CHEAP Presents: Spoontember

 

Screen Shot 2015-09-15 at 11.34.50 PM

Have you ever tried to balance a spoon on your nose? Well, it’s a lot harder than it looks trust me, but you are more than welcome to try! Carolina Hunger Education and Prevention (CHEAP) is encouraging students to take a spoon selfie in the pit every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday during the month of September. Spoontember is an initiative started by Feeding America to help raise awareness about hunger in America.

Continue reading CHEAP Presents: Spoontember

Untitled.

There are a million ways this post could go. Where to start?

College students and mental health. The stigma of mental health and medication. Campus health services and therapy options. The education system. Peer pressure. The desire to be perfect. Academics and the need to know it all.

The list is endless.

I don’t need to know the details and I don’t need to know why. What I do know, and what is important to know, is that a life has been lost. A life has been lost at the hands of its owner and what could’ve been done?

Now is not the time for could’ves and should’ves and would’ves and all the hindsight bias bullshit we like to pull out when things go wrong. Continue reading Untitled.

What is Social Justice?

Screen Shot 2015-09-04 at 1.41.21 PM

As I contemplated what to write my first Campus Y blog post on, I thought about what I love about the Campus Y in the first place. For me, it is a necessary establishment that I never had before. In high school, I never really know what “social justice” meant. I was a smart kid, so I’m pretty sure I could’ve strung it together if asked. But it wasn’t until coming to Carolina and becoming a part of this wonderful family that I realized what social justice really means, and more importantly, what it means to me.

First-years (potentially older students) might be in the same boat I was in. This whole concept of one organization constantly working towards the goal of social justice was foreign to me, and I really had to immerse myself in it to understand it completely. Most sources define social justice as “promoting a just society by challenging injustice and valuing diversity.” No place on Carolina’s campus does a better job of doing that than the Campus Y. Through each subcommittee, injustice is challenged. Whether it be through Nourish hosting Hunger Lunch in the Pit, and raising awareness for global poverty, or through HYPE turning UNC students into education advocates for kids in Carrboro. And valuing diversity is just a given. No other place on campus can you find such a myriad of different people brought together by a similar passion, really getting along. Take a look at the other largest organizations on campus. Not to point any fingers, but the exec boards are all pretty whitewashed. Even when you look beyond the faces on the website, students involved are typically of the same something, be it race, gender, sexuality, or the like. The Campus Y is just a hodgepodge of literally all types of people. And that’s what makes it such a magical, warm place. When I walk around campus and see my friends from the Y, my outside friends are always confused as to how I met these people who are clearly not in our typical circles. But by opening myself up to such an incredible place, I also opened myself up to incredible people.
Social justice is a tricky concept to pin down. And it’s hard to understand how it applies to your life at Carolina. But it doesn’t take much to see the homelessness problem on Franklin, or the low-income housing in Carrboro, or the self segregation on our own campus. You can just turn on the TV and see the police brutality occurring every day, or the incredible need for immigration reform. And The Campus Y is one building attempting to address these issues and every other one that falls in between. And that is what makes this place truly “the conscience of the university.”

Minorities In Greek Life

Screen Shot 2015-09-13 at 5.39.14 PMThere is not enough diversity in Greek Life.  It’s obvious. It’s avoided. There is an image in everyone’s head that represents the “ideal” member of a Greek organization.  A historically white institution, Greek Life is known to promote conformity and homogeneity. The overwhelming majority of the members are white.  While sorority and fraternity members have diverse interests, talents and characteristics, the exterior image reflects a socioeconomically stable white community. As a member of a Greek Life organization, I would not say the members are inherently racist and seek to limit the acceptance of minorities into their organizations. I would, however, feel no uncertainty in admitting that there are racial inequalities in Greek Life Organizations on many college campuses, including UNC. Just look online at UNC’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) and the Panhellenic Association leadership photos on UNC’swebsite to see the lack of racial diversity present.

Continue reading Minorities In Greek Life

Campus Event: Food 101

For just one evening, UNC-Chapel Hill had one more class from which to choose when Fair, Local, and Organic (FLO) Food hosted Food 101 in the Great Hall of the Student Union on September 3rd. The event began with a selection of delicious organic food – such as fruit smoothies and soy nuggets – and culminated with five speakers, each of whom spoke for five to ten minutes about a food-related issue of their choice.

Every speaker had different approaches and conveyed different messages. Alice Ammerman, a professor at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at UNC, went through a list of majors – from art history to clinical laboratory science – to emphasize the importance of food in a wide variety of topics. Darin Knapp, a professor at the UNC School of Medicine, spoke about Ramble Rill Farm and its role in growing and selling organic fruits and vegetables. Cameron Coughlin, a junior at UNC, spoke about TABLE and its projects related to feeding hungry students in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. Jennifer Curtis talked about Firsthand Foods and the process it undertakes to sell meat from pasture-raised cows, pigs, and chickens. Even Scott Weir, a member of Carolina Dining Services (CDS), gave a presentation about food waste with a compost bin sitting right next to him as a prop. To sophomore Kaia Findlay, the inclusion of Weir was important.

