Brand Builder Blog

Insights from our UQ students

Drawing 101: What you need to get started

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Whether it’s for 10 minutes or a few hours, one of the most relaxing and fun activities to me is, drawing! It is so enjoyable to see your creative imagination come to life on paper! You don’t even need to be a professional or a very gifted drawer to do it. Here’s what you need:

1. Paper or Another Surface To Draw On

Be it white copy paper, a sketch pad, on top of your English notes, or pages of a novel you didn’t like, all of these can be sources to express your artwork and doodles on.

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2. A Drawing Utensil
Depending on how bold you are, the thickness of the lines you are going to use or maybe just whatever you have around you, you’ll need a tool to produce art. I have found some of my most favorite pieces and doodles have been with both graphite pencils from a brand called General Kimberly and Sharpies!

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3. Erase With Grace
One thing that is almost inevitable when using graphite, or anything non-permanent, is that you will mess up and need to erase. So whenever I have pencil in hand you can always trust I have some sort of eraser in the other! My favorite eraser is called a Faber-Castell kneaded eraser, that sticks any trace of graphite to it making it seem as though you never messed up in the

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4. Rule It Out
This tool is not a must have every time you’re drawing but it is always pretty helpful to have a ruler on hand to map things out evenly. I find it most helpful when sketching with lines and shapes or even when making dimensions correct when drawing bigger!

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5. Add Some Color
Black and white drawings tend to look flat and static so every once in awhile I find myself wanting to add some color with colored pencils. My favorite type are a brand called PrismaColor Colored Pencils. They have such a large variety of high quality colored pencils that will leave your drawing bold and beautiful!

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Thanks to Christina Guidry from University of California, Davis for this creative post!

 

Top 5 Essentials for a Good Run

1. A Good Pair of Running Shoes

Running Shoes are obviously the most important part of your run. They are the foundation for workout and in many cases one of the only objects that prevents you from getting injured. I recommend the Nike Free as an optimal running shoe. The Nike Free comes in many styles and colors to cater to the broad taste of runners everywhere. However no matter what style or color, each running shoe has a balance of comfort, support, and weightlessness. They’re perfect shoe to help you stay fit and feel good doing it.

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2. Spotify Playlist
Many people say that running is defined by the concept of “mind over matter; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” However, I would have to say that running is defined by the music you have to motivate you. Having the ideal playlist is extremely important, especially when running long distance. You want a playlist that has songs with the same tempo, but also songs you like so that you aren’t skipping every other song. I have come to find that Spotify has thousands of “Workout Playlists” for any and all runners. They compile songs that are upbeat to promote a lively workout but are generally the same tempo so your workout has consistency. Spotify understands the importance of working out and the way a great playlist can make a good workout that much better.

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3. A Sturdy and Reliable Water Bottle
Staying hydrated during your run is an important component to maintaining your endurance and health while running. Camelbak makes a series of products that are perfect to accompany you on your run. Each product is equipped with a straw and a rubber piece to bite that makes drinking much easier while you’re running. They make water bottles that are easy to carry but also make small backpacks that are equipped with water bottles in them for even more convenience. Camelbak products are perfect for every runner and make staying hydrated easy.

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4. Good Quality Athletic Top
A reliable and good quality running top can make all the difference in your run. Cotton shirts tend to hold in sweat and can make any run unbearable. I recommend Lululemon,Nike, or Athleta tops. The tops are comfortable, flattering, and lightweight. They are the perfect tops to give you a confident and comfortable workout. Available in a variety of colors and styles, there are tops for everyone. Some have built in sports bras for extra support while others are looser for a more relaxed feel; these companies make a top for every woman on the run.

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5. Fitbit
Depending on what type of runner you are, you may be concerned with different aspects of your work out. The Fitbit is the perfect tool to help you track the different stages of your run. Connecting to your iPhone through Bluetooth, the Fitbit can track your steps, distance, heart rate and many other components of your workout to give you a full summary of how hard your body is working and what you’re accomplishing from your run.

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Thanks to Madison Phin from Miami University for this post!

 

5 Essentials Tools for Online Shopping

There are 5 critical things you need to prepare yourself before diving into the digital world of online shopping. These 5 things will help you stay focused and allows you find exactly what you are looking for in the shortest amount of time and at the right price.

1. Slice
An app that automatically picks up tracking numbers in your email whenever you buy something. The app alerts you when a price has dropped after you bought something and will help you refund your purchase. It also tells you when anything you’ve bough is recalled to keep you safe. Finally it allows for easy access to your receipts in case you want to return a purchase.

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2. PriceGrabber
PriceGrabber is one example of many of an app that lets you search online stores for deals and lets you compare prices of similar products. This app will ensure that you are finding the least expensive option. It’s simple and easy!

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3. A full battery and good internet connection
Be prepared for your online shopping experience and make sure your computer batter is fully charged! Don’t forget that good internet connection is key in snagging those last minute deals. I reccommend the MacBook Pro with the latest-generation Intel processor. It’s the best to quickly search the web for your specific needs.

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4. Caffeinated Beverage
This tool is imperative to staying alert while online. Grab a Coke or coffee before starting your online shopping to ensure you don’t miss any last minute sales. Visit a local coffee shop for the perfect online environment to get you in the mood.

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5. Credit Card
Last but not least, have your credit card ready at all times! You never want to miss out on a great deal.

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Thanks to Kendall Donohue from Miami University for this post!

 

Meet Christina– Fall 2015 VIP

Christina

Christina

UC Davis, Class of 2016

 

What are the Top 5 things on your “bucket list”?

  1. Travel to Thailand, New Zealand, & Australia
  2. Take a road trip across the country with my best friends
  3. Attend a Twenty One Pilots concert
  4. Become a firefighter
  5. Meet the Dalai Lama

Favorite recently read book/article/blog?

  • Kite Runner

Last meal on your last day on Earth?

  • Chipotle Burrito

Top 5 favorite brands?

  • Nike
  • Vans
  • RVCA
  • Obey
  • RayBan

You in 7 words:

  • unique, comic, adventurous, lover, loyal, athletic, rad
 

Do You Know Duke?

Duke at a Glance

 Our Duke University VIP Gives some School Insight

Duke_Infographic

Duke Infographic

Thanks to Julia Kahky for this great infographic.

 

Hot In Here: 5 Items You Need for a Perfect Hot Yoga Session

Hot In Here: 5 Items You Need for a Perfect Hot Yoga Session

 Our George Washington University yogi shares her must-haves for Hot Yoga.

I love to unwind from a stressful day or start a new day with hot yoga. I think it’s the best way kill two birds with one stone: de-stressing and fitting in a killer workout. But, practicing vinyasa flows in a 100-degree studio is a harder workout than you may realize, so here are 5 items that ensure a superiorly Zen hot-yoga experience:

1. Lululemon 

(Don’t fight it, the reputation is deserved!) The most stylish and top-notch quality. A pair of Lululemon leggings allow me to sweat comfortably in style. Trendy + quality = stylish yogi.

Lululemon Leggings

2. Manduka Yoga Mat 

Although these mats are a little pricy, they are definitely worth every dollar. Manduka mats (especially the PRO versions) allow me to go through various poses without slipping as I sweat.

Manduka Mats

3. Yogitoes Yoga Towels 
It may seem like these products are unnecessary, but trust me, these will help to elevate your practice. The Yogitoes yoga mat towels help to absorb sweat and enhance your grip on the mat.

Yogitoes Yoga Towels

:4. Nékter Juice Bar

Pre or post hot yoga session, I like having one of Nékter’s green juice smoothies or açai bowls. They have endless options available. They’re the perfect healthy snack to keep you nourished without feeling weighed down after yoga. My all time favorites are the chocolate dream smoothie, the greenie juice, and acai-banana berry bowl. Pro-tip: They deliver!

Nékter’s acai-banana berry bowl (Photo from Yelp)

5. CamelBak Water Bottle

You’ll be amazed (and a little disturbed) by the amount of sweating you do in a hot yoga session. Sweating = dehydration = thirst. So, to quench the thirst during practice, I like to bring my CamelBak water bottle.  With its easily accessible straw, all I need to do is flip and sip –without tilting the bottle. Bonus: it’s fun and spill-proof!

Camelbak Water Bottles

 

Thanks to Katherine Ahn, our awesome intern, yogi extraordinare at George Washington University, for this great post! 

 

 

 

#TBT: A Retrospective from an Ohio State Student

College Life: Then & Now

 From computers and smartphones, to fashion and parties, college has changed incredibly  from the time our parents were in school.

Around Campus

Then:

Picture this, the quad filled with students, some walk to class, others throw a frisbee with a boombox playing the latest Queen song, an abundance of conversation and noise. The girls wear high-waisted shorts and jeans with feathered hair while the guys, also wearing high waisted jeans, lounge around and admire from afar.

 

Image source: https://dlynx.rhodes.edu/jspui/handle/10267/11110

Now:

The quad is now silent, students walk alone, most on their iPhones or listening to their iPods. No audible music is heard and the number of those actually socializing and being active dwindles. Today students are enveloped with their technology, communicating through texts and emails on their way to class. In their free time they are home, catching up on Netflix or sleep. While in the warmer months there is more activity on the quad, it’s still less than it once was.

image from peopleconnectpeople.com

 

Fashion

Then:

Have I mentioned high-wasted everything? Our parent’s generation was all about the high waisted pant/trouser and tucked in shirt combo, not to mention an array of brightly colored workout gear. Combine that with geometric shapes, crazy earrings and big, feathered hair and you have the nightmare that was 80’s fashion.

Image from http://cloud.collegefashion.net/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/double-denim-no-1.jpg

Now:

I  jokingly refer to my generation as the “Yoga Pant Generation.” If you walk college campuses today you’ll see girls with black yoga pants, sweatshirts, and nike tennis shoes. The boys wear loose fitting jeans with their college tees. Its all very casual and “roll-out-of-bed” chic with most students opting for athletic wear. High-waisted shorts have started making a comeback with  girls on campus. Meanwhile the boys don their pastel colored shorts and polos with their sperry topsiders, because apparently everyone owns a boat in college now.

Image from http://www.hercampus.com/school/iu/boys-bloomington

Class

Then:

Students daydream and scribble in their notebooks as their professors drone on about whatever topic is scheduled for lecture that day. The smart kids sit and write furiously in their notebooks, being sure to catch everything the professor says and writes. Guys draw caricatures in their notebooks and girls fawn over the dreamy guy in the second row while giggling to their neighbor.

Image from http://www.whyallanewsonline.com.au/story/2815707/calling-students-of-the-80s/

Now:

Students sit on their laptops pretending to take notes while secretly iMessaging their friend one row in front of them. You hardly hear what the professor is saying because the article about the Kardashians is far more interesting and you know you can get the notes from a friend or the online portal that your school uses for classwork. Sometimes you don’t even go to class because you know the notes are all online and what’s the point in going if you already have notes?

 

Image from http://kellimarshall.net/my-blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2012/11/laptops-classrooms.jpg

Thanks to Caitlyn Shaughnessy, our intern-delux at the Ohio State University ( and in the office at UQ Marketing) for this awesome post! 

 

 

 

ClusterFlunk- Helping You Out of an Academic Jam

Clusterflunk: Encouraging Cyber Class Collaboration

            A new year at the University of Iowa always brings many new changes and opportunities for students on campus. From new restaurants to sample to new student organizations to join, one thing is for sure: Hawkeyes love trying new things. Things don’t always stick, so when something does there is a good possibility that the trend will soon spread beyond Iowa’s campus.

            One prime example is ClusterFlunk, an up-and-coming social network for studying, designed to help you and your friends avoid “cluster flunking” your classes. The purpose of the site is to help students connect and collaborate with other students in their classes at the university. Students log in using their school email address and upload their class schedule. They then have access to any notes and information students in the same classes have shared as well as a convenient place to interact with their classmates. The site was created by University of Iowa students, AJ Nelson and Joe Dallago who wanted to create a site that would help them get class information quickly during exam week or during times that they couldn’t contact their TA’s or Professors.

Image from ClusterFlunk Facebook

Although Clusterflunk is a great resource and has become very popular across campus, it leaves room for academic integrity concerns. Because the website allows students to post content like lecture notes or study guides, there are some rules that should be followed while navigating the site so that students don’t find themselves crossing the line between collaboration and cheating. Here are some dos and don’ts for “ClusterFlunking”:

DO- Check with each professor about their thoughts and policies on the use of Clusterflunk within their class. Some professors strongly discourage using the site while others actually use it themselves to monitor posts or to update class information. In the end, it doesn’t hurt to ask and can save you potential heartache.

DON’T- Post entire papers or tests that others can plagiarize or steal. Instead, post study guides, questions, or homework help that can truly help you and others learn and collaborate. This is the easiest and simplest way to avoid cheating and to get that A.

DO- Spread the word about the site! The more students who join the site and enroll in the classes, the more effective the site will be.

DON’T- Use the site as an excuse to skip class or not do the work yourself because you think someone else will post the notes for the lecture you missed every day. The site isn’t meant to make students lazier, just more resourceful.

 

Image from ClusterFlunk Instagram

So the next time you find yourself scrambling to study for finals or have a quick question about that upcoming paper… consider ClusterFlunk among the resources available to you. The site has already spread to 15 other campuses beyond the University of Iowa so you surely won’t be alone. Happy ClusterFlunking!

Check out ClusterFlunk and see if your campus has caught on: https://next.clusterflunk.com

Thanks to Madeline Jacqua, our VIP at the University of Iowa for this awesome post! 

 

 

 

Get Some Experience

UQ Marketing is Looking for Virtual Interns Nationwide

UQ Marketing has a legion of Virtual Interns working year-round on college campus to keep us informed of the latest trends and help us execute our incredible experiential campaigns.

We are looking for one or two interns at each campus. When we say each campus, we mean every school. If your school isn’t already on the list– we’re even more excited to hear from you!

Virtual Interns are responsible for completing projects, participating in discussions, helping recruit top university talent, and documenting campaigns on campus. In exchange for your eyes and ears on campus, you get an introduction to the world of marketing and the chance to work on campaigns for major brands. The internship may also be eligible for college credit on your campus. **

Who we need:

Motivated, outgoing, independent-workers who are interested in learning more about marketing. 

The ideal candidate will be:

 

  • Active on a variety of social media channels and have a large social media following.
  • Well connected on campus and involved in different groups and organizations.
  • Confident that you can complete a virtual internship (without direct supervision) and have space for 2 projects per month within your existing school schedule.
  • Good writing skills
  • Undergraduate living on campus
  • Has researched the UQ Marketing website  & Student Insights blog to see examples of our projects and clients.

 

What you’ll learn: 

  • Social media strategy
  • Research/data collection & reporting
  • Advertising analysis
  • Trend identifying
  • Different views from students around the country

 

The VIP program runs through the end of fall semester.

