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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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

What is it that draws us to this place like no other?

There are a lot of beautiful things that occur when summer begins to wind down.

Students return to campus, the chaos of classes ensues and we start to ease back into our usual routines. However, one of the most beautiful things in my opinion is our untapped potential to break up those routines.

Insert FallFest. As a several-hour event spread out on South Road and Hooker Fields, FallFest enables students both new and old to engage in what campus organizations have to offer, embrace food and stickers and fliers, as well as sign up for things that pique their interest enough to hopefully spark involvement once the school year starts. This yearly tradition gives students and campus groups the opportunity to recruit new members as well as promote the values and issues they stand for.

Continue reading What is it that draws us to this place like no other?

A Letter to the Class of 2019 from a Recent First-Year at UNC

With less than a month left before you move into your dorms in Chapel Hill, you’re probably thinking you’ve heard every piece of generic “going to college” advice in existence. You’ve gotten lectures about drinking, speeches beginning with, “when I was in school..,” and rants about keeping your GPA up. I’ve been there and heard them all. But, I want to give you some advice that will (hopefully) resonate, from a former first-year to a current one:

Get involved with the Campus Y.

Continue reading A Letter to the Class of 2019 from a Recent First-Year at UNC

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