’t change my height, but I thought losing weight was the most important thing in the world. Slowly, I have been trying to change this mentality. I am trying to accept my body as unique and beautiful for what it is. It’s a simple enough concept, but an incredibly difficult process, and it’s easy to fall off track.

Here is the thing that fashion magazines don’t tell us: we’re all built differently; our bodies don’t do the same things. You and I could have the same diet and workout regime, and still look drastically different.

If you think about it, it’s sort of ridiculous that we should find one very specific body type beautiful when there is such a rainbow of body types out there. Why not embrace all the differences?

Everyone, including men, needs to try to join me in this process of changing our own thoughts. Don’t worry about anyone else right now; just concentrate on you. Start looking at your body differently, and when you feel those negative thoughts coming, remember that there are parts of you that other people are jealous of. Your beauty is different from everyone else’s, and that’s what makes you so incredible.

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Remember to be realistic. You can beat yourself up endlessly for not having longer legs, but is that going to change anything? Stop fighting yourself, because the second you start working what you’ve got, you’ll become exponentially more beautiful.

It’s all much easier said than done, but the first step to improving society’s feelings toward female body image is reevaluating our own thoughts first. The next time you look at a female and start picking out what’s “wrong” with her, stop and ask why you’re doing that. Is there really anything wrong with her, or is that just what you’ve been made to think? Are you just jealous of things she has that you don’t?

And don’t forget to include your own body in this. Unless your “problem” is endangering your health, it’s not a “problem” at all.

Change how you think; it’s infectious – others will follow.

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Culture Shock 2.0: Ridiculous Questions I’ve Been Asked as a Foreigner

Nov 22, 2013 | Author: Ghedion Behonegne

I’ve been told that as an international student, I am an ambassador for my country, an educator if you will. I accept both of these roles graciously, and I am always happy to share information and insights with anyone willing to listen.

However, I’ve been asked too many questions that border on ridiculous and negligent.  In an attempt to clear up some of the mystery surrounding my origins (And point and make fun of some of the more ridiculous questions) I will share some of the most common and ludicrous questions I’ve been asked.

Note: These are all real questions I’ve been asked by students in my 3 years here. Pinky promise.

Did you see lions on the way to school? Given the reputation for animal tourism that countries in Africa have attained, this is completely understandable (Just as I assume that kangaroos roam the streets of Australia, just hopping about). However, lions and other wildlife are often secluded to wild and rural areas. They tend to avoid people and occasionally will come into contact with farmers and their livestock (Cows tend to make delicious and easy prey). Next one.

Did you have a door? What? Firstly, this is so randomly specific I can’t even begin to understand what would lead someone to wonder about this. Maybe this person had their doors removed from their bedroom as some sort of punishment for bad behavior and, in their desolate and self-pitying state, their friends reassured them by telling them that kids in Africa grew up without doors all the time and turned out just fine. I digress, but seriously though, what? Yes, of course we had doors. And windows. And roofs. And EVEN FURNITURE!! Mind blowing, I know.

Are you two from the same tribe? This question was directed to me (Ethiopian) and one of my Nigerian teammates. The response to which was a blank stare and a somewhat gaped jaw. This question was asked in locker room after practice where banter and obscenities are thicker than the air. This question managed to elicit complete and utter silence. Perhaps the rest of them were just wondering the same thing.. But alas, no. Our countries are separated by half the continent and thousands of miles.

Did you have an elephant? I’ll take blame when it is deserved. This question stemmed from a rumor that I (In my devious ways) had devised for my own amusement. It started off when I had a picture posted on facebook of me feeding an elephant. Someone then asked me if they ate a lot, and “whew, they must be expensive to feed”. Instead of taking my usual course and explaining some of the stereotypes of Africa aren’t necessarily always true, I decided that some fun was to be had out of this situation. So I named my elephant Rosie and always shared stories of how gentle and friendly she was. How she would always give me rides to far away villages and so on.

Disclaimer: I don’t actually have an elephant, and I didn’t live in a village.

Did you go to school in trees? This person obviously had some pretty weird misconceptions about the schooling system in Africa. I mean how impractical would it be to have to go to school in a tree? Would you have to walk (swing) to other classes? Would each class be on a different branch? If so, how many students could you fit onto a single branch? Logistics man, there are just too many technical issues to figure out here.

Did you have to kill a lion when you were 13 to prove you were a man? I attribute this question to the commonly told story of the Maasai. The Maasai are a remote tribe in Kenya who are famous for their picturesque dressing and rites of passage. One of these rituals involves boys from the ages of 10-15 grouping up and hunting a male lion with only spears to prove their bravery and fearlessness. Fortunately (for the lion), I never endured such a test of my brittle.

How’d you speak English so good? Went to an international school, listened.

Doesn’t it take long to get home?  Yes, two 7 hour flights.

Are you Indian? I’m Ethiopian, but I can understand the confusion. Ethiopians have a distinct set of physical features that are atypical of  most of Africa (Barring Somalia, Eritrea and Djibouti). These include but are not limited to: fairer complexions, high cheek bones, large foreheads, thin noses and large eyes.

Ethiopia in Map of Africa