APPLICATIONS DUE JANUARY 22nd 

APPLY HERE: http://form.jotformpro.com/form/43455337474965

**The VIP program does not meet the requirements for college credit at every school. Each VIP is responsible for researching and arranging their own credits. We are happy to sign any paperwork required, but we do not arrange for credit on student’s behalf. 

 

 

 

Colorful Chairs Mean Spring

University of Wisconsin- Madison: Sun Returns to The Terrace

The University of Wisconsin is famous for a few things. Football, for one, is a massive part of our culture and school spirit. Being located in our state’s capital has many advantages and special opportunities as well. But one of the more hidden gems known by students attending the University of Wisconsin is the famous Memorial Union Terrace on Lake Mendota.

http://www.union.wisc.edu/venue-muterrace.htm

http://www.union.wisc.edu/venue-muterrace.htm

Even the seating at the terrace is famous- the colorful, uniquely shaped chairs seem to be on the bucket list of souvenirs for graduating students. Not to mention the culture of the area itself- being a part of Memorial Union means lots of food options, including some Wisconsin classics like the best brats and cheese curds on campus. Not to mention the famous specialty Babcock ice cream that is only available on campus! The mix of the wonderful and decadent classics of the Wisconsin menu is enough to send any student running toward Memorial Union.

Students, faculty, and alumni gather in herds on bright and sunny days to admire the view, and of course these delicious treats, on the Terrace.

Speaking of the view, the beautiful panorama calls to professional photographers and iPhone camera users alike. A typical day spent studying, hanging out, or just enjoying the view of the terrace involves the sound of cameras clicking away. Sometimes, it’s not unusual to see engagement or wedding photos taken in the classic terrace chairs or with Lake Mendota’s beautiful scene behind it. Littered with beautiful sailboats, canoes, and students enjoying the docks and water, this view is definitely enough to make anyone smile.

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

(Photo by Bryce Richter / UW-Madison)

 

The Terrace isn’t just used for amazing food, ice cream, a hangout and study spot, or a photo op, however. It is also the host of many music events and cinema showings. So along with the food and the view, concerts of small bands can accompany the comfortable and classic ambience of the Terrace. So while you enjoy your brat and Babcock ice cream in between classes on a sunny day, you can expect there to be a band playing their latest ‘garage-born’ hit that you can bob your head to. The display of these small bands is something that makes the Terrace so unique- a way for students to showcase their talents in a place that surrounds them with their fellow Badgers, past and present.

All in all, the Terrace is a classic at the University of Wisconsin Madison. Whether you stop by to study, meet with friends, listen to a concert or just grab a bite, the Terrace welcomes all, and is always worth the visit.

Thanks to Megan “Meggie” Layer, University of Wisconsin Spring 2014 VIP intern for this awesome post! 

 

 

 

Looking for Ambassadors

PowWow_Vertical_Large

UQ Marketing is Looking for Ambassadors

UQ Marketing has paired with Pow Wow to run a Spring Semester campaign on four Campuses:

  • UT Austin
  • Northwestern
  • UC Santa Barbara 
  • University of Maryland
  • UCLA

We are looking for one dynamic, music-loving ambassador at each campus.

Pow Wow is an app that allows people to build collaborative playlists in real time. More information on what it is and how the app works can be found here: http://thepowwow.com/how-it-works/

Who we need:

Motivated, outgoing, independent-workers who are in love with music and enthusiastic about sharing music with their friends.

The ideal candidate will be:

  • Well-spoken, stylish, comfortable talking to new people and engaging them in genuine experiences—this is not a spammy, sales-driven position.
  • Active on a variety of social media channels and have a large social media following
  • Previous event planning experience OR great ideas and the determination and connections to make awesome events happen
  • Has or is willing to purchase ($9.99/mo) a premium Spotify account
  • Will be on campus at least through the end of exam week or for the whole summer
  • Has downloaded and explored the free Pow Wow app

 

What you’ll do:

  • Social media promotion: talk about Pow Wow on your social media channels
  • Peer-to-peer recommendations: tell other students about Pow Wow and why you love it.
  • Campus activations: you will develop and implement campus events that create user experience with the app. Downloading is not enough, we want students using the app together—sharing music.  These events could be hang-outs, full-blown house parties, or study-sessions. You tell us what will work best and then make it happen. The possibilities are endless and there is big potential for fun.

 

The Pow Wow Ambassador at each school will be paid for their time and will work an average of 6 hours per week. This is a Spring semester position beginning April 1st and wrapping up around May 27th

APPLICATIONS DUE MONDAY MARCH 31st

APPLY HERE: http://form.jotformpro.com/form/40694468894978

 

 

Fire It Up

University of Tennessee Illuminates the Future for Freshman

The University of Tennessee has numerous beloved traditions that students and alumnae hold dear to their hearts. One of those traditions is the candlelight ceremony called Torch Night, which originated in 1925 with the freshman class.  It has continued every fall since then as a tradition among the freshman.

photo credit: http://torch.utk.edu/firstyear

photo credit: http://torch.utk.edu/firstyear

Torch Night is held the first week of fall semester to officially declare the new freshmen as part of the student body.  Thousands of students gather in the Thompson-Boling Arena on the first Friday night of the school year and seniors pass the “torch of preparation” to the new students by giving them a lit candle.

The chancellor of the university and administration lead the ceremony by talking to the nervous new students and encouraging them that the next few years at the University of Tennessee will be some of the best years of their lives.  Chancellor Jimmy Cheek gives advice to students to encourage them to focus on their academics, but also to enjoy the experiences that the university has to offer by joining clubs, pursuing internships, and studying abroad.

A single lit candle starts from the seniors and is then passed along to each student lighting each candle one by one.  As the seniors pass on light to the new students’ candles, the chancellor leads the students in a pledge of loyalty to the university.  The booming sound echoes throughout the room asking, “Do you pledge to serve the university and society?”  Roughly 4,000 freshmen respond with a triumphant, “I do.”

A new tradition was added to the class of 2014’s Torch Night; each chair inside the arena contained a sealed envelope with a tassel inside. Chancellor Cheek adds to the ceremony that he looks forward to seeing each and every student walking across the stage wearing that same tassel at graduation, and he wants them to remember the night that they got it.

photo credit: http://utdailybeacon.com

photo credit: http://utdailybeacon.com

The students then leave the arena in silence, carrying their lit candles along their first “Vol Walk” from Thompson-Boling Arena, down Volunteer Boulevard, and into Neyland Stadium. The students have the pleasure of running onto the field surrounded by the University of Tennessee’s marching band, Pride of the Southland, playing traditional university songs like Rocky Top.  To finish off the magical night, students pose for a class picture in the shape of the “Power T” directly centered over the 50-yard line.  This tradition is a great part of the University of Tennessee because it gets every student excited for his or her college career and is a memory he or she will carry the rest of their lives, especially when looking back on their college years.

Special thanks to Ellie Gaffney, University of Tennessee Knoxville student and Spring Semester UQ VIP intern, for this post. 

 

 

Let the Good Times Roll

Rolling the Quad: the Symbol of Wake Forest Pride, Spirit and Unity

Wake Forest University’s dedicated and enthusiastic students pride themselves on tradition. Since the university’s move from Wake Forest, North Carolina to Winston-Salem in 1956, students have been creating traditions to make the new campus location their own. One of the most important and distinctive traditions includes “rolling the quad.” It began in 1961 when students found a way to celebrate amazing athletic victories: “TP-ing” Hearn Plaza.

from www.wfu.edu

from www.wfu.edu

After a few years of throwing toilet paper into the trees of Hearn Plaza, also referred to as the upper quad, the trend quickly became a tradition.  Alumni would return to campus for Homecoming and Parents Weekend, with hopes of winning a football or basketball game, the most popular reason to roll the quad. One of the biggest “quad rollings” was in 2006 when Wake Forest beat Georgia Tech for the ACC football championship. Hundreds of students, faculty and alumni dashed from BB&T Field to Hearn Plaza to celebrate their victory. I remember my first time rolling the quad when Wake Forest beat the UNC Tarheels the fall of my freshman year. It was an absolutely overwhelming feeling, a feeling that only Demon Deacons can truly understand.

 

Though athletic victories have been the most popular reason to roll the quad, the act has expanded to cultural, political and academic events as well. For example, students rolled the quad after the 2000 Presidential Debate between George W. Bush and Al Gore that took place in Wake Forest’s very own Wait Chapel. Members of both political parties joined together in this monumental event in the school’s history to express their school pride. In addition, students rolled the quad after our math club won the Mathematical Contest in Modeling, a competitive international math contest, in 2000, 2001 and 2002.

from www.mentalfloss.com

from www.mentalfloss.com

Wake Forest is a very eco-friendly university; however, sustainability often comes into question. Concerns about throwing streamers and toilet paper into trees are often discussed among prospective families and those outside the community. Our defense includes the fact that the toilet paper on campus is biodegradable, but this defense is not needed when one considers the main reasons for rolling the quad. It is more than “trashing” Hearn Plaza. It symbolizes everything that embodies Wake Forest University: pride, spirit and unity. The excitement of winning sports games, hosting a presidential debate, or representing Wake Forest on national and international levels ignites our passion for our school and helps us remember why we are Demon Deacons. Rolling the quad demonstrates our uniqueness and allows us to come together as a student body to express our school spirit. Some of Wake Forest’s more intense fans dorm storm while screaming “Roll the quad! Go Deacs!” Rolling the quad is the best tradition that represents Wake Forest University, and it will continue for many generations to come!

 

Special thanks to Emily Kalis, Wake Forest University Class of 2016, and Spring Semester UQ VIP intern for this post. 

 

 

Buckeyes Doing Big Things

Buckeyes Doing Big Things

Being one of the largest schools in the country with excellent athletic departments, it is a given that Ohio State’s school spirit is second to none. Each Saturday during the fall, Ohio State’s students pack Ohio Stadium, also known as “The Shoe”, and cheer the Buckeyes on to a win. The sea of red and grey is something that is unlike anywhere else with people shouting “Urban era” or “Do the Buckeye bounce”, the school has a school spirit not many other schools can compete with. The students love their Buckeyes and are willing to do almost anything to showcase it.

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During the last week of November each year the University celebrates “Beat Michigan” week. Ohio state students dedicate the week to doing things to prove to themselves, and the world just how much they hate “That State Up North”. Whether it be wearing Buckeye gear every day of the week, crossing out every “M” on campus, or jumping into a freezing cold lake on the Tuesday before the game, anything and everything is possible for the dedicated students. That’s right, I said jumping into an ice-cold lake. The Mirror Lake jump occurs on the Tuesday before the Michigan game every year, during Beat Michigan week. The entire student body unites at Mirror Lake, located on central campus, around midnight to jump into the 4-foot deep body of water. Weather does not stop students from jumping in—the jump will go on no matter what. In past years, temperatures have ranged from below zero to 40 degrees, and some years have even seen rain or snow. Nothing will stop the crazy students. The jump hosts over 30,000 people each year and is THE activity of the semester. The jump is a tradition that gets national attention, and “tourists” commonly appear at the jump to get a first hand glimpse of the rowdiness. It is something that Ohio State students hold very near to their hearts and is something no other school can replicate.

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The screaming stands of fans coming together on a Saturday afternoon during the fall, script Ohio behind performed during halftime, Carmen Ohio being sung at the end of a game, and the chants of “O-H!” and “I-O” wherever you go is something no other place in the world can compare to. It’s what makes The Ohio State University such a special place for me and every other student here.

By: Katie Fries

 

A Rivalry of the Years and a Game for the Books

A Rivalry of the Years and a Game for the Books

At the University of Miami, when it’s game day, you know it’s game day.  Campus excitement reaches a level of sheer intensity as the spirit of the school overwhelms each nook and cranny of Miami itself. Every game is a Hurricane fan’s sole focus of the afternoon, for any other priorities would simply be a sin; however, there is one face-off in particular that amps up that passion to an unparalleled degree of crazy. On the morning of September 7, 2013, the air was crisp, the birds were chirping – well in actuality, the air was drenched in moisture with record breaking humidity levels and any sounds of wildlife were suppressed by spirited fans yelling down the halls – but the gist of it is, it was game day – it was UF game day – and it was a REALLY big deal.

In 1987, after forty-nine years of annual games, the University of Florida Gators decided they didn’t want to play the Miami Hurricanes anymore. The late seventies and eighties were characterized by Cane dominance on the field, and although the Gators had their reasons, their withdrawal from the rivalry further increased the tension and didn’t sit well with Miami fans by any means (“chicken” and “gator” started to become synonymous adjectives for such displays of cowardice). Intermittent, high profile games between the two schools have occurred since then, and the most recent Miami loss in 2008 was something that Canes everywhere were itching to avenge. Five years of waiting were finally coming to a peak; it was the day of reclamation of a throne lost to an enemy. It was game day. It was time.

In the weeks leading up to the monumental faceoff, students chattered incessantly about their means of transportation, the tailgates they were visiting, the celebrities they hoped to see in the box, but most of all, and most importantly, the bets that were placed on how much Miami was going kill it on the field that afternoon. On the eve of the game, football players might as well have been Jay-Z and JT; the phrase “local celebrity” doesn’t even begin to describe their social status for the weekend. Students watched in awe as they walked around campus, the entirety of the University’s hope, spirit, and faith resting fervently on their shoulders.

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This humongous and extremely expensive banner was strung on our new Student Activities Center because if the world didn’t know how badly we wanted to beat UF before, maybe a little subtle something would clarify our stance on the subject.

Around six a.m., it seemed as if whole school woke up already decked out in white, girls in elaborately fringed t-shirts and boys in some variation of specially made “Canes dominate Gators” tanks. Hundreds of students piled into the twelve p.m. game as early as seven, for many could barely stand to miss any ounce of the excitement of what was to be a historic upset of the longstanding rivalry. The ever popular rhythmic and spirited chant “IT’S GREAT – TO BE – A MIAMI HURRICANE” echoed down 95 while the entire University was being transported to Sun Life Stadium. Gator fans at tailgates had the famous “U” hand sign thrown in their faces while the AP-unranked Canes danced throughout the cars and tents, pouring energy into the stadium, confident that they could beat the odds and take back their title.

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Cheerleader Alex Piccirilli and her sorority twin, Tess Van der Gaag, show some Cane Spirit and throw up the “U” on the field before fans are let into the stadium.

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University of Miami Band of the Hour pumping up the fans in the stadium before the game.

The inner workings of the stadium were another sight in itself. The normally orange-packed sections were in a complete white-out with little dots of blue far and few in between, and each movement on the field was narrated by the gasps, curses, and cheers from the crowd. The moment the clock ran to zero, a wave of contentment and ecstasy overwhelmed the atmosphere as everything was finally right in the world with a title recovered and a rivalry settled. The Hurricanes could rest easy until the next time they met Gators on the field.

