By Giovanni Cruz
With Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) in full effect, you will begin to see many wonderful events being put on by the various Latinx and Hispanic organizations here on campus. A big one of them being Carnaval, an annual festival put on by the Carolina Hispanic Association (CHispA) in an effort to encourage and educate people on the Hispanic culture. In addition to putting on events that express our culture, student led organizations such as the Carolina Latina/o Collaborative (CLC), CHispA, and North Carolina Scholars’ Latino Initiative (NC SLI) help foster community amongst the students interested in exploring the culture of Latin America. These are also great resources on campus for networking. They are here to help students find the help and opportunities they need to prosper on campus. It was actually at an event hosted by Latino organizations on campus that I was first introduced to Hermanos of La Unidad Latina, Lambda Upsilon Lambda Fraternity, Inc., a Latino-based but not exclusive fraternity. Since then, I have become a member and it has given me the courage and guidance to grow both personally and professionally. As someone who never imagined they would be a member of Greek Life, I can honestly say that these resources can help you find opportunities on campus you didn’t even know you were looking for. These opportunities can come in many forms, whether your interest is dancing, cooking, social justice, medicine, public health, or anything else you can think of.
There are other ways to get involved with diversity on campus as well. Visiting the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs (DMA) or talking to anyone who has done extensive work with them is a great way to learn how you can be involved with different diversity initiatives on campus such as uplifting high school students from underrepresented minority groups and learning business etiquette through a dinner with your peers. We have organizations on campus dedicated to educating students on various cultures. These groups provide great opportunities for you to get to know others on campus that share the same background as you. It’s a good way to make campus feel more like home. But like most great things in life, these opportunities aren’t going to come to your seat and find you. You have to get up and actually take advantage of your resources. I think that is where a lot of people of minority backgrounds struggle. Since we are used to coming from a place of underrepresentation, it is hard for us to see that there are so many things set in place at this school to stop us from failing. Not just those labelled “Latino”, “African-American”, “or whatever you identify with. We are all paying for the same education and are entitled to just as many resources as anybody else on this campus, regardless of appearances. That is one of the most important things to keep in mind in order to be successful here at UNC.
Giovanni Cruz is a junior on campus and is studying Biology. He is involved with North Carolina Scholars’ Latino Initiative (NC SLI), the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, and volunteering at UNC Hospitals through a bilingual navigator program.
On behalf of Carolina and the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs, we invite you to join us in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month. With the collaboration of many of our Latina/o student organizations, we’re hosting more than 20 events, from dance performances to discussions and cooking lessons, all to recognize the advancements made by Latin Americans and the traditions and topics relevant to the Latin American community.
Listed below are some of the events that will be offered.
- Sept 22: Heritage month dinner at Top of Lenoir (one of our campus dining halls). In collaboration with Carolina Dining Services, we will host a special dinner with dancing, music, and wonderful food inspired by our Hispanic community.
- Sept 28: Making Pupusas 101: Join us in our Nutrition Kitchen to learn to make this delicious and authentic Salvadorian cuisine.
- Sept 30: Key note event with Rita Moreno at the Union’s Great Hall. We are pleased and honored that Rita Moreno will be joining us and delivering an inspirational keynote address.
- Oct 3: Latina/o Studies Minor Information Session: Hear from current faculty and students about their experiences with the Latino/a Studies program and its importance at UNC.
- Oct 15: “Nuestra Carolina“: Offers Latina⁄o high school seniors an opportunity to experience diverse aspects of Carolina life. The program will provide you with information about admissions, financial aid, academic support, housing and social life at Carolina. Some sessions are bilingual.
- Oct 15: “Carnaval”: This event will feature many different types of music, dance, performances, food, and games all celebrating the Latina/o culture!
If these experiences interest you, we hope that you will also consider applying to Carolina.
Already applied? Thank you very much for your interest in Carolina. We look forward to reading your application!
