“The Rockys” Celebrate Campus Leadership

Each spring, the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership recognize undergraduate students and organizations that have made significant contributions to campus life. Nominated by faculty, staff, and peers, Student Life Award recipients represent diverse interests, talents, and accomplishments but are united in their strength in leadership, fervor for engagement in campus life, and their aim to be a positive influence on peers, all of which help the campus community become ever better.

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This year, the awards, also referred to as the “The Rockys,” went to 18 undergraduates and 4 student organizations. “I think the winners represent a large demographic that follows their passions and gives back to others in all sorts of ways,” said Ed Feldman, associate director of leadership programs at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership and chair of the selection committee. “With over 200 organizations on campus, students have the resources and capacity to be part of something bigger than just themselves,” he added.  Feldman believes that the leadership opportunities on campus provide students with a means to create and promote positive social change in the immediate community and beyond.

Friends, family, and colleagues of the honorees were invited to an intimate awards reception, which also was attended by University administrators and campus leaders. All the winning students and organizations received engraved glass trophies and certificates.

Active Minds was honored as this year’s Outstanding Student Organization.  For co-president Hayley Harnicher ’15, the most rewarding experience has been being able to watch Active Minds grow as a presence on campus through the expansion of its programming.  “Although we have done a lot, we cannot wait to continue the momentum we’ve gained to continue bringing impactful programming to our community; just as an example, this Wednesday, April 22nd, we will have our final event of the semester – the Garden of Hope,” said Harnicher.

This upcoming event will display 1,100 yellow pinwheels to represent the 1,100 college students who die by suicide every year.  Active Minds hopes that this will empower students to start conversations and break the silence in order to further mitigate rates of suicide on college campuses.

Madeline Freeman ‘15 received this year’s Simeon Cheatham Award for her service specific to the development of children.  Freeman worked as a research assistant in Laura Wray-Lake’s lab for optimal social development, and her background as a psychology major has driven her to provide aid to children with developmental disabilities.  “I’ve learned that a strengths-based approach to academic education and emotional welfare is really the most effective,” she said.

Freeman has been able to apply this knowledge through her service in music, art, and movement therapy for children at the Mt. Hope Family Center, Hochstein School of Music, and the Boston Center. “I enjoyed putting what I learned in lab in action through service.”  Looking forward, Freeman hopes to pursue a career in clinical psychology.

 

Individual Awards:

Stephaun   Magnifique   Adil

Andrew Fried Prize: Stephaun Ward

Established by friends and family in 1961 in memory of Andrew Norman Fried, class of 1961. This prize is awarded to the man who, upon completion of his freshman year, has shown outstanding qualities of character, superior moral judgment, and interest in serving his fellow students.

Delno Sisson Prize: Magnifique Nsengimana

In 1957, this award was established by a gift from Delno Sisson, class of 1966. This prize is awarded annually to the freshman who has shown the most improvement not only in academic work, but also in adjusting to college life and the student body.

Award for Freshman Leadership: Adil Ali

This award recognizes an exceptional man or woman of the freshman class who has motivated his or her fellow classmates to become actively involved in the campus community.

Elizana   Arnold   Wier

Eli & Mildred Sokol Prize: Elizana-Marie Joseph

This award was established in 1985 by a gift from Eli and Mildred Sokol, class of 1933. This prize is awarded to a sophomore who has emerged as a leader who can be expected to contribute significantly to the welfare of his or her fellow students in the next two years.

Award for Campus Contributions: Abigail Arnold ‘16 and Ryan Wier ‘15

Two awards, one each presented to a junior and senior class member who has made significant contributions to the University community, including, but not limited to, campus life, academic achievement and leadership, and community service. The award winner will have promoted and demonstrated excellence in all aspects of their college experience.

David   Andrew   Alap

Seth H. & Harriet Terry Prize: David Markakis

Established in 1928 as a gift from Seth H. Terry, class of 1883, in memory of his parents. This award is given to the male member of the senior class who, by his industry, character and honorable conduct, has done the most for the life and character of the undergraduate community.

Percy Dutton Prize: Andrew Psarris

This prize was established in 1946 as a gift from Percy Dutton. This award is given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students.

Award for Outstanding Fraternity and Sorority Leadership: Alap Patel

This award recognizes the positive contributions fraternities and sororities make to the campus community. It is awarded to a fraternity or sorority member who has led with integrity within their fraternal organization while also making significant contributions to the greater campus community.

Antoin   Duncan   alesa

Rob Rouzer Award for Excellence in Student Government Leadership: Antoinette Esce and Duncan Graham

Established in honor of his 28 years of service to the University of Rochester, the Rob Rouzer Award is conferred annually to a student affiliated with either of the three branches of the Students’ Association Government who has shown immense integrity and perseverance in striving to improve student life and welfare

Logan R. Hazen Award for Outstanding Contributions to Residential Life: Alesa Yuodsnukis

This award is given annually to the student who has “made significant contributions to the community and experience of students living in undergraduate residence halls. This student, through his or her actions, leadership, and innovation has promoted community through respect, fairness, and inclusion.”