What a great day it truly was to be a Miami Hurricane.

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A little more Canes’ spirit as the players take the field, a few “U”s being thrown up here and there.

By: Eryn Davis

 

The Little Ring Made of Gold

The Little Ring Made of Gold

The class ring. It’s a symbol of hard work, success, education, and pride. But to a Texas Aggie, it means so much more.

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A tradition that began in 1889, the class ring resembles the values each Aggie should hold: Excellence, Integrity, Leadership, Loyalty, Respect and Selfless Service. Once a student completes 90 credit hours at Texas A&M, they are eligible to receive their ring; one of the most anticipated moments of every A&M students career.

It is called Aggie ring day and it only comes around twice a year, this semester falling on the weekend of September 20th. Friends and family come from all across the country to witness students receiving their ring. I’m sure you are imagining a student being presented their ring and proudly putting it on their right ring finger, and that’s the end of the excitement. But that is far from the end of the fun. Once the student picks up their ring from school, they aren’t allowed wear it until they fully earn it. I’m sure you’re thinking “Well they completed the 90 hours, doesn’t that mean they earned it?” Nope. It means they earned the right to have it, not to wear it. The rest of the weekend is full of what we call Ring Dunk Parties, where the student drops their ring in a pitcher of some kind of beverage, drinks the whole pitcher, takes a picture with the ring in their mouth, and then they have finally earned the right to wear their ring. It may sound like a wild tradition but it is actually really fun! Parents, kids, families, friends, and even professors come to watch this exhilarating milestone.
Drinking a pitcher of something to get to the ring is just the most common way to earn the right to wear it. Many students come up with pretty creative ways to earn that right. Just last night I attended a ring dunk where the student ate the biggest burrito I have ever seen, and his ring was stuffed into end. Although I was laughing and cheering along, I couldn’t decide if it was more exciting or sickening… Either way, he definitely earned that ring.

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Once all the fun and games of actually earning it is over, every student places the ring on their right hand ring finger where they will wear it proudly for the rest of their lives.

This unique tradition creates what we call “The Aggie Connection” all over the world. I have heard stories of people visiting places ranging from Paris to Buenos Aires and meeting other Aggies just by seeing that gold ring on their hands.

The Aggie class ring mean so much more than just an average class ring. It not only means you worked hard to earn your degree but also that you had a lot of fun while doing it. And I’ll tell you what, I have never been so excited to get a ring in my life.

By: Kiersten Conner

 

The Lighting of the Lawn and Lives

There’s no better way to offset the stress that arises at the end of the fall semester than to spread holiday cheer.  After completing exam after exam, students are in need of emotional uplifting to keep their spirits bright.  At the University of Virginia, the Lighting of the Lawn makes for one of the most beautiful nights of the season, as students and Charlottesville residents gather to see thousands of lights illuminate the university’s historic Academical Village.

The annual tradition of Lighting of the Lawn began in 2001 in wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks. The event was organized by fourth-year trustee students to gather the Charlottesville community in appreciation of all they had. Over the years, the trustees have expanded upon this tradition by raising funds for a local non-profit of their choice. Last year, they chose to fund Hope House, a transitional housing program that helps homeless families in the Charlottesville area get back on their feet. Donors sponsor columns, strands, or individual lights that are strung along the Lawn as they brighten the lives of Charlottesville residents through their generous contributions.

As thousands of people await the flip of the switch, over 20 a cappella groups perform on the steps of the Rotunda. Their holiday selections spread smiles across the faces of all in attendance as they sing along. Hot chocolate and treats are provided in abundance as students, professors, and “townies” sing and socialize. They continue to do so up until right before the Lawn is lit, when a selected professor presents a humorous list of U.Va. themed highlights of the year. The conclusion of his or her speech initiates the ever-awaited countdown.

It is the moment in which the lights flash on that is truly the most magical. The crowd admires the beauty of their illuminated surroundings in awe. Thousands of lights shine upon them on this night, uniting the community. The feeling of comfort is ever so present as eyes twinkle in happiness. Students link arms and begin to sway as they sweetly sing “The Good Old Song,” the anthem of the University of Virginia. The Lawn remains lit for the entirety of the holiday season, serving as a constant reminder of joy and fostering a feeling of home for those at the university.

In the midst of exam time, Lighting of the Lawn brings good cheer to all who come to watch this brilliant display of light. It is not only the Lawn that is lit, but also the lives of those in the Charlottesville community who give and receive the donations collected at this outstanding event. The generated generosity never ceases to amaze me as this tradition continues to grow each and every year.

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Now that’s what I call a good study break.

By Amanda McDermott

 

It’s All About The U

 It’s All About The U

 Out of 4,000 universities and colleges in the U.S., there is only one simply known as “The U.”

The simplicity of this logo is something all Hurricanes identify with. Throwing up The U at Ultra Music Festival, at victorious football games and at our three-story Rathskeller is just part of being a ‘Cane.

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It’s the way that we express gratitude for living in a place where most people vacation, partying at places most students have only seen on TV, and basking in clear blue water while the rest of the world freezes.

When UM’s Athletic Federation turned to Bill Bodenheimer in 1973 to develop the team’s logo, they put the university in golden hands, because after countless hours of brainstorming, Bodenheimer introduced our new way of life: “The U.”

Referring to Miami as “The U,” ignoring the fact that Miami has the letter U nowhere in its name, can only be pulled off because it truly is the best university: It is “The University.”

With such a rich and vibrant reputation, one would not think that the awesomeness that is the University of Miami could be condensed into one little letter – but it is in flying orange and green colors.

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Upon asking around campus, the students mostly agreed that the U stands for unanimity, opportunity and a home away from home.

Every celebrity, president or public figure who visits our palm-tree studded campus embraces Hurricane tradition by flagrantly throwing up The U with a huge smile plastered on their face.

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The love for the U has translated to clubs, organizations and programs all over campus.

Drew Friedman of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority gushed about the U. “It’s all about The Unicorns [her sorority symbol] is pretty much my two favorite things all rolled into one saying. Unicorns and the play on words with The U – yeah, pretty much sums up everything for me.”

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Chessie Diaz, president of CORPS Club, explained what The U means to their organization. “Enduring strange Floridian weather, going to awesome tailgates by day, raging at the best South Beach clubs with the best DJs at night, creating insane memories with amazing people and soaking up the Miami atmosphere.  That’s what the U means. I have to remind myself every day I’m here for school and not vacation.”

 

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Juliet Fairbrother, director of events for Public Relations Student Society of America, feels that PRSSA uses “everything that The U stands for” in everything that they do. She said, “We are ALL about the U!”

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So, whether you’re a biology major from Hong Kong or a journalism major from South Dakota, there is one thing all students can agree on at UMiami: It’s all about the U.

By: Rebecca Cohen

 

 

Swimming in the Fountain

One of the University of Maryland’s star attractions would have to be our mall in the center of campus. On the opposite ends of the mall stands the seven story McKeldin Library and the Administration Building, with countless education buildings lining the edges. Separating these two prominent buildings on campus are 9 acres of perfectly mowed grass, walkways placed logistically around campus and 16 ft by 250 ft fountains.

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During the warmer months in College Park, MD it is not out of the ordinary to see students and teachers alike out on the grass. Some are playing soccer, Frisbee, or catch, while others are reading, lying out in the sun, or even taking a nap. Almost everyone walks past the mall at least once a day to get to their classes, the dining hall, the library, or their dorms.

One of the biggest traditions on campus, besides rubbing Testudo’s nose for good luck, is that before you graduate you must swim in the fountains. For most people though, waiting until your senior year to swim in the fountains is simply a waste of all the fun you could be having! Most freshman dive right into the idea of playing in the water, especially when it looks so inviting after a tailgate -

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A night out –

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Or just in the middle of a heat wave -

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In my sorority all the seniors participate in a senior scavenger hunt where they break up into teams with a long list of activities. One of them obviously is to swim in the fountain  –

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So whenever or if ever you do swim in the fountain just be sure to snap a couple pictures of the moment. Everyone knows: pics or it didn’t happen.

 

Little 500: Fast, Furious, and Fun

Little 500: Fast, Furious, and Fun

 The Indianapolis 500 is a huge tradition in Indiana, characterized by black-and-white-checkered flags, the infamous roar of Indy cars, and the classic rendition of Back Home Again in Indiana before the gentlemen start their engines.  The Indy 500 is called “the greatest spectacle in racing”, but if you ask anyone that has attended Indiana University, they might disagree. Indiana University’s Little 500 bike race, based off of the Indianapolis 500, is Bloomington’s biggest event, attracting over 25,000 fans each year.

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Founded in 1951, Little Five is a 50-mile bike race of the fastest 33 teams of four people each.  Teams compete on a cinder track in Bill Armstrong Stadium, home of the Men’s National Champions soccer team. The race isn’t just a one-day event, though. Leading up to the race, there are several Fall Series and Spring Series events, like Qualifications, Team Pursuit, Miss-N-Out, and ITTs. There is also a women’s bike race and a Little 50, which is a running race.

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Little Five women’s rider and junior Jessie Horcher said that “Little 500 is incredibly rich in history and tradition and is so unique to Indiana University, it unites the student body as well as allowing students to gain invaluable experience in different situations, whether that be a rider, a participant, or part of the committee that organizes the whole event, Indiana University Student Foundation.  It’s really a celebration of Indiana University and the great things that the students have and can accomplish.”  Indiana University has over 40,000 undergraduate students, and no other event on IU’s campus is able to bring together the whole student body in such an exciting way.

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And is Little 500 a celebration!  It is considered “The World’s Greatest College Weekend”, and the whole week leading up to the race is typically full of festivities and parties.  The winning team is awarded a trophy and gains glory and bragging rights for the entire next year.  Teams are a mixture of Greek and non-Greek teams; in 1979, Breaking Away, an Academy Award-winning film, was based off of Little 500 and the Cutters, a team of underdog Bloomington locals and stonecutters that train hard and defeat the Goliath Greek team.  Since then, the Cutters have always been a favorite in the race, winning twelve times total and five years in a row from 2007-2011.  Not only is Little Five my favorite part of the school year, but it really makes Indiana University unique.

By: Katherine Vail


 

Dooley: The Haunted Spirit of Emory

Emory University has a beautiful campus.  Nestled just on the outskirts of Atlanta, the scenic campus is accented with a view of the majestic Atlanta skyline.  From an outsider’s view, what could be more beautiful?  But little do outsiders know, Emory’s campus is haunted by the spirit of James W. Dooley.

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Dooley, known to Emory students as the “Spirit of Emory”, is not your typical haunted spirit.  While ghosts are typically portrayed as evil, Dooley is much different. As his nickname suggests, Dooley is a benevolent ghost who brings with him Emory’s school spirit.  While Emory’s official mascot is an Eagle named “Swoop”, if you asked any Emory student they would tell you that Dooley is Emory’s true mascot.  There’s even a Dooley statue in the center of campus; I can’t say the same thing for Swoop!

Dooley is such a revered figure on Emory’s campus that the school recognizes him by devoting a full week to his legacy.  In the spring of each year Emory has it’s own form of a “spirit week,” but here it is rightfully called “Dooley’s Week.”  Every student spends the semester looking forward to Dooley’s Week because of all of the exciting events that the Student Programming Council plans.  For example, one of the Dooley’s Week traditions is called “Taste of Emory.”  During this event, restaurants from all over Atlanta come to Emory and set up booths with free food for all Emory students.  Events like this take place all throughout the week, which culminates with a stand up comedian on Thursday, a musical artist performance on Friday, and a DJ on Saturday.  Last year Emory brought in Hannibal Buress, Kendrick Lamar, and 3lau – all of which were amazing performers and a pleasure to watch!

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You may still be wondering, what makes Dooley’s Week different than any other school’s spirit week? This is where Emory’s most interesting tradition comes into play.  Each day during Dooley’s week, Dooley can be spotted around campus, protected by a full fleet of “Dooley’s protectors” (students who are carefully selected to protect Dooley whenever he is around campus).  If you are lucky enough to have Dooley enter your classroom at any point during this week, the class is immediately dismissed.  While I have never been lucky enough to have this happen, many of my friends have experienced this several times.  The excitement that this generates is unparalleled. Each year during Dooley’s week students are constantly discussing what classes Dooley has dismissed and anxiously awaiting his next appearance.

While it is still months away, Emory students are counting down until Dooley’s Week begins.  Talk of what events are being planned, which musical artists will be coming, and what classes Dooley will dismiss are already among us.  Come spring I know I’ll be anxiously awaiting Dooley’s appearance in one of my classes.  Hopefully this is the year!

“Presidents may come, presidents may go; professors may come, professors may go; students may come, students may go; but Dooley lives forever!”

By Scott Greenwood

 

Tenting at Duke

Duke University’s very own Cameron Crazies are a renowned, albeit quirky, group of college students. They’re not your average high-achieving bunch of college students, either. Nor are they just your average sports team fans. Our Cameron Crazies take it  to the extreme. Not only do they excel in the classroom, they are sports fanatics.

Who spend six weeks in a tent. Outside. In the coldest months of the year. Completely voluntarily. For a basketball game. Yes, it is true. All for the culmination of the fantastic rivalry between the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill and Duke University: the annual Duke-UNC game in Duke’s very own Cameron Indoor Stadium.

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Wait a minute. Six weeks outside in the wintry elements in a tent when warmth, good food, and shelter are only a short walk away? Indeed! First, the basics.  Students tent to get into games; tent order determines seating at the game in the student section. The number of tenting games in a single season is determined by the Line Monitor Committee of the Duke Student Government prior to the start of the season; usually, it’s just the Duke-UNC game.

A tent group can include up to twelve people and may contain up to two physical tents. There are three levels, or more appropriately, phases, of tenting. “Black” tenting is the most extreme option because it starts six weeks before the game. For “black tenters”, all twelve people must sleep in a tent, which actually can’t even be a tent: tents are forbidden. Thus, students must use piping and tarps to make some sort of structure to cover them from the wintry elements for a week before “blue tenters” join the “black tenters”. From the start of tenting, tents must have one person in them during the day and six people at night. From approximately two weeks before the game, only two people need to be in the tent each night. A series of personal checks ensures that a tent group is actually participating in tenting. If a tent group is not present or represented at these checks, the tent is moved to the back of the line, assuming availability. There is only space for 100 tents in K-ville, or Krzyzewskiville, which was named in honor of Coach K. Tenters who have lost their spot can take their chances at the walk-up line 48 hours before tipoff.

See where the “crazy” comes from, now?

