Meet the Bloggers: Clara Wong

13235586_1085607684832653_4939146883967631036_oSup. If you’re looking for Clara Wong, you found me! If you’re not, well, you found me anyway.

Tell us about yourself!

I hail from Clarksburg, MD (reppin’ the DMV!) (that is not the Department of Motor Vehicles, thank you for asking) and am a rising Sophomore double-majoring in Journalism and Pre-Business.

 

Where did you live your first year? What did you like about it?

As a first-year, I made my humble abode in Craige Residence Hall. The perks were definitely not having to clean the bathroom and the proximity to the business school (great for first-years with classes or clubs there!). Having the social adeptness of a wild mushroom, I was initially hesitant about living suite-style in one of the most populated first-year dorms, but the social atmosphere made it so much easier to meet other Tar Heels and grow close friendships. 

 

What have you been up to on campus and what else do you wish you had done?

I’m a part of Summit College, Chinese Language Community, and Build the Hill. These activities reflect my enthusiasm for East Asian culture, my faith, and economic empowerment for the disadvantaged. While I strongly believe in a life philosophy of #noragrets, I wish I had spent more time participating in rallies and/or marches, attempting to be artsy, or just sleeping on the quad.

 

What is on your UNC bucket list?

Before I graduate, my heart says “try every restaurant on Franklin street” or “study abroad”, but my wallet suggests “play Squirtle in the Bynum Circle fountain” or “order a 20 oz. Tough Guy Chai” instead.

 

Random Cliches!

Favorite ways to destress: Museum hopping, blowing bubbles, indulging in me3baked goods

Deserted Island Item: Egg (Might as well die happy and well-fed)

Favorite artists: Oh Wonder, the xx, Twenty One Pilots

 

Entertain my virtual mailbox at wongcl@live.unc.edu and be my friend!

 

See you around the blog,

Clara Wong

Meet the Bloggers: Jess Schmitz

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Jess Schmitz

Hometown: Cary, NC

Year: Sophomore

Major: Pre-Business

Where I’ve Lived on Campus: Ehringhaus, Rams Village 5

Campus Involvement: Women’s Rowing, Carolina Marketing Club, Richard A. Baddour Leadership Academy

Email: jessschm@live.unc.edu

 

Where did you live your first year? What did you like about it? I lived in Ehringhaus my freshman year. It was a great choice because I got to live in South Campus and experience freshman year that way, but I was not too far from classes or the dining hall. The “E-haus Path” is so convenient for getting to mid and north campus, I never even took the bus! I also met so many awesome people and the suite style dorms are a great alternative to hall style. Plus having your bathroom cleaned every day is pretty sweet.

Tell us about your activities on campus. What else did you wish you had done? I am a member of the women’s rowing team which takes up the majority of my time; however, I am also involved in several other cool things on campus. I am involved in Carolina Marketing Club which has so many great opportunities. For example, I got together with some other members to compete in a Case Competition for Top of The Hill, and we actually won second place! I am also a member of the Richard A. Baddour Leadership academy and will be involved in the ‘Rising Stars’ program this year as well as being a CREED mentor. One thing I wish I had done is get involved with more volunteer organizations on campus. There are so many cool ones like Dance Marathon and Relay for Life.

What is on your UNC bucket list? There are so many things I want to do in the next three years… most of them involving new restaurants I want to try. One thing I really want to do before I graduate is be in the risers for a Dook game. Our rivalry with Dook is legendary and nothing beats stomping them at home, especially if you’re standing only 20 feet away. I also really want to spend a day picnicking and studying on the quad with friends. It’s such a beautiful place and I want to spend more time there while I can.

Thanks for reading, see y’all soon!

Jess Schmitz

Meet The Bloggers: Luke Gaines

Hi, my name is Luke Gaines and I am Carolina Housing’s summer’s video production intern! You’ll be seeing a lot of videos about tips and tricks for things relating to living on campus this summer. If you have any comments or questions you would like answered, feel free to give me a shoutout on our Twitter, Instagram, or through an E-mail!