Rachel   Rutul   Abhi

Award for Athletic Leadership: Rachel Honard

This award recognizes the positive contributions athletes make to the campus community. It is awarded to a student athlete who has demonstrated leadership within their club or varsity sport while also making significant contributions to other aspects of campus life.

Presidential Award for Community Service: Rutul Amin

Established by the Dean of Students in 1990 to recognize University students who are committed to community service. Given to a senior for outstanding participation and leadership in service to the community beyond the campus, this award recognizes a student who has worked selflessly and effectively in addressing social causes. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, improving literacy, reducing hunger and hopelessness, providing legal or medical assistance to the needy, and serving as a mentor.

Entrepreneurship Award: Abhishek Sharma

The award for entrepreneurship is given to a student, or group of students, who has turned an idea into a venture that benefited others. The recipient will have demonstrated individual initiative and knowledge through awareness of markets and attention to the needs of others.

Anansa   Tori   Maddie

Michael Lowenstein Memorial Award: Anansa Benbow

This award, named for Michael Lowenstein, class of 1960 is presented to the University of Rochester River Campus undergraduate who deepens student, faculty, and community awareness of existing social, racial, or political inequities. This undergraduate through his/her words and actions has endeavored to promote the ideals which Michael cherished. Michael sought to give a fresh view of things around us, to focus upon issues, to probe deeply using fact and objectivity and to open a dialogue with the community to find some answers.

Transfer Student Award: Tori Saldivia

This award, recognizing the unique role of transfer students to the campus community, is given to a student who transferred with sophomore standing or above, and has completed a full year of study at the University. The recipient will have demonstrated a quick, successful, and seamless transition to the institution and will have taken full advantage of his or her time spent at the University.

Simeon Cheatham Award: Madeline Freeman

Established in the 1970s by the Office of the Dean of Students to recognize outstanding University of Rochester students. This award is given to a student who has outstanding qualities in devotion to community service and to growth and development of children.

SAIC

The Communal Principles Award: Students’ Association for Interfaith Cooperation (SAIC)

Established by the Office of the Dean of Students during the 2011-2012 academic year, this award is given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. These principles include Fairness, Freedom, Honesty, Inclusion, Respect, and Responsibility. One of these six principles will be highlighted annually and the recipient will have demonstrated qualities that exemplify the principles and/or created programming and activities related to this year’s Communal Principle: Inclusion.

Student Organization and Programming Awards:

Excellence in Programming: Eastman Freshman Class Council

This Excellence in Programming Award recognizes a student organization or group, either formal or informal, for its exceptional creativity, planning, and execution of a University program. Criteria upon which decisions are based include appeal to a broad cross-section of the University community, originality, and participation by members of the organization during all phases of the effort.

Outstanding Student Organization Award: Active Minds

Awarded to a student organization that has gone beyond the bounds of their membership by helping to create a positive campus environment for all students.

Award for Excellence in Creative Co-Sponsorship: Sigma Delta Tau Sorority

Established in 2004, the Award recognizes a program that was co-sponsored by a minimum of two organizations or groups. The cosponsored program should have been a new effort, one that brought together different facets of campus, and which served to build and strengthen the campus community.

UR Equestrian Trots to Success

I sat down with Emma Pollock ’16, Sarah Markowitz ’16, and Yiyun Chen ’15 to discuss their experiences in the UR Equestrian club.

“One thing people don’t always realize is that it’s a dangerous sport,” Pollock pointed out. “Also, horseback riding is an expensive activity.” However, the rising senior wanted to stress the openness of the organization.  “Anyone can join. The club is truly open to anybody. If you’ve never ridden before, you’re welcome to come.”

UR Equestrian is an overarching organization that is open to the student body; within, the organization, there is a competitive club sports team.  Members of both the club and team take weekly riding lessons, but only the team goes on to compete at shows hosted by the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA).

“Each semester, we always have at least one lesson, with at least six people that have never ridden before.”  All beginners have the opportunity to join the team after a semester of experience.

The team rides out of Way Farm in Penfield, NY.  Members are taught by coach Peggy Gauger and the farm’s barn owner, Guy Kaplin. In one weekly lesson group, each student rides once a week. Though team members only ride once a week for one hour, it is quite impressive that they can still compete against teams that typically practice for many more hours per week. Some competitors are Nazareth, Cornell, and Alfred – a division one team. Those are the big three, where riding is treated as a varsity sport, funded by the universities.A standard competition day begins with an early morning drive.  Past competitions have taken the group to Alfred and Cornell.  Aside from basic travel amenities, the most important part of packing includes remembering the quintessentially equestrian outfit.  “This means tall boots, breeches, show shirt, show jacket, and a proper helmet as well,” said Markowitz.

This year, Pollock got a chance to ride a horse that she didn’t have a good ride on last year. The grey horse, named Gandalf, is a favorite to many riders. “I did significantly better when I rode him this time versus my ride last semester. It’s really cool that you can see yourself progress, and see how well you do,” she said.