“I appreciated hearing from CDS because eating in the dining hall can be mysterious business,” Findlay said. “I was encouraged by the presentation and by the fact that we have dining staff with whom we can communicate.”

Sophomore Kalli Bunch liked Weir’s presentation as well. However, she had a personal connection to Coughlin’s presentation.

“Coughlin was my favorite because I’m a Bonner Leader and TABLE is one of our community partners,” Bunch said. “As a result, I’m always happy to hear about the work they’re doing in Chapel Hill and Carrboro.”

For FLO Foods, an organization that is interested in expanding its outreach and educating students about the food system, this event was an astounding success. Findlay, who had only attended one other FLO event, enjoyed this one.

“The event was well-executed, informative, and fun,” Findlay said. “I have discovered my passion this year for agriculture and food studies and FLO events are an excellent way to get educated about those things. Everybody eats even if they don’t like to do it. For that reason, it is important for students to learn about the health of their bodies and how what they put into their bodies impacts the health of their community on a local and global scale.”

 

MTV, Check Yourself

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.41.04 PM

When watching the 2015 VMAs, I was expecting music, jokes, and good-natured fun amongst the artists. Instead, MTV aired scenes of uncomfortable and blatant white privilege and microaggressions that left my friends and I wondering: how is this okay?

Several instances throughout the program involved MTV trying to be lighthearted and whimsical, yet it backfired and showed their insensitivity for social issues occurring.

To start it off, the host, Miley Cyrus, styled her hair into dreadlocks. Although Miley’s intentions were probably just her freedom of expression, this came off as cultural appropriation rather than appreciation. Cyrus simply “borrowing” a look that serves as an identification to a certain culture is not only insulting, but shows her using her white privilege to essentially exploit a minority group. In many cultures and religions, particularly the Rastafarian culture, dreadlocks were a source of pride and identification that stemmed from hundreds of years of enslaved oppression. Cyrus wearing them as a fad, particularly since she herself has not experienced the same history, shows her lack of knowledge and understanding of a different culture. Continue reading MTV, Check Yourself

Rejecting Immigrants Doesn’t Make America Great

Immigration has been one of the biggest issues in America as of late, especially since presidential candidate Donald Trump brought the topic to center stage in the Republican primary. During his speech announcing his candidacy, Mr. Trump categorically condemned Mexican and other Latin American immigrants, and has since advocated host of extreme policies against both illegal and legal immigration. These policies have resonated with the Republican voters, as Mr. Trump has seen great success so far in polling and has pressured other Republican candidates to endorse similar hardline stances on immigration.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.25.28 PM

Why would the Republicans support policies like these? Their rationale is that immigrants, undocumented or otherwise, take jobs from “hardworking Americans,” bring crime, and are a burden to the U.S. government and economy. These concerns are completely valid. Or at least they would be if they were at all true.

Here are some of the facts. Immigrants make up about 14% of the workforce and contribute hundreds of billions to the U.S. GDP, largely by doing the types of jobs that native workers stigmatize. Furthermore, immigrant-founded companies are worth over $500 billion and account for over 200,000 jobs.

Undocumented immigrants are 5 times less likely to commit crimes than native-born citizens. Also, most undocumented immigrants do not receive benefits of any kind from the government, but they contribute more than their fair share in taxes. They aren’t a burden on society. Continue reading Rejecting Immigrants Doesn’t Make America Great

There Are People That Make Sense And Then There Are People Named Kim Davis.

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 9.54.51 PM

Sometimes, when a news story breaks, I have to take some time to wrap my head around it. Thinking back through 2015, there have been some bizarre things that have taken me a bit to process. Rachel Dolezal. Donald Trump. Even my love and my queen Miley Cyrus has thrown me for a loop. Each of these has caused me great confusion for a multitude of different reasons, but the newest addition to strange occurrences and even stranger people has to be none other than Kim Davis, a Rowan county, Kentucky clerk now known for denying marriage certificates to homosexual couples even after the Supreme Court made it legal. Continue reading There Are People That Make Sense And Then There Are People Named Kim Davis.

Diversity or Bust

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 11.08.45 PM

It is safe to say that I love my college. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The oldest public school in the nation. UNC was once a school that I couldn’t even attended and now I am a full-time student participating in extracurricular activities and living in the dorms my ancestors couldn’t even imagine being in. It’s pretty safe to say that everything I have worked up to is extremely important to me because of the history that I come from.

However, as notable as my accomplishments are, I can’t help but feel like there’s still so much to do. Like I mentioned before, it’s no secret that I am attending a school my ancestors wouldn’t have been able to attend. The school has made leaps and bounds in trying to make up for the racially motivated inequalities, but it has a long way to go. While we do have black students here, there are not many black professors. The same goes with Latinos. There are Latino students, but not many Latino professors. However, UNC employs black and Latino workers for maintenance, construction, cooking, and cleaning. There are so many people that I have seen that have the jobs that are “behind the scenes” of UNC. While there is nothing wrong with these positions, it makes me question whether UNC has actually made that many leaps or bounds. Continue reading Diversity or Bust

Views shared on the blog are not necessarily those of the Campus Y as a whole, but those of the bloggers.