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
Hey guys, how are you doing? This week is a major week for all those people who just want one night to be something other than who they really are. Yes, it’s that time again: Halloween!!! So go to Party City, Walmart, or any place that sells costumes, and get ready for a great week at UC.
Last year, I was thinking that Halloween at college is not even celebrated; it’s just another day. But I was so wrong. People really go all out, but it’s cool and fun. I really advise you guys to go out this weekend with your fellow UC student and have fun.
People tend to get comfortable with the status quo, but change happens all the time. Change is the reason life in 2014 is so awesome (and I’ll just assume the History Department will agree with me on this one). Change is natural, inevitable and hopefully it’s not as scary as you think.
For example, think about life when you first arrived at UC. For most of us, it’s the first taste of independence and therefore, the most freedom we’ve ever had. Living on campus probably means you’re far from home, so you left old friends and family to start all over again in a new environment.
So now you’ve been on campus for a while. Whether a while means a few weeks or a few years, Utica College has gone through quite a few changes as well. Sometimes we don’t notice because it can seem trivial in the moment. We might be too busy thinking about the cute girl (or guy) in our class and when that next paper is due. There’s nothing wrong with that, but smaller changes have a compound effect over time, and then you realize life on campus really has changed.
Alumni of the past decade, for example, witnessed the ECJS Building and Romano Hall go up. Some of us will be fortunate enough to see some very big changes, such as the forever-wished-for addition of the dome.
If you’re new to the UC community, just know that a few years from now, the campus will look and feel different. As a fifth-year senior, UC has changed a lot. But it only makes sense, right? Our motto is Never Stand Still, after all.
This whole change thing is probably easiest to explain if I paint a picture of what life was like when I was a freshman. It was Fall of 2010, and I was looking extra fresh with my lanyard and the blue UC Class of 2014 shirt (time flies because it’s crazy to think the new shirts say 2018…).
Anyway, the following is a list of random things that have changed since my first semester at UC:
My hair. Two afros in four years that I grew out for a whole semester each time. I don’t know if I’ll ever feel like doing that again, but at least it was fun while it lasted.
No Wi-Fi in your room. Can you imagine that? Only the main lounges of the Residence Halls had Wi-Fi, at best. Unless you had a data plan on your smartphone, the only way you could access the Internet from your room was by plugging an ethernet cable into your laptop or video game console. I still had a dumbphone at this point, but the coolest thing out at the time was the iPhone 4. Bell Hall was the first to receive Wi-Fi in Spring 2011. By Fall 2011, all of the rooms on campus had Wi-Fi.
R.I.P. Mellow Moose. Mellow Moose was the coolest place on campus, but it no longer exists. The new Campus Safety Office used to be a coffee house that was basically a mini-Tramontane Cafe (highly recommended place, FYI). The atmosphere was quiet enough to study, but also comfortable and laid back enough to hang out.
Even though it was right in the middle of campus, Mellow Moose had such a distinct energy to it that it felt like you were off campus. At one point, Mellow Moose sold milkshakes, bagels, halfmoon cookies, brownies and other goodies. Mellow Moose was the place for open mics, board games, group meetings and other small-scale events.
Students worked there and you could use your declining balance to buy snacks. Unfortunately, the College felt that the space was seldom used and decided to close Mellow Moose down. It tried to make a return as an arcade room, but that flopped.
Common Grounds. That’s right. This was under construction in Fall 2010. I always wondered what the construction in the library was all about back then. I’m not much of a coffee person, but Common Grounds is clutch, especially during Finals Week. Now that I think about it, the launch of Common Grounds made Mellow Moose a redundant business. I still miss that Mellow Moose atmosphere, though. So chill. Anyway, the only gripe against Common Grounds is that it could stay open an hour or two later on weekdays.
Track & Field facilities. It’s awesome when hockey players go off campus to practice, especially after the $1 million makeover courtesy of the Utica Comets. When track has to go off campus, it sucks. Although the campus still awaits a track, UC took a step in the right direction in building an outdoor throwing and jumping facility in 2011. Soon enough, track & field athletes will have everything they need on campus. In all honesty, it’s crazy how good the track & field teams have been considering the lack of facilities the program has dealt with.
Campus Safety. Wayne, Bruce, Rick and those golf carts have been here forever. Now that I’m actually thinking about it, the Officers enjoyed a small change to their uniform last year. Campus Safety Officers get to wear short sleeves during summer months, which we all know lasts about 48 hours a year.
Themed Housing was new. If I remember correctly, the only themed housing that existed my freshman year was Health & Wellness and the Global Village. In Fall 2011, the Global Village was in Tower Hall, and after that, it has stayed in Boehlert. Residence Life once had themed housing in Alumni Hall. Once. Now, most of the themed floors are in South Hall, such as UDiscover and UBalance.