The IHSA takes riding, usually an individual sport, and turns it into a team sport. In a given division, each competitor competes for individual accolades as well as for an overall team score. At the beginning of the show, before anyone knows what horse they’re riding, the coach and the captains discuss who’s going to represent the team for each division.

The sport truly brings people together.

The team has recently made a point to foster social relations with other outside of the club and team activities. Markowitz said, “We enjoy going out to dinner, hanging out with each other, and bonding.  This includes movie nights, parties, and study dates; we’re just really trying to do activities, which gives our social chair a reason to be more active.” “All of my best friends are on the equestrian team,” said Pollock.  “I’m living with 3 of them next year, so I’m really excited.”

According to Chen, “I think the best part of this group is the support that we have for each other. We are a team, through the good times and bad, and we support each other. We are at different levels, but we help each other out. We can see ourselves progress with each other.”

The team’s biggest goal is to become a varsity sport. Although current prospects are dim, Pollock still retains hope. “We just hope to have it happen for future club and team members, because it would help us so much to be funded and to be able to have those advantages that the other universities have.”  Last year, they came in fourth in the region, and only grew from there.  This year at regionals, they took second, right behind Cornell.   “It’s outrageous to think about it. We used to have very few people, just a handful of riders, only a few of them were actually decent,” mued Markowitz.  “A few years ago, nobody knew about us (‘University of what?’) and now, people know who we are.”

Coming out of nowhere, the U of R team is fresh out of the gates and quickly becoming a well-known competitive force. “Cornell has been, for years, untouchable, and now we’ve shown that we can catch them,” said Markowitz.  “We’ve come close, and even beaten them at some competitions.”  Looking forward, the Equestrian team hopes to ride this string of victories into even greater fields of possibility and success.

Building fun with UR Makers

By Bob Marcotte
University Communications

Chris Smith has been taking things apart and putting them back together again since he was eight years old.

“For Christmas I got an air compressor. Most kids get an Xbox,” he joked. “It’s always been hands on for me.” Now the freshman in Mechanical Engineering is sharing his skills with fellow UR students as a member of – and mentor for — a new club on campus.

The goal of UR Makers is to bring together engineering, arts, and sciences students who like to design and build things – and want to learn how to use a variety of tools as they do so. Not for a class. Not for credit. Just for the fun of it.

Their playground: The fabrication lab in Rettner Hall, with its state-of-the-art 3D printers, brand new Smithy 3 in 1 drill/mill/lathe machines, and plenty of space to spread out in, accessible 24/7.

“We think there’s a real opportunity here to fill a niche that’s not currently filled,” said club leader Sarah Harari, a junior in Computer Science and Digital Media Studies. “There’s no other space on campus where students of different majors can really work together to build whatever comes to mind.”

The club, still in its first year, has already sponsored:

  • a “retro tear down” event, during which members took apart an aging computer monitor and other obsolete equipment donated by the University.
  • a mouse trap car race night
  • tech talks on a variety of topics.
  • Lego Robotics Night
  • an Arduino Workshop
  • 3D Modeling and Printing Workshops

Currently, club members are finishing up a cabinet with shelves and a plexiglass sign with the club’s name, illuminated with LED lighting. They will be displayed in the space UR Makers has been assigned in a corner of the lab. It is part of the club’s effort “to get our name out there,” Harari explained.

“We want to have multiple projects going on, that students can work on during the week (the club currently meets 4-6 p.m. each Sunday),” Harari added. “We want them to feel this is a space where they can come in and bounce ideas off other students and meet with people who have different skill sets.”During a recent Sunday meeting, everyone got a chance to use various tools.

urmakers_dremel

For example, Lia Klein, a sophomore in Computer Science, wielded a dremel tool to etch the outline of the club’s name in the plexiglass sign. She had never used a dremel before she joined the club and received a 45-minute introduction to basic tools and safety with Jim Alkins, Rettner Hall’s Senior Laboratory Engineer who formerly headed a machine shop, as part of Research and Development at Kodak.

“I didn’t really even know we had something at the school where you could use all the power tools for free and come in whenever you wanted,” Klein said. “And I feel like they’re really treating us like adults, which I appreciate.”

She hopes that, after working on a few projects with UR Makers, “I might gain the confidence and ability to do some projects on my own, and build stuff for my dorm room.”

In a nearby room, Steven Broida joyfully exchanged high fives with Caulin Nelson as the freshmen in Mechanical Engineering successfully cut notches in the cabinet, then fit shelves into them. This was Broida’s first experience using a power saw. “I’m learning as I use it,” he said proudly.

UR Makers is open to students of all majors and interests, regardless of experience. Click here to learn more or e-mail URmakersclub@gmail.com

Red Paperclip Challenge: Sparking Entrepreneurial Interest

A collaboration of student groups, led by Spark Entrepreneurs, hopes to inspire a spirit of creativity and ingenuity on the River Campus with an upcoming competition.  The Red Paperclip Challenge, also supported by Susan B. Anthony Hall Council, Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity, Undergraduate Finance and Economics Council, and WRUR, intends to push students to create innovative outcomes from meager beginnings.