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Head of the Charles

Autumn Brings a Boston Tradition

The month of October brings the annual Head of the Charles regatta. It is an especially exciting event for Boston University students as it occurs mere steps from campus! Entering its 49th year, the Head of the Charles is the world’s largest two-day rowing regatta that brings with it a lot of hype and a lot of spandex. As the name suggests, the crews will race 3 miles on the Charles River in Boston, MA beginning at Boston University’s DeWolfe  Boathouse.

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Celebrating 49 Years

The first ever Head of the Charles event was held on October 16, 1965. The founders were three Cambridge Boat Club members named D’Arcy MacMahon, Howard McIntyre, and Jack Vincent. Since then, the regatta has continued to expand and now hosts over 9,000 athletes from around the world! Roughly 300,000 people will line the banks of the Charles River during these two days. 

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The Course

The race starts at Boston University and finishes just before Northeastern University’s Henderson Boathouse. The course is renowned for being difficult to navigate. It is not uncommon for collisions to occur at sharp turns in the river!

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Who Participates?

The competitor’s include individuals and teams from different countries and nearly all American states! The ages range from 14 year olds in middle school to retired 85 year olds of both men and women. Experience levels vary from novice to Olympic.

To participate, competitors must submit an entry application. Guaranteed entries are those that finished within 5% of the winner’s time in the prior regatta. Once guaranteed entries are deducted for the amount of permitted entries, they perform a blind draw for the remaining spots. 

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How to Watch

The spectators get a very unique view of the race. Their day is filled with bustling crowds and a lot of energy! The viewers line the banks of the Charles River peaking over heads to catch sight of the crews rowing by. The more ambitious spectators will take to the bridges (Elliot Bridge Enclosure is the most popular) and sit or stand with an overhead view of the race. So bring your binoculars to get a close up view of the action!

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The Head of Charles BU

Boston University students get extra pride at this event because we are the hosts! The race starts at our very own boathouse and the course is the boundary of our campus. The Head of the Charles is like the Super Bowl of rowing so one can only imagine the excitement and energy of having the start of the biggest regatta at BU! BU rowers also get the advantage of practicing on the course everyday and becoming familiar with it. Go Terriers!

By Juliana Tortorello

 

Home of the Lone Wolves

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It’s difficult to pinpoint one specific culture here at Loyola University Chicago. We have a Division I athletic department, but not a huge fan base for sports. We have Greek life, but not an overwhelming emphasis on it around campus. We have all kinds of clubs for all kinds of subjects from film to social justice to music, even anime and food clubs, but none of them seem to have taken over the masses. It’s even hard to describe a “typical” Loyola student; we seem to have equal parts jock, nerd, hipster, bros, sorority sisters, and everything in between. We’re a bit of a melting pot, I suppose you could say. So where do I start describing the community that is Loyola?

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Bluntly put, we’re not huge on school pride, or at least not in the typical “Rah! Rah!” sense that most other schools express it. Seeing someone running around in maroon and gold screaming “GO RAMBLERS” would draw awkward stares, pointing and laughing. Not that we’re ashamed of our lovely school, because how could we be? We have two gorgeous campuses; one with a spectacular view of Lake Michigan and the other nestled into a bustling nook two blocks away from the Magnificent Mile. We have unlimited and convenient access to the CTA, which according to The Huffington Post is the number two public transportation system in the US. The classes are small and the professors are engaging, probably some of the most enjoyable professors I’ve ever had in my academic life. So we’re proud of our little Jesuit school here in the beautiful Second City. But I guess we’re not really tethered to it as a part of our identity. There’s a very independent air about the student body of Loyola. We all kind of do our own thing here.

And it makes sense that we’d all be so independent. Ask any student here why they chose Loyola, and overwhelmingly the answer is, “Because I wanted to be in Chicago.” That’s always my answer. We come from all over the US just to take on this big beautiful metropolis. And if you want Chicago, we are the best school in the city for it. Like I said, we have two campuses connected by the red line train, and it is almost impossible not to explore all the stops in-between. Starting with the Granville stop, one of the northern most stops by the Lakeshore campus, you just have to try the world’s greatest cinnamon rolls at Ann Sather’s (and bottomless coffee for $1.95! Best sixteen consecutive cups you will ever have!). Then there’s the Wilson stop, which is a little sketchy otherwise, but is home to one of the coolest mega-Targets I’ve ever been in (Chicago Targets always beat out suburban Targets, as I’ve learned). Then there’s the Addison stop, home to the Cubs and a plethora of lovably gritty sports bars and comedy clubs—the makings of a college kid’s ideal night out. Then there are the Belmont and Fullerton stops, which have some of the cutest little boutiques I’ve ever been to, another Ann Sather’s (thankfully they have 4 locations, because one would never be enough, ever) and the mother of all cupcake shops, Molly’s Cupcakes. And that’s not even half the things I’ve seen and tried here.

fef dwdwCinnamon rolls from Ann Sather’s. I’m drooling on a school computer and I don’t even care. And if this Birthday Cake Cupcake from Molly’s doesn’t make you want to buy a plane ticket to Chicago right now then you’re wrong.

Long story short, if you want to bond with a Loyola student, you won’t talk about the soccer game this weekend, you won’t talk about Greek week, and you won’t talk about that one club that always has those cool events on campus. You’ll ask them if they want to go downtown. You’ll invite them to this really cool poetry slam you heard about somewhere in Lincoln Park. You’ll regale them with a story about a middle aged man vomiting on the El at 9:00 am on a Thursday, or a homeless man exposing himself to everyone at the corner of Chicago and State (yes, I witnessed both of these things. No, I have not worked through the trauma just yet). Anyway, my point is that while we may not paint ourselves maroon and gold and run around campus in our skivvies (and I’m not hating on other schools at all, I love crazy school pride too!), we have our own sense of pride here. We’re proud to be living in the big city. We’re proud that we’re doing our own things. And we’re proud that Loyola gives us the freedom and resources to do what we’ve always dreamed of. And to that I’ll say, go Ramblers.

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School with a view. Lake Michigan from our Madonna Della Strada Chapel.

By Emily Schroer

 

The University of Kansas Basketball

It should come to no surprise that here at the University of Kansas we cherish our basketball season more than most schools. There is a burning passion for the sport that can be seen anywhere in The United States. Camping out inside Allen Fieldhouse for a week, chanting ‘Rock Chalk’, and decked out head to toe in red and blue, are common features you can find on any game day week. This didn’t just start with our first nation champion title; we have had this passion from the very beginning.

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It all began with two men James Naismith and Forest “Phog” Allen. Naismith was hired onto our faculty in 1898 to teach as well as coach basketball. This was just six years after he had written the original rules for the sport. Naismith had coached Allen in his previous years before reconnecting in Kansas. Allen succeeded Naismith in coaching KU’s basketball team and steered them to many wins. You can find him today standing 8 feet 8 inches tall outside Allen Fieldhouse.

Attending a game in Allen Fieldhouse is an experience like none other, literally. Sportswriter, Mark Whicker, was quoted saying that Allen Fieldhouse “Was the best place in America to watch college basketball.” It also beat a record and was named the loudest college basketball arena in the country.  If that already doesn’t convince you to come to a game, just wait until you hear about the chilling traditions.

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Each game is started with singing The Star-Spangled Banner and followed by the alma mater. During the alma mater it is common for each person to connect by putting their arms around each other and swaying. Directly after the alma mater is finished, the Rock Chalk Chant begins. This is where you get the chills; the rock chalk chant fills the entire arena with a hum that will be stuck with you forever.

When the opposing team is being announced the student section takes out a spread from the weekly KU newspaper and put it over their faces to show disinterest in the team. Usually, there is some witty picture or saying that will come to life when they are all opened. Once the team is finished being announced, the KU basketball history/legend will be played on the screen. Now it’s time to introduce the KU Jayhawk Team. The student section rips up their newspaper and throws it in the air, like confetti, for celebration.

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Another well-known tradition is ‘waving the wheat.’ This can be done if the opposing team has a player foul out to symbolize a sarcastic waving good-bye as he exists. Alternatively, waving the wheat can be done to the tune of “A Hot Time in the Old Town” following a Jayhawk victory.

KU has an enormous love for the sport of basketball. It runs in the blood of our students, faculty, and alumni. When I first attended a home basketball game, I knew I had made the right choice in choosing KU as my college. In the years to follow we will continue to have exceptional spirit and love for the school we all adore. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK, GO KU!

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By: Anna West

 

It’s Float Season Ladies and Gentlemen

Baylor University, founded in 1845 is the oldest university in Texas, which means not only do we have the best traditions, but also the oldest! We bleed green and gold and every fall, after we get that first cold front rescuing us from the summer heat, every Baylor student begins preparing for our biggest tradition of all; homecoming.

Homecoming gives students a chance to have our football team back in bear country, see old friends who graduated the summer before, impress the alumni, and look forward to the our homecoming parade. From floats and balloons to queen nominees, from the band to our dance team, the Baylor Homecoming parade has it all. I know it sounds cheesy, I mean, why would college students care so much about a silly parade? Well, the parade holds the title for the nations oldest and longest collegiate parade and the floats that everyone admires so dearly that Saturday morning before the football game hold the blood, sweat, and tears of our beloved Greek community.

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This Baylor tradition started in 1909 and is still being carried out today. It’s s a huge deal for us, and we all take it pretty seriously. It all begins a year in advance when each sorority pairs up with a fraternity and they become a float team (basically an agreement that the guys will build the float while the girls paper mache the heck out of the thing and put their artistic side to work). The theme is also a BIG secret to all of the Baylor community. Even the members of the organizations do not know their theme until about two months before building starts. Six weeks out before the parade is when the building can begin and the competition launches into full action!

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By this time, Baylor’s Greek life pretty much eats, sleeps, and breath’s float. I’m not even kidding- the dried up paper mache stuck on my arms and my favorite tennis shoes that are destroyed by white paint speak for themselves. In between classes, and all night you will find everyone working on their float. It is truly one of the most stressful times of the year. One more thing, these float sites are NO WHERE near campus, all for secrecy of course. This is because every year some fraternity finds out where their rival fraternity’s float site is and they always burn the float down or trash it- therefore float sites are always at least 20 minutes from campus. Even though this usually sounds like a hassle, it is all fun and games in the end and as much as we all complain about it, we secretly love it!

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Although it’s a ton of work, Float is a great experience for organizations and a great opportunity to team with another organization through the float partnership. It gives you a chance to hang out with people in your own organization that you don’t always hang out with, and get to know people in the other organization as well! In the end its one of my favorite traditions at Baylor and it all seems worth it when you finally see your float in the homecoming parade. It’s especially worth it if your organization’s float gets First Place! The winning amount is $700! As I said earlier, we are in the middle of float right now, so wish us luck! I’d tell you our theme, but it’s a secret! :)

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By Lauren Smith

 

The Cult of A Capella

You may hear them singing under arches. Serenading dates at freshmen screw. Burst into song at midnight.

They are Yale’s a cappella groups. Everyone is either in one or has at least 37 friends in one group or another. A comment on “Overheard at Yale” recently:

Joey Lew – “Custodial worker singing beautifully. Every damn person at Yale sings.”

There are fifteen “official” ones (which means that they are on the Singing Group Council) and who knows how many unofficial ones. There is no doubt, however, that a cappella groups vastly outnumber frats and sororities (there are only eight of those!). In fact, when a Yalie says, “I’m rushing for…” they usually don’t end the sentence with Greek letters. They’ll end with some variation on a color, most likely blue: “Out of the Blue,” “The New Blue,” “Red Hot and Blue.” Or they’ll say “Spizziwinks” or “Society of Orpheus and Bacchus,” to which a non-Yalie might reply “what???” The rest have some hipster-sounding name, like “Alley Cats” or “Mixed Company” or “Something Extra” or…“Shades.” And don’t forget about the ethnic a cappella groups—the Russian Chorus, the Women’s Slavic Chorus (Yes, they’re different!), Asempa (the African group), Sur and Veritaal (the Indian one), and some Chinese singing group. Oh and don’t forget about the two exclusively for seniors—“Whiffenpoofs” and “Whim ‘n Rhythm.” Yeah, you get the picture.

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Yale Alley Cats performing for the US Ambassador to Switzerland and his wife.

Until rush was shortened this year, freshmen used to spend an entire month rushing for a cappella groups, during which time Toad’s, the club which Yalies primarily frequent, is notoriously empty, since everyone is rushing. Rush kicks off with the “Woolsey Hall Kick-Off Jam,” where all the main a cappella groups perform so freshmen can get an impression of all the groups. (Then of course there’s also an alternative a cappella kick off for not-so-mainstream groups.) Rush includes auditions, callback auditions, concerts (except they’re called “Singing Desserts”), rush meals, and finally tap night, when the group that picks you rushes to your room and asks you to join them. If you say yes, they’ll…you guessed it…burst into song.

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Last year, a huge blizzard shut down our school for the first time in thirty years. Here are a group of us trekking back from…yup, an a cappella concert the day after the blizzard.

Rush is a freshmen’s initiation into the cult of a cappella. They are Yale’s equivalent of frats and sororities. Once they’re in, their a cappella group(s) becomes their second family. They rehearse anywhere from two to infinite hours a week, go on tour together around the country and the world (for free, I believe), and annoy bless the rest of us with their incessant beautiful singing.

By: Frances Chan

 

Julia Winn, Ogilvy & Mather Intern

Julia Winn, Ogilvy & Mather Intern

By: Sydney Sadler

Julia Winn, rising fourth-year at UVA, is a Media Studies and Psychology double major. For several years I have known her to be one of the most go-getter type girls, who always has something exciting and adventurous planned for her future. That being said, it’s no surprise that she earned a coveted internship with Ogilvy & Mather this summer as a “Media Intern.”

Last winter break, Julia navigated CavLink, UVA’s career database, and came across this listing. After I inquired about Julia’s career interests, she admitted to being “interested in advertising for a while, probably since high school.” Initially, she applied unaware of the prestigious name Ogilvy & Mather had as an advertising agency; but upon further research she realized the extensive successes they have had. After a few phone and Skype interviews, Julia was offered a position as an intern-an opportunity 460 other applicants hoped to have.

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Committing to this internship did not just mean boosting her resume or learning the ins-and-outs of advertising. Rather, this meant being courageous enough to leave her comfort zone in Richmond and Charlottesville and relocate to Chicago, being outgoing enough leave her good friends in Virginia behind and meet new people, and being bold enough to transition from a casual job to a professional business environment.

Needless to say, Julia had no problems picking up and moving to a foreign place. At the start of the summer, she moved into “an art dorm building in the Loop area of Chicago” where she stays in a “single room with [her] own bathroom and kitchen.”  She decorated her living space simply and added small touches such as colorful boxes in her windows to hold her jewelry. Her dorm quickly became her “own space to relax in.”