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Hometown: Asheville, NC
Year: Junior
Major: Communications (Media Production)
Where I’ve Lived On Campus: Hinton James, Morrison
Campus Involvement: Executive Producer for Carolina Film Association
Email: luxtegan@live.unc.edu
Let me start off by saying that living on campus is a crucial part of the illusive Carolina Experience. My experience living on campus can be summed up in a single word, and that word is family. UNC is a big school, and it keeps on getting larger with each new class. It can be intimidating moving to a place full of strangers, and for some it can be overwhelming. However, I am 100% certain that living on campus is the easiest way to become immersed in everything Carolina has to offer.  Living in the dorms puts you in close proximity to friends, class, dinning halls, libraries, you name it! I can attest to the fact that residential housing made me love this campus and all the people that are a part of it.
On the day my random roommate and I chose our freshman year dorm, I did not know anything about campus. My online efforts rendered maps of a place I had never seen before and pictures of dorms that all looked the same. Similar to the process of throwing a dart blindfolded, we randomly picked Hinton James, the largest dorm on campus. Although I thought I would have perfered a small dorm at the time, it turned out to be one of the best happy-accident moments of my life. It was in Hinton James (natively referred to as HoJo) that I developed lasting friendships in a suite on the 8th floor. It was there that I learned how to serve a volleyball, where I had my first cram mesh for a final, and my first time setting fire to a microwave.
My point being, college is full of ups and downs, of successes and failures. The best way to power through these next 4 years is with others. I would not be where I am today without the support of my friends from on-campus housing, and I can assure you that you will meet someone in your dorm that years from now you can’t imagine living without.
Your blogger,
Luke Gaines

A Piece of Cake

Without a car or your own kitchen, cooking in a residence hall is a difficult task—myth or fact? The truth is, whipping up a batch of delicious treats doesn’t have to be complicated! With just three simple ingredients, baking supplies from your community office, and 30 minutes to spare, you can make any of the recipes below. Head to Walgreens or CVS on Franklin Street (or Rams Head Market) to pick up the necessities, and get ready to eat!

Banana Pancakes

pancake

Ingredients:
• 1 ½ large ripe bananas
• 2 eggs
• 1/8 tsp baking powder

Directions:
1. Crack eggs into a bowl, add the baking powder, and whisk together.
2. In a separate bowl, lightly mash the banana. Pour wet mixture into the mashed bananas and stir to combine.
3. Using 1 to 2 tablespoons of batter per pancake, cook in a frying pan over medium-low heat. Once bubbles begin to form, flip the pancake and cook for another minute.
4. Top with butter, maple syrup, berries, or anything else!

cookies

Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:
• 1 cup peanut butter
• 1 cup sugar
• 1 egg

Directions:
1. Combine peanut butter, sugar, and egg.
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and refrigerate dough for at least one hour or until firm.
3. Roll dough into 1-inch balls and press down with a fork, making crosshatch marks.
4. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.

brownies-2

Nutella Brownies

Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ cup Nutella
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup all-purpose flour

Directions:
1. Grease a 9×9 baking pan and preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl with a wooden spoon until batter is smooth. Pour into baking pan and smooth top with spatula.
2. Bake for about 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Let brownies cool and set before serving.

The best thing about cooking in your residence hall? Food is a great way to make friends! Once you’ve cleaned up, share your treats with suitemates, floormates, or whoever happens to pass by.

RLPs at a Glance

Imagine living with a community of students who are all passionate about the same thing as you. Pretty cool, right? Residential Learning Programs (RLPs) offer all of the perks of living on-campus, with the added benefit of a unique educational experience right in the comfort of your own home. If you’re looking to become more involved at UNC, make friends who share your interests, or further explore your academic passions, an RLP may be for you! Read on for a brief description of each program—if one catches your eye, click the name for more details.

Chinese House

Located in Carmichael, Chinese House offers residents the chance to practice their Chinese speaking skills on a regular basis. Through conversational hours, service projects, and social activities, you’ll build your fluency while learning more about the Chinese culture. If you’re planning on majoring or minoring in Chinese or studying abroad in China, this RLP will provide a helpful immersion experience!

Members of the Sustainability RLP bond over a game of sand volleyball!

Members of the Sustainability RLP bond over a game of sand volleyball!

Transfer United

Also housed in Carmichael, Transfer United helps junior transfers make new friends and transition to life at Carolina. As a member of this RLP, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in mentorship programs, attend social events, and take on leadership roles within the transfer student community.