The competition was inspired by Kyle MacDonald, a young man who obtained a two-story farmhouse through a series of fourteen online trades, starting with just one red paperclip.  MacDonald’s entrepreneurial stint evolved into an internet company that promotes business ventures and social adventures with unconventional trajectories.

Spark Entrepreneurs, the hosting group, is a community of students with interests in entrepreneurship and business innovation.  The group provides internal, educational events that helps its members grow and learn as young entrepreneurs. They also schedule social events to network with those who are outside the group. Spark also hosts community events with the goal of improving the skills of existing entrepreneurs and exposing the campus community to the culture of startups.

The Red Paperclip Challenge aims to spark innovation and creative problem solving on campus.  It hopes to promote a new understanding of entrepreneurship, assuring that students of all majors, interests, and backgrounds are welcome to participate.

The event is set to begin at 6:00 pm on Friday, March 20 in the first floor atrium of Rettner Hall.

Students can enter as individuals or as a group, with a maximum of four people per team. The challenge is to start with a single red paperclip and explore its entrepreneurial possibilites for 24 hours. Participants will document their trades on Twitter and then present them to a panel of judges on Saturday night.

Dean of Students Matthew Burns, Director of Rettner Hall George Ferguson, Susanna Virgilio from the Center for Entrepreneurship, and Bob Tobin from Simon Business School will serve as mentors and judges for the competition.The winning three teams will take home a $300 cash prize, and all participants will celebrate with free food and a live WRUR DJ.

For more information, visit the Spark Entrepreneurs website.  For pre-registration, visit the event page available on facebook.

Spread the Word to End the Word: A Campus Coalition

A collaborative effort between student groups and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership (RCCL) is hoping to “Spread the Word to End the Word” on the River Campus this week. On Wednesday, March 4th, the student-driven coalition will ask the campus community to work towards mitigating the pejorative use of the R-word, “retard(ed),” as a starting point to facilitate acceptance and constructive dialogue featuring people-first language.

UR Special Olympics and the People First Initiative (PFI), two newly recognized student organizations, are partnering with RCCL, the Paul J. Burgett Intercultural Center, and Transition Opportunities at UR (TOUR) to plan a number of events this coming week focused on this year’s communal principle of inclusion.

spread

The campaign is a national initiative sponsored by the Special Olympics organization. It recognizes the R-word as an exclusive, derogatory, and offensive term that has no place in colloquial language. While the word in question began as a clinical description, it has since come into use as a degrading pejorative for individuals with intellectual disabilities. STWTETW aims to reinforce people-first thinking that puts the person before the disability and establishes a new R-word: respect.

On Wednesday, March 4th the campaign will encourage students, staff, and faculty members to take the pledge to end the use of derisive language against the disability community.   Those who participate in the campaign are invited to sign a pledge banner, which will be located on the expression wall on the third floor of Wilson Commons throughout the week, and in Hirst Lounge on Wednesday from 11AM-2PM. STWTETW Day will also feature a whiteboard photo campaign and a “Post-Secret” style submission box in Hirst Lounge that will allow members of the campus community to share their personal stories and motivations for participating.

spread2

In the days leading up to STWTETW Day, The People First Initiative, a student group that promotes inclusion of individuals with disabilities, is hosting an array of events as a part of Disability Awareness Week. On Monday, March 2nd, Teena Fitzroy of the Rochester Advocacy Center will host a talk in Morey 321 about her life with cerebral palsy. PFI has also organized a Career Panel for Disability-Related Fields, which will take place on Tuesday, March 3rd. Panelists include pediatric social worker Angela Huss of Golisano Children’s Hospital and music therapist Noa Elimelech. In addition, AmeriCorps Inclusion Specialist and Special Olympics gold medalist Cori Piels will be giving a presentation in Dewey 2110E on inclusion, disability, and the importance of respectful language on Tuesday, March 3rd at 8PM. All are welcome at these events.

While STETW Day has been an annual occurrence on campus, this is the first year that it has expanded to include such a wide variety of programming. RCCL assistant director Catherine Lewis is excited to see the traction the campaign gains with the passion and initiative of these new groups.

Lewis is excited to see all of the positive energy that drives student leaders to support this campaign. “When you want to make college an inclusive place, it’s not enough to just open the door,” says Lewis. She believes that both access and support for individuals with disability is the key to success.

March is also National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which calls for awareness of the strengths and achievements of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In line with New York’s recent move from the outdated “handicapped” symbol to the redesigned “access” logo, movements such as this stress people-first thinking and the primacy of personhood.

“Spread the Word to End the Word” Day is aiming to show that words and symbols matter. More importantly, it aims to prove that disability is an aspect of diversity and calls for universal respect.