After move-in, reality set in and she began her first days as an Ogilvy & Mather Intern. When I asked her how she received the title of “Media Intern,” she said, “Every intern has a different title depending on what division or area they’re in. In general, it’s divided into account management, planning, and creative interns. I’m the Media Intern, which means I work with media planners, tracking digital ad placements on websites for our client.”

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When Julia described the anticipation of starting her first “real” job, she said “I was very nervous and intimidated before I arrived! I was expecting a much more formal environment than the O&M office. But after being there even for a day I realized my fears were unwarranted because the office is very easy-going and casual, and everyone is willing to make allowances for a lack of knowledge on the intern’s part. People are extremely friendly and treat the interns as peers rather than coffee-fetchers.” In the picture above, she is with two of her fellow interns dressed up at the office.

To generalize her experiences as an intern, I asked her what the best thing about working at the Ogilvy & Mather office is and she responded, “Definitely the people—I work with an amazing team of women who have been extremely helpful to me, and the other interns are super fun and we’ve developed close friendships. I’m learning new things every single day and I love that dynamic atmosphere.”

As far as fun goes… it’s clear Julia is not just hard at work. She had the opportunity to bond with other interns and explore Chicago on her own for the first time. Although she had difficulty limiting the countless positive attributes of the city, she liked the wide diversity of neighborhoods the best. She described it as being “in one section that feels really cosmopolitan and upscale, and then another that’s grungy and hipster-y.” In addition, she never anticipated the immense beaches in Chicago, mainly because she’s used to the city of Richmond, which has none.

Exploring Chicago not only meant discovering new places, but it also meant trying new things. One of Julia’s favorite Chicago restaurants is called The Gage, which she and her parents enjoyed when they visited mid-summer. It was harder for her to choose her favorite area in Chicago, but she decided that the Loop had become her home away from home in Chicago, so it’s familiarity made it most enjoyable.

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Among countless other activities, Julia attended a “wild” Jason Aldean concert at Wrigley Stadium, and she even had the opportunity to enjoy water-related activities, something she loves to do back in Richmond and Charlottesville, as well. She enjoyed kayaking and tried to lay out on the beaches with fellow interns for some relaxation time as much as possible!

Overall, Julia has thoroughly enjoyed her summer in Chicago interning for Ogilvy & Mather. She said her biggest accomplishment while being in Chicago has been her final presentation for the advertising agency. This achievement has made the harder parts about being in Chicago (leaving good friends behind) worth it. She also admits, “the best thing I’ve learned about myself is my own ability to transplant myself in another city knowing hardly a soul and still make friendships and have a great time. It makes me more confident for my future.” After enjoying herself and taking on such an impressive internship role, Julia says “O&M is an awesome company,” and if the opportunity presented itself again, she would definitely apply to work in Chicago again.

To follow Julia Winn’s journey on a day-to-day basis, visit her blog: http://summertimechi.weebly.com/index.html

To learn more about the advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather, visit the follow website:

http://www.ogilvy.com/

 

Intern Nation

Intern Nation

By: Elizabeth Seawright

The internship world has evolved. Gone are the days of faxing papers and fetching coffee. Instead these experiences resemble what could be imagined as a 2-3 month interview, complete with real responsibility and in certain circumstances, a job offer heading into senior year of college. Internships are increasingly common. What was once a unique adventure for Dean’s List individuals has become an expectation among all students alike. With that said the application process is a blood bath as career driven millennials battle for the most coveted spots at agencies and corporations. Once accepted into their given programs, students treat their prospective internships like Pokémon cards’, comparing strength, power, status, longevity, potential growth development and compensation attributes against fellow student acceptances.

Rising junior at Syracuse University Carolyn Blackburne, is one of those occupation minded students, and while she does not treat her internship like Charizard, she did use her summer break as a golden opportunity to gain invaluable experience at Cox Media Group, an integrated broadcasting, publishing and digital media company in Washington, D.C.

Carolyn Blackburne entered Syracuse University in the fall of 2011 as an Information Technology & Management major, later picking up a Broadcast Journalism major in the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, one of the top communication schools in the country and Syracuse University’s high profile staple. Despite studying in Newhouse for less than a year, Blackburne managed to stand out amongst intern applicants with a rather impressive resume. Turns out Blackburne is one of the few who utilize the precious three weeks of winter break too. Her position as a reporter intern for WRNJ Radio News for the December/January months marketed Blackburne as a dedicated individual willing to sacrifice time for experience.  But what really set her apart? A mere thank you note to Scott Macfarlane, a reporter for COX Media Group’s D.C. Bureau for speaking at a Newhouse event, consequentially catapulting Blackburne into a summer of opportunity and education.

Blackburne was hired as a broadcast intern, a word often associated with “equipment lackey.” However, she did much more than develop her quads and biceps lugging around heavy devices, she was given the opportunity to investigate government audits for senior reporter stories, perform stand-ups outside the U.S Supreme Court and Capitol Hill, write web stories airing on FOX23 and WHIO and edit video for packages using AVID. All tasks that have developed her social, verbal and written communication skills, further distancing herself from the pool of applicants for next year’s intern class.

Blackburne is from New Jersey, but temporarily moved to G.W. housing for the summer with three roommates.  Despite the exciting environment and newfound freedom, Blackburne kept her focus aligned. Her internship required a typical nine hour day (8 am – 5 pm) however, she ended up arriving at 7 am and leaving at 7:30 pm. “I was learning so much, and my colleagues were fantastic, I stayed late because I wanted too,” Blackburne explained.

The dictionary definition of an internship is “A student or a recent graduate undergoing supervised practical training to gain addition skill sets.” This was entirely what Cox Media Group did, training Blackburne regarding the broad and specific components of the broadcast journalism industry. Over the past months they taught Blackburne to write concisely and literally by assigning her real stories to cover (see here http://bit.ly/120fpTl). This method demonstrated to Blackburne the critical necessity to write cleanly in a way no classroom could convey (sorry Newhouse). In addition, Blackburne was able to record footage

See here (http://linkd.in/14pbgWk) for her reel, providing her with a concrete takeaway that will surely assist in landing future internships and jobs.

While many take internships to pad their resumes or out of pressure from overbearing parents, Blackburne’s experience was driven by an overt love for the communications industry. “History is happening right now, and I want to be the one to report it,” Blackburne says. And with that said she wraps up her experience at COX Media Group and accepts an internship for the fall as an MTVu “Campus Dispatch” correspondent, another opportunity she may not have received if it were not for her experience at COX.

This has been an exclusive with Carolyn Blackburne – a passionate individual who is blowing her peers out of the water, one internship at a time.

 

¡Vive España!

¡Vive España!  This summer, Tory Loebig, a junior from Louisville, Kentucky studying Finance and Entrepreneurship & Corporate Innovation at Indiana University, studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain.  During this six-week program, Tory took classes and explored Europe, and came home with much more than a Spanish accent and a tan.

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Her program, study abroad through IES, allowed her to study both the Spanish language and a class on sports in the society of Spain; Tory had classes Monday through Thursday for 3.5 hours a day.  The program also sponsored fieldtrips for everyone – 180 American students in the program – to go see Tarragona Roman ruins, a Spanish monastery, and human castell towers.  The program placed her in a home stay, where she lived with a 60-year-old Spanish woman, 70-year-old Castellan man, and a student from the University of Texas Austin who was also in her program.  The couple, while not married, has lived together for five years; the woman has been hosting students for the last 20 years, while the man has been since they’ve lived together.  They host a group of two students twice a year, and Tory felt very welcomed and at home by the couple.  The couple really helped her get immersed in the Spanish culture by constantly speaking Spanish, cooking traditional Spanish foods, and by watching the evening news together.

Outside of the program, Tory had a lot of time to explore Barcelona and Europe on her own and with friends she had made in her program.  One of her favorite memories from the trip was her first weekend in Barcelona, where she and her new friends spent the day on a bus tour of Barcelona, where they were able to travel through the city and see many of the popular landmarks and historic sites.  Afterwards, they went to a local bar and watched the FC Barcelona soccer game together.

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On free weekends that she didn’t spend on the beautiful beaches of Barcelona, Tory and a few friends traveled to Paris, France and Venice, Italy.  Tory also made it a point to eat at a new restaurant every day in Barcelona so that she could experience as much as the traditional dishes as possible.  Although it took her a while to get used to the Spanish food schedule – a small breakfast early in the morning, a very large lunch around 2 or 3 p.m., and a light dinner at 10 p.m. – she really embraced trying new foods like patatas bravas and went to markets often to buy fresh fruits.

While Tory spent many afternoons and nights with American friends from the program, some of which she will most definitely keep in touch with even after they all head back to different schools this fall, she does wish that she would have had more opportunities to interact with Spanish people.  The natives she spent the most time with were her host parents and teachers in her classes, but besides that, she really only would communicate with Spaniards that worked in stores or restaurants.

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When I asked if she ever felt uncomfortable or out of place because she was an American and doesn’t look Spanish or speak the language fluently, she responded that people in Barcelona are very good at knowing whether someone is not native to Spain or even Barcelona, but that it doesn’t matter.  As long as Tory and her friends were respectful, natives were never rude, although the language barrier is what made it most difficult to communicate with and sometimes caused frustration.  However, she said that American culture and style is becoming more popular in Spain, and it’s becoming “cool” to dress like Americans.

It’s hard to describe how incredible Tory’s summer in Barcelona was, and it was especially difficult for her to put into words how changed she feels after living in Europe.  Not only has she really learned a lot about Spanish culture and history and the language, she said that she definitely feels more cultured and mature.  Living in Barcelona made her feel much more immersed in the culture than she would ever experience just traveling through a city, and it really opened her eyes to more views and more ways of life.  “You think that the American way of life is the way it should be because it’s all you’ve experienced, but the other ways of life for other cultures do work for them, and it’s easier to be accepting and understanding when you see it working in action and being productive.”  All in all, Tory’s study abroad experience made her more confident, perhaps because she spent a month and a half in another country with another language,  or because she had her first taste of really living on her own in a new place.

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Nevertheless, her Barcelona experience is something that she’ll never forget, and I’m sure it won’t be her last time in Spain: “I definitely want to go back and visit other cities in Spain, and go back to Barcelona.  It feels like my home now.”

 

By Katherine Vail

 

 

The Prague Perspective

 

“It was four AM, and only the ten of us were there. Beams of sun curled over the edges of the statues along the bridge, shedding light onto the cobble stones and creating shadows that had been absent for hours. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.” To just anyone, taking a still picture film of the Charles Bridge during sunrise along the Vltava River would be enough to take one’s breath away, but such words of awe mean so much more coming from the mouth of Stephanie Weetman.

Truly a world traveler, this girl of British and American parents was born in Argentina and spent the rest of her life growing up in countries such as Cuba, Costa Rica, England, Mexico, and South Africa, not to mention vacationing and touring in places most of us will only see on the travel channel. She has really seen it all and can tell you stories that are almost unbelievable without picture evidence, which of course she has thanks to her passion for photography and “capturing the moment”. One would expect someone like Steph not to be phased when by getting an invitation to go to Prague, but every opportunity she has to travel and to learn is never taken for granted. She was ecstatic the day she got an email from Professor John Foliday, inviting her to join a select trip to the Film School of Prague for the summer after watching one of her performances in her Theatre class Spring semester.

On June 28th, Stephanie flew over to the beautiful Bohemian city, capital of the Czech Republic. She was initially lost upon arriving into the city; none of the words and signs matched her directions of where to go. Laughing, she described it as “quite the adventure”, asking many different people to point her in the right direction with little success of understanding of what they were saying. With two days to check in, she wasn’t worried about having to spend the night on the streets, but she definitely preferred to get to her dormitory over possible foreign kidnapping. Weetman finally found a woman that was able to help her onto the metro and take her to where she needed to go, although the two really only communicated with mixed hand signals and some version of ‘Czechlish’. The entire pain of being lost in a foreign country for hours on end was alleviated when she stumbled into her massive double room, equipped with everything she could possibly need to live (aka college style –TV, fridge, the likes).

Weetman was attending a University of Miami Motion Pictures Program at the Film School of Prague, so naturally the first day was attending a spectacular film festival in city. One of the films they watched was an Italian feature length with English subtitles, which Stephanie described as “nothing short of dramatic”. Classes started immediately the next day. From nine AM to seven PM, the group of ten students went to classes in the studio of the Film School together where they learned a variety of skills, such as how to use a film camera, the history of film, etc. To this day, Steph finds herself applying even the littlest things she learned in class. One of her favorite subjects was the concept of shading, lighting, and shadows, using the lines in the background of a frame to create a focal point or a whole new image: “Now that I’ve told you that, you will be seeing it everywhere. It changes the way you look at everything”.

Even after learning all of the skills from her classes and spending her free time wandering the cobble-stoned streets that were flooded with romance and history, the most memorable part of Stephanie’s experience in Prague was her family: those nine other people she did absolutely everything with, from learning to living to eating to exploring. Over the course of the trip, the class had a number of projects they had to complete for their classes, particularly two films they were to complete as a group. The acting, writing, filming, and editing was all done by the students collectively and completed by the end of the six week session. They became close “within days”, joking with one another and creating relationships that were unparalleled and inspiring. Steph said that one person in particular truly changed the way she looked at the world: “I had never met someone who loved life so much. One day as we were walking along the Charles Bridge, he kept crouching down in small crevices to get the perfect angle for his shots and explaining to me along the way exactly why he was taking each picture. He taught me about leaving your mark wherever you go and creating something someone will never forget, all through making a statement only you could make.”

The experience was both eye opening and life changing for Ms. Stephanie Weetman. She came on the trip being the youngest and only non-film major, hesitant about returning to school, and now upon leaving, she was ecstatic for the next semester, knowing she wanted to study film, theatre, and writing. The people she met helped her to become a stronger person and showed her what color that a bond of an unlikely family and a little inspiration can bring to the world.

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Stephanie is pictured to the right, wearing the red-striped maxi skirt. This was the group’s first day at the film festival.

By Eryn Davis

 

MEDLIFE Goes to Peru

Alexa Cohen, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park, traveled to Peru this past June in order to improve the health and wellbeing of the citizens in the city of Lima.  The 19-year-old neuroscience major participated in the two-week volunteer trip with other college students through MEDLIFE, an organization that seeks to provide medicine, education, and development to underdeveloped communities.

Since the volunteers spent a mere two weeks in Peru, their daily activities differed.  Cohen and her team would participate in clinics, outings, and projects, performing tasks that ranged from touring local towns to operating gynecology stations.  “We would do activities and get back around 5:30 [p.m.],” Cohen explained when asked about a typical day.  The balance of community outreach, physical work, and tourism resonated well with volunteers, Cohen stressed, as it kept her college-aged team interested and on its feet.