UNC’s Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs
Spanish version below:
La Universidad de Carolina del Norte en Chapel Hill y la Oficina de Diversidad y Asuntos Multiculturales, le invitan a celebrar el Mes de la Herencia Hispana. Gracias a la colaboración de varias organizaciones de interés latino/a se han preparado más de 20 eventos que van desde danza, discusiones y talleres hasta clases de cocina. Todo esto con el fin de reconocer los avances realizados por los latinoamericanos, así como las tradiciones y temas de interés en la comunidad latinoamericana.
Esta es una gran oportunidad para visitar y experimentar cómo Carolina celebra la diversidad, la cultura y nuestra comunidad. A continuación algunos de los eventos preparados:
- Cena del Mes de la Herencia Hispana en el Top de Lenoir (uno de nuestros comedores del campus)(22 de Sept.) En colaboración con Carolina Dining Services, les ofreceremos una cena especial con baile, música y deliciosa comida inspirada en la cocina latinoamericana.
- Cocinando Pupusas 101(28 de Sept.) Acompáñenos a degustar y aprender sobre la deliciosa y auténtica cocina salvadoreña.
- Rita Moreno en Union’s Great Hall (30 de Sept.) Nos sentimos honrados y gustosos de anunciar que Rita Moreno ha aceptado nuestra invitación para dar el discurso de apertura.
- Nuestra Carolina (15 de Oct.) Nuestra Carolina es un evento que ofrece la oportunidad de conocer diversos aspectos de la vida en Carolina a los latinos/as que se encuentran en último año de la secundaria. El programa le ofrecerá información sobre requisitos de admisión, ayuda financiera, apoyo académico, estadía y la vida social en UNC Chapel Hill. Algunas sesiones son bilingües.
- Carnaval (15 de Oct.) En Carnaval se compilan una variedad de eventos que van desde música, danza, espectáculos, comida y juegos que celebran la herencia hispana.
¿Listo/a? Si es así, llene su solicitud directamente a través del sitio Common App website. Los estudiantes de primer año pueden enviar su solicitud el 15 de octubre o el 15 de enero. Los estudiantes que vienen de otras universidades y quieren ingresar a Carolina pueden aplicar hasta el 15 de febrero.¿Ya ha enviado su solicitud?
Muchas gracias por su interés. ¡Esperamos pronto leer su solicitud!
Oficina de Diversidad y Asuntos Multiculturales de UNC
This past Monday, we held the final event in our series of luncheons for Counselors & Colleagues. From Asheville to Wilmington, representatives from our office went all across the state to provide information on helping students be as successful as possible as they apply to Carolina this year.
With your help, the events were a huge success! We had almost 600 counselors register for one of our nine events across the state. Events were held in Asheville, Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro, Greenville, Rocky Mount, Statesville, Wilmington and right here on campus in Chapel Hill.
We hope that everybody who attended felt the event was helpful and informative. We’re happy to assist, however, as we approach the heat of application season.
We know Carolina students have big dreams. It is nothing short of marvelous to watch them make these dreams come true. Learn how Jesse Sykes, first-generation college student and Carolina Covenant Scholar, and now a 2017 M.S. Candidate in Clinical Rehabilitation and Mental Health Counseling at the UNC School of Medicine, took advantage of the aid offered at Carolina to make her dreams come true.
She spoke at a gathering on Sept. 1 for a presentation from Barnes & Noble College Booksellers presenting a check to UNC for $1 million in scholarships.
“There are no words to express what this means to me,” said Jesse. “Student aid is not an abstract concept. It can make the difference between staying in a small town all your life or going out into a big city or other parts of the world and making a difference…. Thank you, UNC, for everything you have given me. It’s literally been a life-changing experience to be here for 6 years. And thank you for the future students that will come and that will need you. And who will come asking questions, about hey, what can I do or hey, can you help me with this? Because you never know where somebody will end up.”
To hear the complete message and to meet Jesse, please view the video below.
By Jenn Morrison
Caroline Waller and Jenn Morrison (Class of 2017) in Rome, Italy, during their semester abroad in spring 2016.
For many North Carolina students, deciding to come to UNC isn’t necessarily the big adventure away from home they imagined. They may be close to home, to their families, to what’s familiar.