For more information on the STWTETW campaign, visit their site at: http://www.r-word.org/

Sigma Chi: Sharing through Service

Guest Contributor – John Donner ‘16

The first time you see the village of Vermuja (which translates literally to “The Little Houses”), you are left speechless. Small streams of dirty water mixed with human waste trickle across the road, and trash is strewn throughout the fields. The only bathrooms in existence are those that have been built by Sigs past, and children often go to the bathroom in their own backyard. Disease spreads quickly, and infections run rampant when the kids play all day in unsanitary grounds. The problems of this village are not much different than the problems of civilizations from thousands of years ago, without the advancements of modern society that many take for granted.

Just as other basic waste disposal systems were made in the past to help fix these problems, the latrines that the Brothers of Sigma Chi construct help to mitigate the disease and poor living conditions that persist in the area. Using Peace Corps construction standards, each latrine is built to last 20 to 30 years, made with a mixture of stones, concrete rocks, cement, new wood and metal.  Over the last five years alone, the River Campus’ Gamma Pi chapter has sent over 30 brothers to the town of Don Juan in the Dominican Republic, and the program has raised over $65,000 to make construction possible.  To date, over 20 latrines have been built, in addition to a church and community center.  Work has also been done on various community homes.

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The University of Rochester Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (UR EWB) also decided to get involved in the Dominican Republic, building off of the 5-year commitment that the Gamma Pi chapter has made here. Two Brothers, past-consul Adam Hartman ’15 and Chandler Woo ’17, also members of UR EWB helped establish the connections with the group and Sigma Chi’s connections in Don Juan. This has sparked what is now a 5-year program for the Rossello Taller School community, where Brothers and engineers will design and implement a potable water system for the school. Built on solar power that will last generations, the system will be able to store up to 8,000 gallons of water. The project will use Dominican supplies and resources, stimulating the local economy.  It will be owned by the school community upon completion.

However, what Sigma Chi brings to these regions of the Dominican Republic goes further than the implementation of these projects. These service trips have established a social foothold in the community; a connection that seeks to build not only current but long-term benefits.

There is a Spanish word, compartir, which literally translates as “to share.”  In the Dominican Republic, this means to share life and community with one another. The Brothers have established a connection with the locals that falls in line with the meaning of compartir.  They have given their time and attention to the local people by actively integrating into the community and getting to know them and their culture.

Service trips are often thought of as a way of bringing value to others.  In reality, the Brothers get just as much out of it as they give. By design, the Brothers who go on these trips often gain valuable experiences, insights and connections. They grow as men, building character and growing an appreciation for those who are less fortunate. Experiences such as these build men who will leave a positive impact on the world and live a life that embodies the true values of Sigma Chi.

Going to Don Juan in the Dominican Republic is not unlike a true initiation week experience. Having no connection with anything outside of the small village where Brothers stay cultivates introspection and internal growth. The physical work hardens each individual, and the language barrier makes living with the locals a healthy challenge. Some Brothers use their free time to write, and there is even time set aside for group discussions, reflecting on their time in Don Juan and what they’ve seen or felt.

Justin Brennan ’17 reflects: “My housemother graciously gave me her bed so that I could sleep comfortably after a day of hard work. I don’t usually experience such generosity, and it really left an impact on me. This has made me want to pay this generosity forwards through genuine means rather than tossing money at organizations as we do back home.”

In developed nations people have options and choices in their lives that aren’t so readily available in third-world countries. Spending time with their host families, the Brothers grow to appreciate this privilege and what other amenities they have back in America: higher quality food and dependable facilities.  It is experiences like these that shape what impact a man will have on society later in life. Seeing these communities today can affect how people make decisions decades from now as leaders – decisions that could impact an entire country by helping to mitigate poverty.

latrine

The missionary with whom we worked came to meet the educational, spiritual and physical needs of the region around Don Juan and has pushed for long-term solutions to poverty including the establishment of the Rosello Taller Primary School for over four hundred students. This project, working to assist communities with basic needs that we often take for granted, fits the growing vision of our Gamma Pi experiences. Sigma Chi has only just begun in the Dominican Republic, and there is active interest in and out of the Fraternity to continue to provide aid. The future is happening now – the impact is not just in the present; rather the circle of justice is widening towards progressive change.

One thing that this trip has taught our chapter is that true Sigma Chis don’t merely live their lives following the values of the Fraternity. Beyond that, they help others to live a life that embodies friendship, justice and learning. We strive to cultivate deep, reciprocal relationships, fight for what is morally and ethically right, and remain open to the opinions and ideas around us. Coming to the Dominican Republic has been a tremendous example of how anyone can lead by example to create a world where everyone follows these values.

Students’ Association stands against sexual assault

The University of Rochester Students’ Association Government is taking a stance against sexual assault by joining the “It’s On Us” campaign. The project stresses the collective responsibility of the community at large to stop sexual assault and to foster a safe and healthy culture at the University. The project urges students to work to change the current culture that allows for sexual violence.