When asked about her favorite activity, Cohen immediately began to recall her experience operating a dentistry clinic.  She showed locals how to use a tooth brush, performed oral exams, and even extracted a little girl’s tooth with the guidance of a trained professional.  “It’s awful how little they know about health,” she said.  “Most children don’t even own a tooth brush.”  Cohen and other MEDLIFE volunteers who worked at the dentistry station are pictured below.

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Cohen also enjoyed building a staircase in Lima with her MEDLIFE team, completing the project from start to finish with her peers.  Though completing the staircase demanded physical labor, teamwork, and intense dedication, Cohen spoke about it with a smile.  “The community thanked us by performing a dance for us.”  The completed staircase can be seen below.

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Finally, Cohen recalled going boating in the Ballestas Islands, or Las Islas Ballestas, a group of small islands off of the Peruvian coast.  Volunteers enjoyed the Islands’ beautiful scenery and weather, and they greatly appreciated the break from their academic and physical work.  Cohen shared a breathtaking picture that she took of the coastline.

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Through MEDLIFE, Cohen was given the opportunity to both observe and interact with a new culture.  After reminiscing about her trip, Cohen admitted that she learned not only about Peru, but about herself.  “Medlife aims to provide staircases, education, and mobile clinics to help the community out of its cycle of debt and illness.  It is such a great experience and just really puts into perspective how much we have and how appreciative we should be.”

The pre-med student returned home to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in mid-June in hopes of volunteering at a local hospital for the remainder of her summer.  Undoubtedly, Cohen will approach her daily work and life with a fresh perspective.

By Stacia Odenwald

 

An Italian Adventure

An Italian Adventure

By: Rebecca Albright

Hannah Wilson, 20, is an average student at NC State University. Majoring in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing, Hannah has always had the “travel-bug” and wants to take her business adventures internationally when the time is right. One day, while grabbing a cup of coffee in Port City Java, a popular coffee shop on campus, she heard someone mention an amazing study abroad program through NC State in Florence, Italy. She knew she had always wanted to study abroad, but she never knew if it was the right for her at the time. After class, she hurried home and started doing research about Lorenzo de Medici, the international university in Florence. After reviewing the classes offered, costs, and program logistics, Hannah took the plunge and applied to the five-week summer program in Florence. One month later, she received a big envelope in the mail saying she had been accepted. She knew the moment she saw that letter, her college experience was about to take a path leading her to the greatest trip of a lifetime.

When she first arrived in Florence, aka Firenze, Hannah couldn’t believe what her eyes were seeing. Buildings that looked so beautiful they could be from a famous painting, thousands of Italians walking around chanting words she couldn’t understand, and stands selling Panini’s, leather bags, and Italian pizza lining the streets. The weather was absolutely beautiful and the air was crisp and clean.  Hannah walked up three stories to her Italian apartment, and met three girls that went to NC State with her, but she had never met before. According to Hannah, “It was so interesting meeting girls that went to my own school, but I didn’t cross paths with them until we were in a foreign country together!” In total, there were fifty people who went to NC State in her program, and thousands of other students from schools all across America.

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At a soccer game in Florence

Hannah took two classes, a renaissance history class and a cooking class. “Taking a renaissance history class in Italy was really eye opening. Since Italy was a major part of the renaissance era, I got to experience so much of what actually went on, instead of just reading about it. My class would go on field trips all around Florence and learn about what happened in different locations and how it affected this time!” says Hannah. Her cooking class was also life changing (pictured below). “I can now cook the perfect Italian Pizza and know which wine to pair it with.  I knew when I took a class called ‘The Taste of Italy’ I was going to know how to make anything taste like Italy,” Hannah says.  If she could change one thing, it would to be able to bring these classes back to NC State so others could experience them with her!

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Not only did Hannah learn a ton in her classes, she also got to experience Italian culture hands-on and felt like a true Italian citizen after only a couple days there. She got to see the Duomo, the Ponte Vecchio, and the Plaza Vecchio, which are all very important historic landmarks in Florence. “My favorite part about Florence was going on the Gondola rides in the river. I still can’t grasp how they built all of these buildings around these rivers and still made it so beautiful”, says Hannah (picture below).  Hannah also traveled to many cities in Italy, including Capri, Pisa, Rome, and Lucca. She got to swim in the Mediterranean Sea, see the Leaning Tower of Pisa (picture below), and see St. Peters basilica in Rome. “I’m not a history person at all. But seeing all of these historic sites made me realize that there is so much more to the world than just your own country.”

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Luckily, the program through Lorenzo de Medici allowed students to travel to different countries on the weekend. Hannah got to travel to Prague and Germany on two free weekends that the program offered. “Prague was one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. I mean, don’t get me wrong, Italy was amazing, but Prague has such an unique culture to it that stands out from any other country I’ve been to,” Hannah says. One of her favorite things about Prague were the paintings all around the city (like the one pictured left). In Germany, Hannah got to experience Munich and all of its features, and went on a bike ride along the countryside.

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On a bike tour in Munich                                          In an ice bar in Prague

If you would ask Hannah what was the greatest thing about her trip, she would tell you about her friendships and life long connections she made along the way. “I met so many amazing people while abroad. It was so incredible meeting people that share the same passion for traveling as I do. When I’m older, I definitely want to travel more and take my career to the next level by doing international work. It also inspired me to take up a minor in International Studies! When people tell me they don’t want to travel or leave America, I can’t believe it. They don’t know what they’re missing out on.”

For more information about Lorenzo De Medici, visit their website http://www.lorenzodemedici.org/florence/

 

A Summer Paradise

A Summer Paradise            

By: Jacqueline Trinh (UCLA)

While most college students anticipate spending their summer with friends and involving themselves in spontaneous and non-academic activities,  Sinh Nguyen is a UCLA student that was motivated to use his summer to positively impact a community and to experience personal growth.  He packed his bags and left his family and friends to participate in a summer travel study program in Hawaii, hosted by the UCLA Asian American Studies Department and the University of Hawaii at Mānoa Ethnic Studies Department. In class, he conducted research on different aspects of multiculturalism in Hawaii and conducted fieldwork outside of class that served as the data for group projects. He also learned a great deal about the issue of homelessness in Hawaii. In fact, Hawaii’s homeless situation has become one of the top challenges facing state and county governments. From this, he played an influential role in the Next Step Homeless Shelter and participated in numerous environmental cleanup sites, as well as conducted field studies in Asian Pacific American communities in Hawaii.

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*More information about the Next Step Homeless Shelter can be found here: http://www2.hawaii.edu/~csssl/pages/kakaako.html [ML1]

It was during this time that he developed the understanding of how travel is the best means of education.  From his experiences, travel has been the stepping-stone to higher education as it has given him invaluable life experiences and skills including empathy and the ability to relate to people from different cultures and backgrounds. By being able to work in a homeless shelter, it opened his eyes regarding how fortunate and blessed he is to have a loving family that cares for his well being and to have the opportunity to pursue a higher education.

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Considering Sinh is from Canada, it was a different and unique environment for him especially with the different cultural backgrounds and beliefs. What drew him to step out of his comfort zone was the desire and passion to experience new things in life, as well as to challenge him to reevaluate his own values and cultural norms. He had a desire to widen his perspective of the world around him and made sure to accomplish this by being open minded. Even so, he experienced cliff diving at the Waimea Bay Beach Park, which he stated as the most exciting thing that he did in Hawaii!  Sinh states that, “it was exhilarating, scary, and fun!”

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Soon enough, Sinh was reunited with the warm yet cool Californian breeze as he returned home. I asked Sinh if there was anything he could advise students about and he stated passionately and enthusiastically that all students should take the opportunity to travel. He states that the only way to have a sense of how the world works is to see it yourself. Every student, even those with financial obligations can be accommodated through the school’s financial aid and thus be provided a rich curriculum that not only expands and nurtures the mind, but also creates a sense of awareness and understanding of the other communities that exist other than one’s own.

“Thank you, Hawaii, for an unforgettable five weeks—for allowing me to explore your beauty and ugliness outside of the tourist gaze, expand global knowledge, and focus on social, ethnic, and political issues that I am passionate about.”

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Drumming His Way to the Top

Drumming His Way to the Top

By: Kiersten Conner

Imagine functioning on little to no sleep and traveling throughout the United States on a charter bus filled with 150 students to perform with a drum corps in front of thousands of screaming fans for the summer. That is what Chase Tucker, a Business and Finance major from Texas A&M University, had the privilege of doing this summer.

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Drum Corps International is a non-profit governing body for junior drum and bugle corps in the U.S.A. and Canada, or, in other words, a major league marching band. In this competition, over 20 world-class drum corps compete against each other in different cities throughout the country every night. The Boston Crusaders is based out of Boston and is the third oldest junior drum and bugle corps team in the nation. It is also the corps Chase Tucker plays the Marimba for in the Front Ensemble, the stationary percussion ensemble.

This may sound like tough work, but Chase says this has been one of the greatest experiences of his life and if he had to choose a highlight, it would be the countless new friends he has made. “You’re in such close proximity to these 150 people all summer. You ride on long bus rides with them, you rehearse long days, perform, you eat with them, you shower with them, you are just always together.” Of all the musicians, Chase has become the closest with another Marimba player who attends University of Florida and, like Chase, has been playing in the drum corps for years. Although his new friend is three years older, Chase doesn’t feel the age gap. “We’re like twins,” Chase said, “we just get along so well.” They became so close, in fact, Chase will be attending Colin’s wedding this coming April.

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The Boston Crusaders have traveled throughout the United States, but of all the new cities, Chase’s favorite was Chicago, a city he had never visited before. The corps received a free day and the students were dropped off at the Navy Pier where Chase enjoyed some pizza and the landmarks Chicago has to offer.

Visiting and performing in so many cities, one would think that Chase must have met some famous celebrities. Sadly he didn’t, although Justin Bieber was performing in Chicago the same day Chase and his corps were visiting. If he had the chance, he said he would have wanted to meet “Taylor Swift, because she’s awesome.” Can’t say I disagree with that!

A few weekends ago, the Boston Crusaders performed at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis for the Drum Corps International Championships. They finished 8th out of 36 drum corps with a score of 90.4 out of 100! Chase and his corps were beyond satisfied with the results. Although the end of summer has come and the members of the Boston Crusaders are ready to get home and catch up on their sleep, Chase wouldn’t have traded this unforgettable, life-changing experience for anything in the world.

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Shannon: Princess of Manhattan

If Snapchat-induced jealousy was not a classified emotion before, it became one this summer. The flood of enviable social media broadcast that my friend Shannon poured all over Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat could make Angelina Jolie’s life look dull.

As an Integrated Marketing intern for MTV, Shannon lived Kanye’s good life this summer in New York City.

The view from her office:

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She met celebrities, brainstormed ideas for MTV, and pretty much shopped, ate and danced her way through NYC.

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So, Shan, lets talk celebs.

“There were tons of celebrities who came through the building such as the Jonas Brothers, Mac Miller, Ciara, and Robin Thicke.”

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(The Robin Thicke Snapchat she sent out, which he had no idea he was being photographed in, was heart-melting.)

S also had an embrace with fame by starring as an extra in a Wendy’s “Fresh Flava” commercial.

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“Someone who works in the Corporate Sales and Marketing department forwarded me an e-mail from the director of the commercial saying they needed more extras… I was soooo excited and said yes right away. It was REALLY fun.”

Watch the petite blond running and screaming by the camera at 0:26 here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts9MkWBNMLI (She’s the one in leggings and a mint sleeveless button down.)

Shan also got in touch with her “inner Carrie Bradshaw” by living in a single apartment at NYU in the soul of the East Village.

“My building was in the heart of the East Village, a great location for shopping, food, and even nightlife. I felt like Carrie Bradshaw! If only I had her closet…”

Relaxing in Atlantic City on the weekends, relishing in East Hampton beaches, and going to “tons of Mets games,” she had “literally the best summer ever.”

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She even got to cut loose at Electric Daisy Carnival New York. Here’s a little recap for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7GgeD5XtFLk

S also attended a Victoria’s Secret/MTV commercial. After seeing her glam shots from Mets games like this one,

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I’m surprised they didn’t ask her to join in on the VS shoot as well! Here are some photos from the shoot:

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But it wasn’t all Lady Gaga love games; it was hard work. S worked on a time restriction to come up with her final project – an RFP, request for proposal, essentially creating a marketing plan for a potential client. An “enjoyable, insightful and challenging” task that S kicked some serious tush in.

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Although A-list distractions fluttered around her fab summer life, she didn’t let them get to her.

“I was there to learn—and oh my god, I learned so much.”

“Integrated marketing was a term I was unfamiliar with prior to this internship…. MTV strives to create original programs and co-branded content for their partners using in-show, out-of-show, digital, and social techniques. They want to make it more of an experience for the viewer.”

Q & A

Q: With so many unreal experiences to choose from, what was the best part of your summer?

A: My favorite moment of the summer was when I won a contest to attend the 2013 MLB All-Star Game. As a huge baseball fan, this was a dream come true and a once-in-a-lifetime experience I got to share with my dad. I only entered because at work, one of my co-workers was in charge of selecting winners of an MTV contest, and she told me that I’d be surprised how few people actually enter contests these days. Thus, I tested my luck and ended up winning tickets to the show. I still can’t believe it.

Q: What was favorite part about being an MTV intern?

A: I couldn’t say better things about the people I worked with, from my VP to my supervisor to the other interns. Not only was everyone friendly and laidback, but my bosses also put a lot of effort into making sure I gained a lot from the internship. They trusted me with many projects and gave me constructive criticism for each one. Non-work-related, the Viacom building had an amazing, fresh food selection for breakfast and lunch every day. The milkshake bar was my personal favorite.

Sadly, the internship is now over. Although S had to give a tearful kiss goodbye to NYC, don’t feel so bad for the little Manhattan princess.

She’s returning to UMiami after all.

By Rebecca Cohen

 

Exploring the Holy Land

Exploring the Holy Land

As a Jewish teenager who grew up going to Hebrew school, temple during the holidays, and went through the Jewish process of “becoming a woman” – my bat mitzvah – going to Israel has always been something I have dreamed about. When one of my close friends, Gabi Kains, a sophomore at the University of Maryland, College Park went to Israel through Birthright Israel this summer, I was anxious to hear all about it.

For those who don’t know, Birthright Israel is a free ten-day heritage trip for Jewish young adults. There are many possible programs to can go on and some teens choose to plan these trips through their university. One of the best sources of information about these different programs is on www.birthrightisrael.com. In case you’re wondering, Gabi mentioned that the application process wasn’t difficult. It requires providing some personal information, writing a little about your Jewish background and explaining why you want to go on the trip. You may also have an interview with a Rabbi. It’s important to note that you might not always get accepted into the trip you want, however there are wait-lists and if you wait to apply again for the next trip you will gain priority.