For me, as an out-of-state student, I was fortunate enough to come to my dream school and experience new people and new places that have significantly shaped my character. Wherever you come from, whether it’s Chapel Hill or China, UNC will undoubtedly impact you in more ways than you know.
If that’s not enough, there’s the opportunity to study abroad. Regardless of your major, interests, and financial status, there are hundreds of programs UNC offers to open your mind to new people, places and perspectives around the world.
I chose to study for a semester in Florence, Italy. As a studio art minor, I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to explore a city with a rich history and culture of art that would inspire me to create, while also being able to easily travel to other countries to experience different cultures.
With more than 20 UNC students on my program, we lived in the same apartments and took some of the same classes. Even so far from Chapel Hill, it was hard not to feel at home, surrounded by people who understand what it means to go to UNC. It’s that bond that brought us to cheering on the Heels in Florence in the NCAA championship at 4 a.m. in our time zone, and it’s reuniting with them now on campus that makes the world feel a bit smaller.
At the end of my program, there were many students studying abroad who were genuinely dreading returning to their home institutions. I cannot express enough how lucky I feel to belong to a university that I still feel strongly connected to and am just as proud of as before I left. I feel lucky to be able to sincerely tell people that I had an incredible experience but am happy to be home.
Studying abroad was one of the best decisions I could have made, but I will tell you upfront, it is not always glamorous. Sometimes it takes your breath away, but sometimes it tests you. It was the difficult moments, in missing my family and friends, in overcoming language barriers when I was sick, in the initial stages of adjusting to an unfamiliar culture, that made the experience so valuable.
While I remember sitting out at night watching the sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo, the satisfaction of putting the final touches on my oil painting in the studio, and getting our “last” gelato with UNC friends on our final night in Florence, it’s important to also remember the moments that pushed me, that taught me lessons I couldn’t have fully learned if I had stayed in Chapel Hill.
Going abroad challenges you. But it’s a challenge I would do over a million times. It makes you a better person, and Carolina is a better school for having such a globally aware student body.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves a mark on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
By Sarah Wright
The day before I moved in to Craige dorm two years ago, I remember going to the pool and swimming hard for several hours straight, needing to work out the nerves and focus on the excitement of leaving home for the first time. Even after two years, being in a place like Carolina with so much going on and so many people to engage with constantly elicits those same emotions. It’s how I know I’m on the right track. Being at Carolina is humbling, and there is good reason to be nervous. Everyone works hard, and a lot is expected of each individual. Just as important, though, is the realization that here, anyone can be anything. With so many course and club options, there are limitless ways to learn and change over four years here.
Watching my sister move into my old first year dorm last week, I saw a lot of the same feelings I experienced cross her mind. She’s just getting started, and it will probably be a while before she finds her place and her people here. I’ve definitely speculated about where she might end up, but the one thing consistent about her is that she always surprises me.
I have to admit, I want to tell her all my secrets to success that I’ve learned the hard way over the last couple years – which professors or classes to take, which parties not to go to, that sleep is actually important, and that the Campus Y is the absolute best, to name a few. But I’ve tried to bite my tongue, waiting for her to tell me when she needs me. She is incredibly capable, and I wouldn’t want to prevent any of her future missteps and rob her of the opportunity to find her own way.
No matter where she ends up on this campus, my greatest hope is that she recognizes the family-like nature of the Carolina community. I have met current students and alumni all over the world over the last two years, and that instant connection has led to great relationships more than once. Across the board, everyone I’ve met who goes or went here loves this place with all their heart and will always help another Tar Heel if they are able.
My sister is wicked smart. There’s not a doubt in my mind that she will do great things in whichever field she chooses. She will find a love for this place and take advantage of everything this place has to offer in her own way. She will make connections here that will stay with her for the rest of her life. The fact that I get to share two years here with her is so precious to me. I don’t know that I’ll see her all that often, but knowing that she is here, a part of the school that I love so much, is a delight. Even more so now, we are related by blood – we both bleed Carolina blue.
Sarah Wright is a junior majoring in Environmental Science and Mathematics. She is involved in TEDxUNC, Nourish, and Epsilon Eta, the environmental honors fraternity. She can be reached at email@example.com.