Started as a campaign of Generation Progress and the White House, the initiative has found widespread support from college campuses across the nation, as well as collegiate organizations like The NCAA.  The “It’s On Us” campaign encourages students to take “the pledge,” which works to define sexual assault, highlight the importance of consent, and call for active intervention.

A new video released by the Students’ Association and University Communications features student leaders and administrative faculty encouraging a more active stance against sexual misconduct on campus.  On Tuesday and Wednesday of this week, members of the SA Government will be tabling in Wilson Commons in order to promote the project’s launch and to raise awareness about sexual violence in all of its forms.

“It’s on us to foster a caring community of encouragement, compassion, and respect.”  That was the collaborative message relayed by students and staff alike in the video.

Efforts to raise awareness about sexual assault are not new to the River Campus.  UR Segway, a student organization, promotes a two-fold mission of providing education about sexual violence as well as support for survivors on campus.  The group sponsors the annual Walk a Mile in Her Shoes event, a march to stop rape, sexual assault and gender violence.  MOVE (Men Opposing Violence Everywhere) is dedicated to creating programming for men to talk about and stand against sexual assault.  MOVE regularly partners with College Feminists to schedule open discussions on topics regarding gender-based violence.

“Be the difference; take a stand,” urges senator Delvin Moody ’18.  The Students’ Association hopes that this campaign will galvanize the campus community to lend its support to survivors and actively work to stand against sexual violence.

For more information on the national “It’s on Us” campaign, visit: http://itsonus.org/.

What Clubs Are You In? Campus Clubs Galore

With over 250 different student organizations to choose from, it’s no wonder that UR undergrads are always so busy!  The many opportunities offered by the various clubs and sports provide the campus population an outlet to share their interests and channel their passions. Listed below are some examples of the diverse and involved undergrads that embody the quintessentially Rochester student body.

blucrew

Name: Alyssa Wolf
Major: Epidemiology
Class Year: 2015
“I’m in Blue Crew. Blue Crew is a school sports spirit organization. We go to sporting events, and we cheer a lot and scream.  We go to games for basketball, football, soccer, field hockey, and cross country.

Name: Nicholas Scacchetti
Major: Chemical Engineering
Class Year: 2015
“I’m with the American Institute of Chemical Engineering here on campus. Right now, I’m heading up the ChemE car competition, where we build a small car to run in a competition that runs off a chemical reaction. We’re going to be building a hydrogen fuel cell car. We have all the parts and we’re putting it together right now.”

Name: Will Burns
Major: Business
Class Year: 2015
“I Rock Climb. I got into it when I was younger, and I wanted to continue it into college.”

Colleges against Cancer

Name: Julia Weisman
Major: Psychology and Business
Class Year: 2018
“The CAC (Colleges against Cancer) does a lot of advertising about certain types of cancer. Each month is focused on a different disease. We are focusing on lung and pediatric cancer; it was breast cancer month in October. We have lots of different events going on. We have had dinners in Douglass, and we do fun things on campus. We just like to promote awareness of the disease.”

Dance

Name: Dan Hoffman
Major: Music
Class Year: 2015
“I’m not in a club because I spend so much time dancing. That in itself is almost like an extracurricular thing, and I’m always choreographing and working with dancers in other classes. I just don’t have time for clubs.”

Name: Horacio Quezada
Major: Undeclared
Class Year: 2018
“I’m in a couple of them. One is called Salsita, which is part of a major organization called SALSA. It’s a leadership club, we learn about leadership positions. I’m also in Newman, which is the Catholic community here on campus. In Salsita, I’m the business manager.”

BPG

Name: Orkhan Abdullayev
Major: Chemical Engineering
Class Year: 2016 (Grad Student)
Club: BPG is the Ballet Performance Group, it is a club that is dedicated to preserving classical technique on campus, as well as allowing students to choreograph their own pieces in a variety of styles such as contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, and tap.

Name: Carola Figueroa
Major: Biology
Class Year: 2016
Club: Yes, I’m in Alpha Phi Omega, it’s a community service fraternity. I’m also in the Society of Undergraduate Biology Students. I joined APO because I love service.

Name: Evan Mclaughlin
Major: Computer Science
Class Year: 2016
“I’m in Chi Phi fraternity. I was the secretary last year which was fun. I did all the paper pushing in the background.”

Track & Field

Name: Bobbi Spiegel
Major: Health, Behavior, and Society
Class Year: 2017
“I’m on the varsity track team, and I’m on grass roots. I’m also involved in Jewish life, like Chabad and Hillel. For track, we have practice six days a week, because the NCAA mandates that we have one day off. Once we hit January 1st, we have a meet every weekend until the end of school. We actually stay past the end of school, because our meets go into late May/ early June. It’s a big dedication, since we also have weight room time. My main event is long jump. I also sprint and do triple jump.”