Dining was different. There was no such thing as the sandwich line. The way you’d make sandwiches on the weekend was how you made them every day back in Fall 2010. The sandwich line used to be the “Fresh & Healthy” station, where you could have custom orders of stir fried food every day. The dining services were provided by Aramark, a company UC had partnered with for over 30 years. Honestly, the stir fry was the only highlight in the Dining Commons, which is why Sodexo took over in Spring 2011. Hiring Sodexo has been one of the best things the administration has done in the time I’ve been here.
The return of the Pioneer Pub. Before Fall 2011, there had been no campus pub for 26 years! The area where the pub is was an empty corner with a pool table that nobody used. On the bright side, back then you could actually use the back door to Pio. That was really convenient if you were coming from the Athletic Center, the fields or the Residence Halls. As a result, the back door was probably used more often than the front door. Without a liquor license, Sodexo couldn’t sell any alcohol. In other words, Fall 2011 was the semester of free booze on campus. Too bad I wasn’t 21 at the time… Anyway, way to take one for the team, Sodexo.
Speaking of Pio… The renovation to all of Pio was very much needed. There were no TVs and no booth seating. Renovating Pio, an important hangout spot on campus, was definitely a wise move by UC. The electronic menus that were added this past summer is also a nice touch. I just have one request: can we please keep Subway open until 11 p.m. every day?
Other renovations and changes worth mentioning. Gordon Science Center. Most of the Residence Halls. The library. The trading room with a live stock ticker. The canopy atop the pressbox. The transition to Google from Sun Microsystems. The new stadium turf… I can go on, but you get my point.
The people. The most interesting changes, in my humble opinion, happen to be the people on our campus. Hopefully, one day you will wake up as a senior and realize you’re not the same person who walked around campus for the first time with fresh lanyards.
Many people come and go. Mistakes are made and lessons are learned. People you never saw or spoke to during your freshman year might be your best friends at Commencement. A lot will change during your time at Utica College, mostly for the better. Just know that you as a person will grow and change with each footstep you take on this ever-changing campus.
real random post but i love the campus security at UC like here mad cool i mean i know at other places there might be some conflict but here there really cool i mean don’t get me wrong like they don’t pay games when it comes to breaking the rules but other than that they really respect you as a person and give you respect. I really have a great relationship with these women and man. i’m really thankful for having these people in my life to not only keep me safe but to talk with and share my concerns with. i just thought i should really let you guys know about the great job that this campus security really does thank you
A picture from one of my events to the Syracuse Zoo
For the past two years I have been apart of a great leadership opportunity here at Utica College: being a Resident Assistant. During my first year I never contemplated the idea of becoming an RA, the idea of being in charge of two dozen people and creating events every month seemed like a lot of work to me. But during the Fall semester of my second year something amazing happened, the residence life department ran out of alternative RAs and a position opened up so they were scrambling to fill the position as quickly as possible. A few of the Area Coordinators met and through out names of student leaders on campus that could be a good fit for the position and my name came up. I received an email to come meet with the staff about the position. When I read the email, I did not know what to do. Did I really want to do this? I don’t really know all the duties of an RA so I guess I should at least go find out. So, I went to the interview. After the interview, I was hired and I do not regret that decision at all. I love being an RA. I get to meet so many individuals and create so many bonds with my residence on my floor and other people who live in the residence hall. Besides that, I get to see my residence grow and I get to be apart of the welcoming atmosphere of Utica College. I would suggest anyone to apply and become a student leader.
Now, I would like to take a moment to tell you some facts about being an RA:
1) Not every student is going to appreciate the things you do for them, and sometimes they will judge you unfairly.
As much as we would like to be appreciated and on friendly terms with each and every resident, that is an unrealistic vision. People in the halls may not like you. People in your own community may not like you. These views may have nothing to do with you personally, but the role you have as a student authority figure. Being a Resident Assistant puts you in a position to not be liked. Be fair, kind, and caring towards others, and you will find that the majority of residents will respect and care about you in return.
2) Do events that the residents want to do.
The only want to get your residence to come to your events is to do events that interest them. If your residence do not want to go to the museums but instead would rather go play laser tag, well, you better put in a proposal for laser tag. You will have a better turn out, and your residents will appreciate that you are doing things that they want to do. If you don’t know what your residence want to do, then ASK THEM. Take 20 minutes out of your day and go to each room on your floor and ask your residence what things they would like to do. Remind them that the events are free.
3) Be clever with your advertisements
It is very hard to get residence to go to educational events, so, put up flyers that are clever and make the residents think the event is about something else than it actually is. For example, if you are going to teach your residents about planting, put up a flyer that reads “Pot Party.” What do you think the residence will think the event is about? To get good turn outs you have to be creative!!