Pride Place

The newest RLP, Pride Place will be housed in Cobb and aims to provide a safe, inclusive, and welcoming community for LGBTQ+ residents. As a member, you’ll engage in conversations about diversity, self-identity, and healthy communication while building friendships with your neighbors.

Spanish House

Similar to Chinese House, Spanish House provides residents with frequent immersion opportunities. As a member of this RLP, you’ll live in Craige North and participate in cultural development activities, social programs, and service projects like tutoring or translating. If you’re taking a Spanish course or already have some experience with the language, Spanish House is the perfect to further explore your interest in the culture.

Balance volunteered at the Carolina Campus Community Garden as a service project.

Balance volunteered at the Carolina Campus Community Garden as a service project.

UNITAS

Co-sponsored by the Department of Anthropology and APPLES service-learning, UNITAS is located in Ehringhaus and centers around sociocultural diversity. Members of this RLP take two 3-hour courses—one per semester—with their fellow residents, as well as participate in a semester-long service-learning project. If you’re passionate about topics surrounding diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, religion, and sexual orientation, UNITAS may be for you!

Balance

Located in Joyner, Balance focuses on all eight dimensions of wellness, including physical, social, and emotional. As a member of this RLP, you’ll learn about each dimension through frequent educational and social events, from retreats to sports tournaments. Residents also commit to fostering an inclusive and healthy environment within the community.

Service & Leadership

If you’re passionate about public service and community service, this RLP provides plenty of opportunities to develop your leadership skills in these areas. Residents complete service hours, participate in a social change workshop, and take an APPLES service-learning course, all while living together in Hinton James.

WELL residents get ready to take a group field trip off campus!

WELL residents get ready to take a group field trip off campus!

WELL: Women Experiencing Learning and Leadership

WELL aims to provide residents with the chance to build friendships, leadership skills, and an appreciation of their gender expression and identity. While living in McIver, members of this RLP attend retreats and training sessions, complete a women’s studies course, and participate in community service activities.

Sustainability


It’s easy being green when you’re a member of this RLP—residents participate in seminars, social and educational events, and service projects centered around the environment and other systemic issues. Housed in Morrison, the Sustainability RLP offers plenty of opportunities for discussion and hands-on work within the community, including documentary screenings, park clean-ups, group dinners, and guest speakers.

Want to join an RLP? First-years, transfers, and returning students can all apply—the deadline for rising sophomores, juniors, and seniors is March 1, while new students are eligible once you’ve accepted admission. Just follow these instructions, and you’ll be on your way to living in one of these unique academic communities!

What topics do you want to see on the blog? Sound off below and win!

Comment on this post with a NEW blog topic (one that has not been featured before) and be entered to win a Top Lottery Pick for 2016-2017 Housing Selection! To win, you must be a current student. Only one topic submission per person allowed. To be considered for a Top Lottery Pick, you must submit your topic between December 2, 2015 @ 12:01 am through February 5, 2016 @ 11:59 pm.

RA Spotlight: Jovonnie Quintero

 

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Jovonnie Quintero

Year: Junior

Residence Hall: Morrison

Major: Sociology

Other Extracurricular Activities: Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity, Honor Court, NC Fellows Class of 2017

What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I have 17 siblings, so I grew up valuing the importance of creating relationships. My favorite thing about being an RA is just that – making connections with residents and staff members through appreciating our diversity in identities, opinions, personalities, and interests. We are all dynamic, we have multitudes, and it is always nice to experience those with each other.

What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: There isn’t one exact moment, but a collection of small instances. I’m a giver. I love giving my residents snacks or baking treats for them. Whenever I have leftover candy or sweets from a program, I make sure to give all the extras away to my residents. I just love how excited they get when I offer them free food! I know it’s not conventionally “fun”, but I so enjoy making them smile through food.

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Don’t let your doubts keep you from applying to be an RA! It is natural to be hesitant or worried throughout the application process, but don’t let those concerns hold you back from meeting amazing people at UNC and from bringing your charm to the residential experience!

 

RA Spotlight: Jennie Lugten

 

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Jennie Lugten

Year: Sophomore

Residence Hall: Hinton James

Major: Psychology

Other Extracurricular Activities: Summit College

What is your favorite thing about being an RA?: I love having the opportunity to provide an environment that is welcoming and for my residents to know that they are loved and appreciated.

What is the most fun thing you’ve done with your residents?: A few of my residents and I went swing dancing at a Cru event one night!

What advice would you give to somebody who is thinking about becoming an RA next year?: Talk to as many RAs as you can! Write down different programs they have done, bulletin boards, and ways they interact with their residents. It will give you an opportunity to know what has and hasn’t worked and get you thinking ahead for next year!

 

Halloween in the Halls

October 31st…when else will you see a pack of dancing bananas, groups of Disney characters, and superheroes roaming Chapel Hill? While Halloween on Franklin Street is a long-celebrated tradition, the residence halls hosted plenty of spooky events all weekend long as an alternative option for students looking to have fun on campus. From pumpkin painting to costume contests to haunted houses, and ending with the Food Truck Rodeo on Halloween night, check out the highlights below!

Motown Halloween

Odum Halloween

OCLQ Halloween

Cobb Halloween

Manning East Halloween

Food Truck Rodeo

CoGo 101

The perks of residence life are plentiful—proximity to classes, easy access to campus resources, a sense of community, and…free quesadillas?

You’ve probably been riding the elevator, brushing your teeth in the bathroom, or just hanging out in the study lounge in your residence hall, when you noticed a poster advertising some kind of event. Maybe, you’ve even been walking through the lobby only to find students scooping bowls of ice cream or flipping pancakes. They’re not the RAs—so who is this mysterious group of residents, and what do they do?

Chances are, they’re part of your Community Government—think kind of like Student Government from high school, but within your residence hall community. Still confused? Read on for some frequently asked questions about CoGo!

Parker residents made ice cream sundaes and played speed-friending games at their CoGo's first event of the year.

Parker residents made ice cream sundaes and played speed-friending games at their CoGo’s first event of the year.

What is Community Government?

Community Government is a part of the Residence Hall Association (RHA), which works to create a positive on-campus living experience. Each Community Government (called CoGo for short) is appointed and led by a Community Governor, who was elected in August. Your CoGo usually consists of about 8 to 20 residents, who hold positions like Lieutenant Governor, Secretary, Treasurer, and Marketing Manager. Together, the CoGo team plans fun events for your community and purchases residence hall enhancements.

Ram Village CoGo gets ready to serve Wings and Moe's to their residents.

Ram Village CoGo gets ready to serve Wings and Moe’s to their residents.

Is Community Government Like My RA?

Not quite! Your RA is a paid staff member hired by the Department of Housing and Residential Education (DHRE), and they serve as an administrator and mentor for your hall. CoGo members are volunteers, and any resident can apply. Each Community Government also has its own budget for hosting programs, which is based on the number of residents in their community. While the RAs and CoGo are separate entities, they both share a common goal of making your hall a great place to live!

Olde Campus Upper Quad (OCUQ) CoGo shows their residents how to make stress balls out of balloons at their study break event.

Olde Campus Upper Quad (OCUQ) CoGo shows their residents how to make stress balls out of balloons at their study break event.

What Kind of Events Does Community Government Plan?

CoGo programs may be social or educational, and they can range from weekly recycling drives to formal dances. Popular events include pancake nights, sports viewing parties (watching UNC beat Dook is even more fun with a crowd!), and holiday-themed activities. Many Community Governments hold end-of-year traditional events, large-scale social programs which may involve catered food, inflatables, or musical performances. If you have an idea for an event in your hall, let your Community Governor or a CoGo member know! Their job is to represent you, and they’re always open to suggestions.

Kenan CoGo teaches their residents what can and can't be recycled in the community bins.

Kenan CoGo teaches their residents what can and can’t be recycled in the community bins.

How Can I Learn More/Get Involved?

Avoid that sinking feeling when you realize you missed out on free cinnamon rolls—sign up for Food in my Hall, a free RHA text notification list. You’ll get a message every time your Community Government is having an event! Also, be sure to follow your community on Facebook and Twitter for updates on upcoming programs. If you’re interested in joining CoGo, get in touch with your Community Governor—they may have an open position or an opportunity for you to help out.

Whether you’re interested in taking on a leadership role or just enjoy eating free pizza and meeting new people, attend an event and get to know your CoGo! That group of residents passing out cupcakes in your residence hall’s lobby does more than just hand out free food—they work really hard to make your on-campus experience memorable.