Name: Alex Samuelson
Major: Neuroscience and Political Science
Class Year: 2017
“I’m in Delta Gamma, one of the sororities here on campus.  What we’re doing right now is supporting our philanthropy, which is Service for Sight, which supports blinded veterans who have been wounded, and also their families. We’re selling bracelets for the blinded veterans’ association, and later, we’re going to have an event, this coming Saturday, where we wrap gifts for the families of soldiers who are currently deployed.

mariachiName: Marcia Des Jardin
Major: Molecular Genetics
Class Year: 2015, 2016T5
“UR Mariachi is really cool group of people. I don’t speak Spanish at all, but I sing in Spanish. It’s a lot of fun to get out of your comfort zone, and get to know people you wouldn’t necessarily know before. You can play violin, guitar, bass, trumpet, flute, accordion – whatever you want, just come to our rehearsals on Wednesday at 4:30.”

Name: Molly Goldstein
Major: Music, BCS
Class Year: 2017
“This past weekend, the Frisbee team actually went to Montreal, and we had a tournament there. We did pretty well. We won a few games and had a lot of fun. It was a very rewarding experience with the team. It’s a nice balance between being very serious about our playing, but also having a good time on the field as well.”

Name: Hadley Brown
Major: English Language/Media Communications, Psychology
Class Year: 2015
“For U of R’s Alpha Phi organization, I’m actually the parental and alumni affairs coordinator, so I work a lot with outreach to the outside community, trying to bring them back to the school, get some school spirit, and to introduce the girls to some people they can network with after college.”

Name: Milagros Garcia
Major: Psychology, English language/Media Communications
Class Year: 2017
SALSA, the Spanish & Latino Students Association, is basically a community, you don’t have to be Hispanic of any type to join, basically, we just discuss issues that affect the Latin-American community as well as try to make ourselves known that we’re a part of campus.

Sihir

Name: Liza Gerwig
Major: BCS
Class Year: 2016
Sihir is the belly dancing group, and it’s really fun.  There’s a lot of cool, wacky people, and we do cool, fancy things, and put on nice shows.”

Name: Shelby Corning
Major: Environmental Science
Class Year: 2017
“I’m on the varsity Softball team. We went to nationals last spring for the first time in school history, which was really cool. It was a big step for the program. I’m a left fielder.”

Name: Rachel Milner
Major: Biology
Class Year: 2015
“The Strong Jugglers were formed in 1995, and we started off as a bunch of kids who went over to Strong Memorial Hospital to juggle for the patients. It’s evolved into a fine circus and performing arts organization. We like to perform on and off-campus. It’s very casual: anyone can join!”

Name: Duncan Graham
Major: Economics
Class Year: 2015
Mock Trial is a club that does what the name implies, we put on trials. There are attorneys, there are witnesses, and we compete with schools across the east coast and the south. We’re even thinking of going to California. We compete, we have attorneys, witnesses, and it’s a whole lot of fun.”

ArcheryName: Allison Colarusso
Major: Chemical Engineering
Class Year: 2016
Archery right now: we shoot arrows… at targets.”

Name: Paul Gabrys
Major: Chemical Engineering
Class Year: 2014, 2015T5
Newman Community is where people who identify as Catholic want come together to grow as a community.”

 

A Spirit of Activism at Rochester

Guest Contributor–Natalie Ziegler

One of the major factors in my decision to come to Rochester was my admissions interview. I remember hearing that “a spirit of activism permeates this campus.” Even though the phrase was broad and relatively vague, it was enough to entice me.

I’d been active in social justice campaigns during high school and wanted to attend a school where I could pursue similar efforts. Plus, since so much of your time in college is spent in the company of others, I knew I wanted to attend a school where I’d find like-minded people with similar passions. I was happy to learn that Rochester is home to many students who are genuinely concerned about the welfare of others and are ready and motivated to act upon these concerns.

But it wasn’t until I arrived at Rochester and got involved that I became aware of the concrete examples of “a spirit of activism.” Luckily for me, the Rochester campus and community have countless manifestations of this ideal.

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The best example I’ve experienced thus far of a “spirit of activism,” and the one that essentially encompasses all other examples, is Rochester’s chapter of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). According to the organization’s Facebook biography, SDS “is a nonpartisan student organization and activist network that seeks to create an educated community dedicated to engaging issues of social and economic justice … [it] also provides an open democratic forum to engage in discourse about topics they may not feel comfortable discussing in other spheres. SDS is not affiliated with any political party and welcomes people with political views across the spectrum.” Through this club, I’ve had the opportunity to meet and talk with individuals of diverse backgrounds and beliefs about important issues. This semester alone, we’ve discussed and taken action on issues such as income inequality and fair wages for service workers at Rochester.

Through direct action and events such as panel discussions and lectures (often sponsored by SDS), students at Rochester have access to valuable conversations and have the chance to create change. These opportunities have been the highlights of many Rochester students’ college careers, including student activist and one of the leaders of SDS, Alsyha Alani, Class of 2015.