4) Make connections with your residences
The only way to make your residence respect you is to talk to them. It may not seem like they care, but talking to your residences once in a while allows them to feel comfortable with you and you will see that they will respect you more when you have to write them up for breaking the rules…
So even through the hours of training, piles of paperwork, numerous meetings, lock outs at 4 in the morning and the stress of busting underage parties in the residence halls; being an RA has been a great part of my college experience, this position has allowed me to grow as a student leader.
I hope you all liked my first blog. Please let me know what you think!
When I mentioned to friends and coworkers what I was planning on doing, they called me a looney. Told me it was madness. I must be ill!
What exactly did I do, you ask?
I, voluntarily, took 16 18-year-olds on a six-hour trip to the mall. And it was AWESOME.
As I mentioned in my first post, I’m an RA for a themed community for first-year students. Whereas the zoo trip went along with the ULive floor theme for biology majors, this trip was for my own community: UBalance. In UBalance, we focus on healthy living from head-to-toe.
So when my partner-in-crime and fellow UBalance RA Sam came to me with an idea to take our floors to Destiny USA for the ropes course, WonderWorks and shopping (in the name of mental health and learning, of course), I was all for it.
On Wednesday, we loaded up two 12-passenger vans and set out for Syracuse.
Destiny USA is pretty overwhelming. It’s basically four thousand stories and has every store/restaurant you could ever need (except a Chipotle. I am still sad about this.)
But even the open-plan, enormous, fully Christmas-ified interior of the mall didn’t make me half as hysterical as this did:
This is where the fun begins.
WonderWorks is probably the coolest place I’ve ever been. I don’t want to ruin the surprises, but they have a lot of neat things like anti-gravity space machines, roller coaster simulators, a BUBBLE LAB and lots of other exhibits. But, in order to get to the WonderWorks exhibits, I had to conquer a few fears.
If you’ve been to Destiny USA, you’ve no doubt noticed the 7-year-olds sprinting from obstacle to obstacle above your head while parents cling to support ropes and mutter obscenities. Kidding. Kinda. If you’ve never been, you’re walking across various rope and beam obstacle while suspended over anywhere between 1-3 floors of the mall, depending on the part of the course.
We were all very excited. Especially these two.
This is George and Kelsey showing off their “very-excited”/”we-are-totally-not-about-to-die” faces.
It was a lot of fun! You never actually unclip from the beam your harness is attached to like with some ropes courses, so after exploring for a bit, everyone gets daring. I did a few obstacles with no hands!
Picture included because this girl looks eerily just like me. But it’s not me. But it could be. So that’s weird. Also, pro tip: Don’t wear converse when attempting the course. I almost slipped to my doom a few times.
Everyone pretty much had free reign, which is part of the reason I thought this trip went so well! You could spend a little time on the ropes course, browse WonderWorks, eat, shop–whatever!
Or, you could do what me and Cody did, which was get froyo and then scour the mall to find his face. Success.
He is so cool.
Overall, it was a great trip! Living on campus can have drawbacks (I still miss/talk to my mom basically everyday), but I’ve been able to do a lot of awesome things that I never would’ve been able to do otherwise! Exploring the area has expanded my knowledge on a lot of things, too! Like, for instance, I now think ropes courses should be mandatory in all malls. All of them. It is our RIGHT. Well, not really, but I want it.
The great thing about this trip was that everyone that attended is part of the UBalance community. In a themed community, you have the opportunity to do things you’re really, truly interested in with people you connect with outside of the fact you attend the same school. It’s like forcing people to be your friend!!! Except significantly more successful than when I try to do it.
Living at UC, you’re really close to a lot of great places. It would be a shame to never see them, right?
Ok, it’s your turn!
Are you a fan of ropes courses? If you’ve never tried one, would you?
Have you ever visited WonderWorks before?
Do you like Cody’s glamour shot on that banner?!? Because I do.
Today I walked into North Hall and came across an interesting sight: There was a table set up in the lounge with a large amount of Oreo cookies. On one side of the table were two white students, and on the other side, two black students. It turned out that I had stumbled upon an event called “Black and White Fight” hosted by brothers of Phi Beta Sigma. It was an eating contest where the student who could finish all the Oreo cookies first would win $50. I stayed and watched as the competition began, and people in attendance began to cheer for their “color.”
The purpose of the event was to address the segregation that is sometimes seen on campus, not just between races, but also between sports teams and social clubs. After the Oreo eating contest, everyone got involved in a deep discussion about mental enslavement and how we naturally separate ourselves from people who are not like us. After the event, people commented on how they thought it was interesting and a great way to get people who do not normally interact to engage in something meaningful.
I also got to eat some Oreo cookies!
Shout out to Adalbert De La Cruz, and all the brothers of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc.