Other Extracurriculars: The Daily Tar Heel , Crash Campaign, NC Fellows
Why did you decide to be an RA? So actually, I was kind of like a mini RA in high school. I went to NCSSM [North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics]. They had a position called an RLA, so I did that. I just went out on a limb and tried it. So I think that’s definitely what kind of pushed me to do it in college.
What’s your favorite thing about being an RA? My first program is tonight and I like programming but I’m waiting to see how it actually goes. I like the planning aspect of it. Generally, I like getting to know people and making sure I’m doing all that I can to serve them. Interacting with them individually is pretty neat.
Do you have any advice for people applying to be an RA? Typically, people would probably think of an RA as someone who’s outgoing, extroverted, and wanting to reach people all the time. But I am an introverted person and I can say that it’s not one specific personality type that can be an RA.
What has been the most unexpected thing about being an RA? I guess I would say how easily it came to me. Because going into it, I was like, “I’m introverted! Oh my gosh, I don’t know how I’m going to do this.” But after training and all of the get-to-know-you weeks, I feel like I’ve settled in really easily. That was really surprising. It’s actually like, “I can do this!”
How has being an RA shaped your experience at Carolina? It’s definitely motivated me to be more connected on campus. Last year, I spent a lot of time at [NC] State because I have a lot of friends at State. But being an RA has definitely motivated me to spend the majority of my time at Carolina. I’m actually getting to know my staff, learning how programs work in the community, and motivating other people to do the same.
Joining COGO will not only help you succeed in college, but in the real world too.
What is COGO? COGO, an affectionate name for community government, is the child of the parent organization, Residence Hall Association. Every residential community on campus has one and it’s tasked with building and bringing together the community, coordinating fun events for the students, and enhancing our existing amenities. After the Governor is elected at the beginning of the year, they choose the rest of the team, and they get started!
This time, I’ll give you my personal account on how being the marketing manager for my COGO has impacted my life and what you should consider before diving in headfirst!
Why did you first join co-go?
In case you hadn’t noticed, UNC is ginormous. We have more than 29,000 undergraduate students and we’re somehow supposed to find friends? Being a part of a smaller community was important to me and I thought COGO would be a good way to meet people and actually make an impact on our huge campus. Also, let’s be honest, as First-Years, we don’t really get that many leadership opportunities thrown at us even though we need them. I felt COGO was a good way to get started.
How has COGO helped your college career so far?
Being the marketing manager for my COGO has really made an impact not only on my resume, but on my soft skills as well. This is almost a full time job (except we don’t get paid :/ ) and that leaves you with so much experience. As someone who is pursuing marketing, I really learned a lot more about branding, advertising, and social media. Beyond that, I learned what it meant to be part of a team. We had our failures and successes and we learned how to handle it all and handle it together. These are skills that I will definitely need in the future. All of my experience has helped me get internships and other leadership positions on campus. Employers like school involvement! Shocker!
What were some things you did?
As Marketing Manager, I really controlled the advertising part of our COGO. If there was an event, I decided how to market it. This involved designing flyers, designing logos, posting on social media, and managing all of our free stuff (you know, the important stuff!). If you got a T-Shirt from Craige last year, that was created by me in conjunction with some other team-members.
Favorite Cogo Memory?
I loved planning all our events with my team members but my favorite memory was our end of the year dinner. It took us a whole semester to get comfortable with each other so when we were finally able to sit down and talk about stuff other than COGO, it was amazing. We have so many different personalities but we all got along great. I loved my COGO family and if you join a COGO you’ll love yours.
What are some things you wish you knew before you started?
Something that’s important to know about COGO is that it can easily feel like a “thankless job.” It’s those days when they thank the RAs for what WE do (we are not associated with the RAs in any way shape or form), when people ask “what’s COGO?”, and when people just come down to grab the food and skip the actual event. It’s days like those where you wonder why you even do it. Yet, you’re still feeding someone, they’re still grateful for it, even if they don’t say it. You still plan awesome events, and people do enjoy them. Maybe we’ve saved them from one hour of boredom. That’s good enough for me, fam. Most days. 😛
Best part of Cogo?
Hands down, it’s the people you’ll meet. I loved my team members, I loved my CD, I loved the residents I met (especially those who thanked me), I loved the other members of different cogos, I loved our Exec Officers, and I loved the RAs who helped us. COGO members are some of the most selfless and generous people you’ll meet and I am so glad I met them.
Depending on the position you have, you might have more work than other COGO members. We’re still kids, so sometimes we drop the ball. If you’re the only one keeping the ball up, don’t get angry. It happens!
Advice for people involved in or looking to get involved in cogo?
Meet the governor and apply for as many positions as possible. Even if you don’t feel you have enough experience, there’s a position for you in there somewhere!
If you have any questions feel free to shoot us a comment below!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Alpha Phi Omega is UNC’s only co-ed fraternity with a dedication to community service. The organization’s three principles are leadership, friendship and service. UNC’s Rho chapter engages in service on campus and in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro community, as well as holding social events for brothers. APO works with Carolina Tiger Rescue, Adopt a Highway, the Human Rights Center, UNC Hospitals, Arc of Orange County, A Helping Hand, Battle ParkCharles’ House, TABLE, and other community organizations, as well as campus organizations such as Dance Marathon, Habitat for Humanity and Relay for Life. The chapter also runs the UNC Lost and Found; they sell items that haven’t been claimed for a year and vote on the charities that receive the funds raised. The brothers hang out a lot too; they attend UNC baseball games together, play capture the flag in Coker Arboretum and paint pumpkins on the quad.
How can first-years get involved?
Rush APO! The rush process at the beginning of the semester involves two weeks of attending as many service events and brotherhood socials as possible. It’s blind rush, which means new brothers are chosen solely based on how many events they attend during rush. Brothers can become leaders through APO by becoming one of the two presidents, three vice presidents or dozen officer positions, such as Intramural Chair or Historian. There is also a service committee, a membership committee, and a fellowship committee that any brother can join.
Although called a fraternity, APO is co-ed and any UNC student can rush. You can also be in a Greek fraternity or sorority and still join APO- membership isn’t exclusive!
How do I learn more?
You can check out the Rho chapter’s website, like them on Facebook, or contact either of the presidents at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UNC Habitat is a campus organization that partners with Habitat for Humanity of Orange County to provide affordable housing to low-income families. The houses are built by supervised volunteers and paid for with a nonprofit mortgage. Habitat for Humanity of Orange County has helped almost 200 families in 25 years.
You just got to campus. There is so much going on: over 100 events from August 16-25, so where do you even begin? Go to as many as you can, but here is a list of the my recommended top 10 must-go-to events during your first week at Carolina:
1) FallFest! The alcohol-free celebration welcomes students to campus from 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Sunday August 18th on South Road. The 16th annual FallFest will include free food, performances by student groups and bands, games and more. This year, over 250 student organizations and recreation leagues will have information tables where students can learn to get involved at Carolina.
2) New Student Convocation. Put on your Carolina Blue and attend your official class induction on Sunday August 18th at 6:30 p.m. in the Dean Smith Center. Join Chancellor Carol Folt and distinguished guests in a ceremony marking your beginning as a Tar Heel.
“Carolina Snapshots” exhibit highlights possibilities for campus involvement
If you were around campus last summer, you might have seen the “Carolina Snapshots” photo installation in the Carolina Union Art Gallery. As a way to introduce new students to what Carolina has to offer, it was created in order to showcase the diverse experiences of various individuals, groups and organizations on campus.
The exhibit will return again this summer with new photos and stories. Stop by the Carolina Union Art Gallery to check it out any time from June 2013 through August 2013. After that, the exhibit will travel to different Residence Hall communities across campus, so make sure to keep an eye out for it!
If you want to share an experience to help inspire the newest Tar Heels this summer, there is still time left to submit a nomination for a friend, student group or yourself. The deadline is April 5, 2013 by 5:00 p.m.