Alani participated very recently in peaceful protests planned by concerned students on campus regarding the grand jury’s decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, MO. Alani described the event, stating, “Students and members of the community mobilized to express our solidarity with Mike Brown. Coming together with my peers and allies, we chose to speak back…. It is incredibly empowering to be surrounded by people that, like you, are transforming their sadness and anger into meaningful and peaceful direct action.”

Alani’s words confirm the benefits of activism at Rochester: Students are able to express their views, form meaningful bonds, and unite and mobilize about issues that matter to them. President Seligman also supports such activism, stating, “We protect the rights of all in our University community to express their views. Peaceful assembly and expression of views are consistent with the school’s core value of academic freedom.”

And in a city such as Rochester, there’s good reason to unite and mobilize. As sophomore SDS member Christian Wooddell says, “2012 census numbers show nearly 28% of the population in the City of Rochester lives in poverty, and it’s easy to forget that in the luxury bubble of campus life. It is our duty as privileged students to engage in local issues and be activists for our communities.” Many students at Rochester are cognizant of the conditions in parts of the city, and their willingness to serve the community contributes to the spirit of activism on campus. In my short time here, I’ve come to be aware of and to appreciate this spirit, and I look forward to the next four years of continuing to embrace activism at Rochester through SDS and other venues.

Natalie Ziegler ’18, is a lover of literature and plans to major in English. She is also passionate about social justice, which has led her to pursue a double major in anthropology.

Via Natalie Ziegler/UROC Admissions Blog

Life as a Campus Times Editor

Guest Contributor–Jamie Rudd

When I wandered into the Campus Times office the Wednesday of my first official week of college, I had no idea how much the place would come to mean to me. A freshman straight out of Orientation, I had no way of knowing that the office would eventually feel like more of a home than my dorm room, that the staff would become some of my closest friends, or that CT would ultimately define my life at Rochester. All I knew was that I was interested in journalism, and what better way to see if I was cut out for the job than by joining the newspaper?

Campus times

A part of the University of Rochester since 1873, the Campus Times is a weekly, student-run publication. Typically 16 pages long, the paper is divided into news, opinions, features, humor, arts and entertainment, and sports. In addition to the section editors, our current 18-person staff includes photo, copy, and managing editors along with our illustrator, publisher, and editor in chief. While we editors do our fair share of writing, we are also supported by a substantial number of other student writers that volunteer their services to keep the paper going every week.

During my first semester, I wrote for several different sections and spent as many Wednesdays as I could in the office for production night—the 12-hour period when the staff comes together to lay out pages, fill them with content, and circulate them through several levels of editing before sending them to the publisher Thursday morning. Along with a number of other new freshmen, I did preliminary copy editing for the editors and headed home around 11 pm, leaving the staff to finish up the higher-level stuff.

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I enjoyed the work that I did for the CT those first few months, but I knew that what I really wanted to do was become an editor. So when the end of the semester rolled around, I ran for the position of 2014 features editor, and got it. While I knew that the position would be quite the time commitment, I admit I wasn’t quite prepared for how much it would consume my life—the constant emailing, worrying about my writers meeting their deadlines, worrying about having enough writers, struggling to get all my Thursday homework done by Tuesday, and of course, the constant sleep deprivation that comes from only getting approximately two to four hours of sleep every single Wednesday for a semester. The spring semester last year was rough to say the least.

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Thankfully, all the stressful (and at times, nearly insufferable) aspects of being a CT editor (did I mention the heartbreak of opening a newly published issue and spotting mistakes—often ones you know you fixed—all over your pages?), all the stuff that makes you question why in the world you’re putting yourself through this torture, are matched by just as many wonderful, exhilarating, and blissful moments that remind you why it’s all very much worth it.

Yes, coming up with article ideas each week and making sure they all get written can be tough. But it has made me to be so much more aware of and involved in the campus community, not to mention an expert networker and problem solver. Yes, production nights can go pretty late and sleep deprivation can make doing anything  on Thursdays pretty much impossible. But Wednesday nights are also one of the most fun parts of my week: hour upon hour spent with my friends listening to music, talking and laughing together, goofing off occasionally, and making more wonderful memories than we can count. Yes, there have been times when I’m not sure how I’ll be able to handle all the pressure. But I always have my features coeditor (and one of my closest friends) Dani right there with me to get our section through. What’s more, we got our jobs down to a science this semester and have been finishing our pages around midnight (rather than the typical 3:30 am completions last year).

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While working on the Campus Times might be the epitome of a love-hate relationship, at the end of the day, there’s a whole lot more love than anything else. It’s challenged me and made me grow in so many ways, and while it hasn’t always been the easiest thing to admit, I’m truly grateful that I walked into the office last September and decided to keep coming back.

Jamie Rudd ’17, is a sophomore studying English and Anthropology. Originally from a small town in Oregon, she is happiest when traveling, reading, writing, and listening (or making) music.  She currently a member of the Students Helping Honduras service group, secretary of the Undergraduate Anthropology Council, and features editor of the Campus Times newspaper.  

Via Jamie Rudd/URoc Admissions Blog