Gabi went on the trip with her close friend Abby, who will be a sophomore this fall at Penn State University, University Park. They chose to go on Israel Free Spirit, one of the highly ranked Birthright Israel programs.

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Gabi said that she considered going through the University of Maryland but liked the idea of being able to meet people from many different backgrounds. Her trip consisted of 18-24 year olds who came from all areas of the country – New Mexico, Texas, Alabama, Massachusetts, New York, Maryland, and more. She thought it was funny how it took about a day for true bonds to begin forming due to all the preconceived notions people create based on Facebook profiles.

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Gabi explained to me that she didn’t go into the trip with any kind of expectations. She was just really excited to finally experience what Israel was all about.

One of her most valuable experiences on the trip was when they went to the Western Wall (Kotel) on Shabbat. She told me that her group leaders kept telling them how the experience they had that night was something all of the Jewish people, and most likely their Jewish ancestors, have strived to do for their entire lives. “The ambiance there, at the holiest place in the world, on the holiest day of the week, is indescribable. It is something that you would not be able to understand until you see it and feel it for yourself. I’m not a religious person, I consider myself more about the “Jewish culture” than the religion, but the time there that night really had me in touch with my faith,” Gabi explained to me.

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She continued to tell me how Shabbat at the Kotel and then their time at the Kotel a few days later was definitely the most emotional. “…I prayed and wrote pages of thoughts and wishes of hopes I have for the present and for the future. That time of self-reflection was extremely intimate and it was the only time on the trip I was brought to tears.” She was also moved by the visit to the cemetery where many young soldiers were buried. And Yad Veshem, the Holocaust museum, was another extremely powerful and emotional experience on her trip.

Gabi thought that one of the best parts of the entire trip was having the Israeli soldiers join them, who also needed to apply and be accepted into the program. The soldiers joined Gabi’s group for five days and they went on all the different activities with them. Gabi loved being able to immerse herself in the Israeli culture during her time spent with them, however she found it be slightly scary that kids her age were protecting their country. One of the soldiers she grew close to nearly mirrored her own life, “she’s 19 years old, loves to hang out with her friends, straighten her hair, bake cookies and cakes, go out with her boyfriend, and visit with her family – but has to commute to her military base 5 days a week.”

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Through my own Facebook stalking I knew that riding camels and visiting the Dead Sea were two staple events that occur on every Birthright Israel trip. However Gabi told me that they weren’t as amazing as they seem. She described riding the camels as overrated and thought it got real boring, real fast. She also said that the camel almost dropped her! (The camel probably knew she wasn’t having fun).

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The Dead Sea was really cool, she exclaimed, but it started to hurt her skin after a while because the mud isn’t smooth.

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Gabi laughed when I asked her if there was anything she disliked about the trip. She told me that although she is known for complaining, everything about the trip was worth it. She said that the days were long, sleep was minimal, and sometimes the food at the hotels was really bad (even the Israelis agreed with that), but in the end you are living experiences that many Jews can only dream about living.

If Gabi’s story inspired you or convinced you that Birthright Israel is a trip you want to go on, she also shared some pieces of advice she learned along the way. She was happy that her and her best friend Abby had decided to go on the trip together, otherwise she would have spent ten days sleeping ten inches away from a total stranger. She also said to make the most of your shopping time – since you won’t have a lot of it. And be sure to try everything and anything even if it’s out of your comfort zone. Her biggest regret was not being able to extend her trip by staying an extra week to continue exploring on her own. And her least favorite part was getting on the plane back to America and having to leave such a special country.

By Karli Brummer
 

Political Euphoria

Political Euphoria

By: Scott Greenwald

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It’s morning again.  For Adam Bates, a Junior at Emory University, that means it’s time to head to his summer internship.  Once he finally arrives at his office he begins the first part of his daily routine – waiting in line to go through security.  “Walking into work every day, you feel like you’re going through the TSA,” Adam said.  “They do basically what they’d do at the airport… You have to take off your belt, all metal, you have to go through the metal detector”. Finally, after a 20-to-30 minute delay, it’s time to get to work.

Wondering where Adam could have worked this summer that required such tight security? None other than the political center of our country: the Capitol.

This summer, Adam left the comforts of his hometown of Dallas, Texas for Washington DC in order to serve as a Constituent Services Intern for John Barrow, the U.S. Representative from Georgia’s 12th congressional district.  Here, Adam’s responsibilities included writing unsolicited mail and form letters to constituents on behalf of Congressman Barrow.  Adam said took this as an opportunity to “work on [his] writing skills as well as talk to constituents in the greater Augusta area.”  While these skills will be very important to Adams future (as he intends to attend law school after college), the experiences that he had outside of his intern responsibilities may have proved to be even more valuable to him.

This summer was an eventful one in the political world.  From the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) to the Zimmerman trial verdict, there wasn’t a dull moment in Washington DC. Adam was not only working in the Capitol, but was working for the federal government where he got to see it all up close and personal.  For example, Adam was at the Supreme Court’s steps when they announced the ruling on DOMA.  According to Adam, they only allowed Congressional interns and members of Congress into the restricted area where he watched the scene unfold.  Adam was also able to watch Ben Bernanke announce the state of the economy.  In regards to this, Adam said, “It was cool, because while I was sitting there any word he said could have changed the stock market by hundreds of points.”

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It was moments like these that made Adam’s summer experience different than the typical college intern working a 9-to-5 job.  For a Pre-Law student, what could be better than being thrust into the political and legal hub of the nation?  It’s no wonder that when asked to describe his summer experience the first thing he responded with was “eventful”.  Rather than the typical intern experience that is characterized by a daily routine and schedule, Adam’s experience was defined by the events that he would not have been able to witness anywhere else.

When asked about the most exciting thing about his internship he brought up one more unique experience.  According to Adam, a few times per year, a very exclusive tour is given of the very top of the Capital Building and Adam was lucky enough to be one of the few.  “The only people allowed up there are Chiefs of Staff and members of Congress… but John Barrow took me up there with a couple of the other interns and we got to see the whole city of Washington D.C. from the very top of the Capitol.”  Adam continued, “It’s cool because you can’t see it unless you work for a Congressman, so only a handful of people have ever seen that vantage point.”

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That’s what Adam’s summer was – the chance to be on top of Washington. The chance to see all of D.C. from the perspective of not only a tourist and a resident, but also an insider. The chance to do things that few will ever do, and he may never have the chance to do again. He didn’t take a minute for granted.

 

Buckeyes Doing Big Things

Imagine having a major where you study, make and eat food. Out of Ohio State’s 150+ different majors, Food Science brings this to life.

Katie Williamson is a sophomore at Ohio State majoring in Food Science. She loves the coursework, which includes “the science behind food, how it’s made, how it’s processed and how the body processes the food. It includes a lot of chemistry and can be anywhere from making a new cake batter to processing a snack” she told me when we met for an interview to discuss what she did this summer. When she went to look for internships this summer, she says that she has always been interested in wine and how it’s made, so she applied to several wineries in her area.

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She was lucky enough to land a job as the intern at Cream Ridge winery, located in Cream Ridge, NJ. She spent her days on the vineyard and in the winemaking lab and “started out the summer by mowing the lawn, doing a lot of maintenance and cutting back vines, then towards the end of the summer I would work in the wine making lab and I ‘bottled’ and put the labels on bottles and helped the winemaker with adding yeast, pumping the wine, and learning the technicalities of winemaking.” Here is more of my interview with Katie:

Me: What is the coolest thing you got to do during your internship?

Katie: “I was able to make strawberry wine. It took about a week for the yeast to set in and we watched the wine all summer and we bottled the wine a week before I left so I got to see the whole process.”

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Me: What are some of the different things one can do with a food science major?

K: “You can do anything from working with any type of food industry, you can work for any brand of food, because each one has many food scientists behind their operation.”

Me: What got you interested in food science, and later interested in wine?

K: “I first heard about food science on a college tour and I’ve always loved food and to cook, so I knew I would never get bored of learning about food. I also knew I wanted to do something fun and interesting in food science and always thought wine was really cool. My parents have always been big on wine and I always heard them talking about it while trying wine from different parts of the world, so over spring break I applied for internships in the wine industry.”

Me: What would be your ideal job after graduation?

K: I would like to go to grad school for wine before doing anything else in the industry. But right out of grad school, working for a bigger winery, more well known, and learning the ropes of it and one day I would like to start my own winery.

More info about the wine making process:

How is wine made?

During our interview, Katie explained to me more on how exactly to make wine. “Every wine is made differently, but the gist of it is you start with picking the grapes, and you press them. With the grape juice, you add yeast to the juice and the yeast converts the sugar into alcohol. After this, some wines need to be filtered, but the basics are adding the yeast to the grape juice.”

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How do different wineries and wines get different tastes?

Katie also explains to me how this is done. “It is mostly because of the grapes. There are an infinite amount of ways to grow grapes and make wine, but the way you filter it, the type of yeast you add, and how much of it make it taste differently. Also the way you store it gives it different tastes. Every wine tastes differently though and even if you buy the same bottle of wine a few months apart, it will taste differently.”

By Katie Fries

 

Global Girl

Kalina Silverman, an incoming sophomore at Northwestern University, has always lived her summers adventurously. A native to Santa Monica, Calif., Silverman passed time with activities such as surfing, hiking, and biking.   But this year, she decided to spend her summer beyond the waves and mountainous terrain of Southern California. And so, with a passport in hand and excitement in her heart, Silverman started off on not one, but two trips abroad. First stop, Israel. From there, she jetted off to Shanghai and Beijing.

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Silverman could hear the sounds of guns and other weaponry as she took in the sights here at the border of Syria and Israel.

“I wanted to travel this summer, because I felt like it was my last summer to do so without feeling the pressures of the competitive job and internship search that many college students face,” Silverman said. “I felt like getting an internship wasn’t as imperative as spending time doing what I love and reassessing my interests.”

Silverman did not spin a globe and randomly point her fingers at Israel and China. She selected these places because of their connection with her ethnic and religious background. She inherited Judaism from her father, while absorbing Chinese culture from her mother.

“I went to Israel on birthright. I wanted to explore my Jewish background a bit.” Silverman said. “I went to China for a similar reason. I wanted a chance to practice my Chinese speaking.”

Throughout her trip, Silverman experienced culture shock in some areas. She describes her surprise when she was told Israel soldiers must travel with her birthright group, in part for guidance, but also for protection.

“I had no idea what to expect,” Silverman said. “With college as a standard education system so engrained into my mind, I learned so much about this alternate path that all Israelis seem to take and grow from.”

However, despite some major cultural differences, Silverman says she learned that people, no matter how different their backgrounds, can connect through the simple shared experience of being human.

“The network of young like-minded international young adults was so refreshing, exciting and inspiring. If I chose to come live in Shanghai for a few years, I would feel at home. In Israel, I felt like I was part of this awesome Jewish community.”

As she reflects on her trips, Silverman says she feels more connected to her roots than ever before.

“I learned how easy it is to bond and find common ground with people from around the world, no matter how different they may seem at first.”

Now that she has settled back into her home in Santa Monica, it’s no surprise that Silverman is already pursuing a new adventure. This time it’s a film class in which she is developing a screenplay.  The story? A girl traveling the world, one exhilarating adventure at a time.

By Maya Voelk

 

Roommate of the Year: Jasmine Hsu

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Jasmine Hsu is one of a few unique students at UCSB. She is not only a hardworking and gifted student, but she also faced challenges her first year that most students do not have deal with. She is an international student from Taipei, Taiwan. Only two percent of the undergraduate population is international students and only six percent of those students come from Taiwan. Needless to say, she quickly had to adjust to American/Californian culture while being separated from friends and family for several months at a time.

I had the pleasure of meeting Jasmine the first day I moved into the dorms. She was my roommate all year and we were very lucky to be so compatible living together. I got to know a lot about her culture and family throughout the year and shared with her my American background and traditions. Although we had a great year of living together, we could not be roommates again this upcoming year and I was very sad to have to say goodbye to her on move out day.

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In order to get ahead on credits Jasmine stayed in Santa Barbara for the first session of summer school. By my own judgment of her Facebook and with her comments, she had a fantastic summer school experience. “It is an extremely relaxed environment because you only have one or two classes and half the homework.” Jasmine shared her apartment with two close friends and they lived the typical broke-college-student life because they had no money and no furniture. They ate dinner every night on a homely cardboard box and watched TV shows on their laptops from their humble bean bags. As grand of an experience that was, Jasmine was thrilled to finally fly back to her homeland on August 6th.

After eight long months she returned safely to her home and the life she knows best. From there most of her summer consisted of hanging out with friends and catching up with family members. Taiwan is a hot spot for young people with its vast activities from nature hikes to nightclubs, but Jasmine would not recommend driving, even she does not have her license yet.

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The nightlife is quite the adventure in Taiwan, the legal drinking and clubbing age is eighteen, “not flippin’ twenty-one,” in her words. In my opinion, all foreigners under twenty-one have alcohol culture shock when they come to America because of our strict drinking laws. In Taiwan alcohol is not sinful and taboo, it is okay in moderation and introduced at a young age in order to teach kids how to be responsible. The nightclubs resemble a futuristic discotheque and are an ever growing attraction in Taipei. Good music and food seems to be a common point of bonding for friends all around the world and Jasmine’s hometown is becoming a major hot spot.

One of Jasmine’s favorite parts of Taiwanese culture is the Taipei night market which is the same as a regular market, only it is held at night. She says, “It’s just like the one TASA (Taiwanese-American Student Association) mimicked on campus… but way bigger!” Jasmine has not failed to participate in this weekly market since she has been home. She frequently complained about the lack of quality in the Asian cuisine served by the dining commons so “getting back to the delicious food has been heaven.” She likes going to her favorite restaurants with friends and of course is satisfied with her variety of choices.

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Even though the summer is only half way done for Jasmine and UC students alike, most of her friends are heading back to their respective universities to start school this month. Jasmine is dreading the day when she will be left behind by her friends. I asked her what she is going to do to occupy her time for the rest of the summer and she says she will explore the small island as much as she can. If she goes hiking she will be toughing through the humidity. Right now she showers three times a day to relieve herself of the sticky, hot climate! Surprisingly, that is the normal temperature in Taiwan, “it takes a native to deal with that humidity,” she concludes. She will not be returning to UCSB until the day before school starts, but I will be overjoyed when I get to see her again and hear about how the rest of her summer adventures went.

By Stephanie Alexander

 

Martial Arts at the Shao Lin Temple

    Martial Arts at the Shao Lin Temple

By: Elaine Cen

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Alvarez, a fellow Texas Longhorn and an avid practitioner of Wushu. Mike has dedicated the past 11 years to training in this sacred and artistic form of Chinese martial arts. This summer will be my interviewee’s second time visiting the temple to improve his kung fu abilities.

Download and listen to the 10 minute interview.

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Elaine: How did you find out martial arts was your passion?

Mike: I guess like most people, it was kind of the movies. It was Bruce Lee, Hidden Dragon, and Jackie Chan’s earlier work.

Elaine: What was the most memorable experience you had during your trip?

Mike: There are five sacred mountains in China. One of them is Song Mountain. There’s this big hike you can take along the mountain and stairs upon stairs upon stairs upon stairs to get to the top. At the top there is a statue of the Bodhidharma. A lot of the times for training, we’d run up. Just running up and seeing where the dharma meditated for nine years, it’s a great feeling when you finally make it. You just get to the top and the view is amazing.

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Elaine: How did you guys convince them to let you train with them?

Mike: My master here in America is actually a Shaolin monk from China and he came to America to teach. He arranged everything.

Elaine: Were you treated just the same as other young monks?

Mike: I’m definitely still a foreigner. In terms of training, I’m just like another monk. They’re definitely more careful [with foreigners]. They don’t want you to get sick and go to a Chinese hospital. I had a friend who was there and got pneumonia. She had to cut her training time short, so she’s already come back to [America]. They kind of baby you in a sense compared to your Chinese counterpart. The Chinese counterpart will be sent through the ringer. So if I misbehave and mess up, it’s not too bad. If one of the other students messes up, [the older students] will usually discipline them.

Elaine: What was an average day like for you?

Mike: An average day would be that we’d wake up at 5 AM. We’d go for a pre-workout and running for two to three hours. There’d be some other strength training exercises. We’d go back to eat breakfast and then go back to training. The master will assign senior students to train us. They would show us forms, jumps, the usual. We’d take a break and go for lunch. We’d take about a two hour rest. At 4 PM, we’d go back to training, the same stances and forms. Each training session is about two hours. Break for dinner. Training for two more hours. And then, we’d go to sleep.

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Elaine: Did you get disciplined?

Mike: If we’d get disciplined, they’d make us do physical exercise. They’ll make you go through your forms a dozen times if you mess up. As for the other monks…let me pick a tame punishment. One of the monks might fool around, and there’s this staff. I see them make the students lie down and hit them on the back of the legs with the staff.

The worst punishment, to me at least, was when the master came to train us. It’s very rare for him to actually come and train you. Some of the students were talking and being silly, I guess. When the master left, the senior students got really mad at the others and made about a dozen of them stare at the sun. The head up, eyes to the sun for a good twenty minutes. That’s just one of the worst. They can get pretty extreme, so it’s definitely a bad one. Of course, the master would never do something like that. It’s just the senior students who feel like they should enact that kind of discipline.

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Elaine: And how was the culture shock?

Mike: Despite the language barrier it wasn’t that bad. There were some things to get used to. Lots of people just spit on the street. Like in the restaurants, you’ll see that. And on my first time going [to China], there was an eight hour train ride where I had to sit on my luggage and sleep.

Elaine: What is the best thing about martial arts to you?

Mike: There’s definitely a feeling of accomplishment when you finally get something down that you’ve been working on. For the longest time, backflips, just could not do them. I probably fell on my head probably two dozen times. When I finally got it, it was awesome. I started really trying to do a backflip about two months before my first trip to China. When I went to China, they kind of forced me to do it, and do it, do it, and do it. Every time I’d fall, I’d have to get up and try again. About a month into my first trip, I finally got it.

Elaine: Did you achieve what you wanted from this unique experience?

Mike: Yeah. You see [the monks] do their thing, and you can see what you can achieve if you keep practicing.

Elaine: What were your key takeaways?

Mike: My key takeaway was that practice makes perfect. Literally, you won’t get something right away. That was something the master stressed a lot. You have to keep practicing and giving it your all if you really want to improve, and you will improve.

Elaine: Do you plan on becoming a monk?

Mike: You can definitely become a warrior monk or Buddhist monk even as a foreigner. There was a French individual I saw who had been training there for 2-3 years and he was on his way to being a Buddhist monk. It’s not something that I would want to do. I want to progress martial arts wise, but as far as becoming a Buddhist monk, that’s just not my thing. The vows are kind of intense, like priest vows. Warrior monks take a few vows, but chastity isn’t one of them and you can still eat meat, for example.

Elaine: What would you do differently if you had the chance to go again?

Mike: Definitely would want to learn Chinese. The translator helped. The first time I went when there was no translator, we’d use nonverbal communication and the little Chinese I knew. I want to be able to converse with my friends in China who I still communicate with. I want to be able to talk to them on a deeper level. I actually have the Shaolin Temple master’s number.

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Elaine: Any last advice for anyone wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Mike: Learn Chinese. That’s a big one if you’re going to China.

Don’t drink the water. Nothing bad happened to me, but I had friends who had some pretty bad stories. So if you go to China, drink bottled water. I ran out of bottled water, so I drank out of the faucet. That was totally bad, but I was really thirsty.

Keep yourself healthy. This is the most important one. And don’t be afraid to embrace the culture.

Want to find out more about Wushu and the Shaolin Temple? Check out these recommended links:

Shaolin Temple: http://www.shaolin.org.cn/en/
International Shaolin Wushu Center: http://www.internationalshaolinaustin.com/
Texas Wushu (UT organization): http://www.texaswushu.org/

 

Architect of Creative Spaces

Architect of Creative Spaces

By: Frances Chan

This is Max.

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He’s a designer, runner, architecture student.

And…he’s the Art Director for the GAKKO Project, a Yale student-led initiative that challenges traditional approaches to learning. The founder, Kenta Koga (Yale 2014), frustrated by the narrow confines of the test-centered Japanese education system he went through, curated a group of some of the most creative minds at Yale to create a summer camp for Japanese students that would foster global thinking and creativity. This past summer, GAKKO Project hosted its second annual camp in Japan. The camp, or rather “learning experience,” brought together high school students from Japan and some of the most creative people in the world—entrepreneurs, magicians, programmers, musicians, improv comedians (the list goes on)— for a week of inspiration and creation. At the core of the GAKKO philosophy is the deconstruction of the traditional teacher-student relationship in favor of a “sempai-kohai relationship.” Sempais are college students from Yale, Harvard, and top-tier universities around the world, who instead of teaching the kohais, that is, the high school students, facilitate creative exploration of the four major themes: perform, think, make, and write.

As the Art Director, Max was in charge of all aspects of branding from logo and web design to presentation materials and camp supplies. But he ended up doing much, much more. He learned, “how to create spaces where creativity and improvisation could collide, where unexpected connections across wildly different threads of thought could happen, and where users of these spaces feel like owners, not guests.” He told me how he and the other sempais turned “one big room with a few beaten-up tables and chairs” into “a blank canvas” for the kohai to think, discuss, create. When the kohai arrived, they were given supplies to create a “collaborative, multi-use space,” which turned out, in his own words, “crazy…but in a beautifully cohesive manner… What previously was a storage space for our bags and supplies became a place for reflective activities, for lively discussions, for movie-screenings, sleepovers, tinkering with various tech contraptions, collaborative artistic contributions… I could go on and on, but the main point is this—over the course of two days, the kohai created the space that they then used throughout the camp; by being invested in its design and subsequent use, they made a room that became an active player in the learning, making, thinking, sharing, performing, writing, and sleeping that happened at GAKKO… everything in that room exuded a vibrant, collective spirit of creativity.”

GAKKO has already been approved for a third year of funding, and the team plans on expanding to Turkey and India by next summer. When I asked Max if he planned on being a part of GAKKO in the future, he answered without hesitation—Yes.

“We learned a lot this summer about how to manage what is essentially a startup run by 20 college students who are responsible for the well-being and personal development of 40 high-school students. We gained insight into how to prepare for the camp, how to execute activities and workshops, how to form a “camp culture”, and how to sustain a GAKKO network after the camp ends. All this we are still digesting and figuring out, but it’s a promising sign for GAKKO 2014… and future years.”

 

I Volunteered in a Developing Country… What Did YOU Do This Summer?

I have an immense amount of respect for anyone who gives his or her valuable time and money to travel across the globe to help out those in need. It is so easy to get lost in your own life, in your own wants and needs, and not realize that there are others who are much worse off than you are. That is why I was extremely impressed when I logged onto Facebook one day and saw that my friend Casey Grennan had gone on a mission trip to a small village in Guatemala. Casey is a rising sophomore at Florida State studying English and media. Among other activities she is involved with the FSU and TCC Wesley Foundation, the United Methodist group on campus. It is through this group that she was given the opportunity to visit Guatemala and build some new homes for the villagers there.

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I asked Casey a few questions about what her experience in Guatemala was like, and here’s what she had to say:

Q: What town in Guatemala did you visit and what did you do while you were there?

A: We visited several towns, but we were primarily there to work in this small village called Chontala. We finished building two houses that another group had already started back in March and we also played/hung out with the kids and read them Bible stories, had snack time, and did crafts with them.

Q: Did you go to Guatemala with a group of other people or by yourself?

A: It was a group of us from FSU Wesley Foundation, which is the United Methodist campus ministry.

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Q: What motivated you to go on a mission trip?

A: At Wesley we have this thing called duster/dustees, which is basically a mentor program or kind of like a big/little I guess. My duster was going on this trip and she had been before and was telling me all about it and it sounded so awesome. I had gone on a mission trip before and knew how amazing they could be, so I was intrigued. Then I found out about a month before the trip that some spots had opened up last minute, and I just really felt a strong urge to go!

Q: What did you take away from your time there?

A:  The people of Chontala are amazing. There’s so much I learned from them. For one, they have nothing – they live in mud/clay houses, they have no inside plumbing (we dug them an outhouse for a bathroom), they have no fancy toys or clothes, but they are so happy. They love their families and they work so hard. The children of the village have worked harder than most of us college students ever will. There are ten-year-olds taking care of their younger siblings, basically being a mother until their actual mother gets home from work. It blows my mind.  Also, even though they have so little, they are so generous. Every day that we were building the house, the family who lived there bought us all sodas from the local market. That’s a big deal for them, like sodas are an extra special rare treat. One day they even bought us freshly baked bread, which is an even bigger deal. And then on the last day, the whole village got together and cooked us a huge going-away lunch and gave each of us beautiful handmade purses. It still brings tears to my eyes…their generosity is so crazy. It really changed my perspective about how we live in America. We have so much that we take for granted; it’s kind of ridiculous.

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Q: Is there anything that you wish you could have done there but didn’t get the chance to do?

A: I wish my Spanish was stronger so that I could have talked to the villagers more. I mean the kids were easy to talk to because you don’t have to say much, just play with them, but the adults. I wish I could’ve learned more about them and really gotten to know them.

Q: Do you have any plans to go back?

A: Yes! I’m going back in December and I can’t wait.

Q: Do you have any advice for students who are interested in going on mission trips to other countries?

A: I guess just to go in with an open mind and open heart. Wherever you go, there’s so much you can learn from the local people there, so just don’t go expecting to build some houses or dig a well or whatever. Be open to all the lessons, culture, and experiences that are available to you there! These trips can really be life changing.

Q: Would you recommend going to Guatemala to others?

A: Absolutely! I didn’t realize how beautiful it was there. There are so many mountains and there were even volcanoes where we were. Every day the sunset/sunrise was incredible, so it’s definitely a beautiful place to visit.

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For more information on the Wesley Foundation, please visit http://fsuwesley.com.

By: Erin Hajduk

 

Sophia Treakle- Cycling Tour Guide in France

I had the pleasure of meeting Sophia Treakle last year. She was the captain of Duke University’s track team and I was a mere freshman. A tall, beautiful brunette, at five feet, eleven inches, she is every bit an athlete. Not only that, but Sophia has always had a taste for adventure. Upon graduating from Duke this past May, Sophia followed both her dream to live abroad and her passion for languages and cultures (she is a cultural anthropology major) to France.

There, she works as a cycling tour guide for an American company called Backroads. “They have trips literally all over the world- from the states, to Asia, to Africa, to Europe” she told me. She is a trip leader in the French department. She leads weeklong trips, “eating great food and tasting better wine!” she said with a smile. Sophia and her group, ranging anywhere from 5-25 people, usually bike between 20-80 km a day. During the day, in between morning and afternoon rides, Sophia leads her group in a cultural activity- usually a tour of ruins, cave paintings, wine school, etc.

“It’s been an amazing opportunity for me,” remarked Sophia. “I’m able to use my French and I’m able to spend my days outdoors. I love Europe- this is every bit a fulfillment of my dreams!”

Sophia hopes to return to America after taking this gap year to return to education. Sophia is considering returning to graduate school (hopefully at Duke!) to pursue a degree in public health.

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Sophia after the Tour du Mont Blanc!

By Abby Snyder

 

The New Face of Hawaiian Tropic

After almost 30 years of bikini-clad beach babes advertising its products, Hawaiian Tropic has decided to find a new way to promote its sunscreen lotions by focusing less on silky, well tanned bodies and more on fresh faces and healthy skin. One UCF student is ready to take on the challenge of representing the globally recognized company in a brand new campaign. “Bikini contests as a tactic just don’t resonate with our consumer and don’t fit with who the brand is now,” Danielle Duncan, the brand manager for Hawaiian Tropic, said in a New York Times article.

In May, Hawaiian Tropic launched its Facebook campaign and began “Calling all Fresh Faces” in a nationwide contest that will end with the employment of a new spokesperson for the company. Rachel Cole, senior advertising and public relations major, has put her best foot — or should we say, face — forward for the contest and was able to stand out among 10,000 other women to make it into the top five contestants.

Cole’s family describes her as a conscientious individual who has applied herself to school and projects herself with a great attitude. “She is a sweet and honest young lady, who is respectful of her environment and the people around her,” Cole’s mother Bonnie Cole said. Bonnie Cole said says that her family has been using Hawaiian Tropic since her daughter was very young because she wanted to keep their skin safe while allowing them to have fun in the sun. She is very pleased and honored that the well-respected company has given her daughter this experience. After liking the company on Facebook, Cole came across the contest in her News Feed and decided to give it a shot.

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Rachel Cole, a UCF student, is competing to be the face of Hawaiian Tropic.

Contestants were asked to fill out a character profile in order to allow the company to determine if they embodied “everything Hawaiian Tropic now stands for — beauty, confidence, style, enjoying the sun and keeping skin healthy,” according to the contest page. About one month after her entry was sent in, Cole received word that she was in the top five and was invited to film her contestant video on the streets of New York City. The contestants were flown in from all across the country for the shoot and were given star treatment. After staying in a hotel in SoHo, riding through the city in a limo and connecting with the other contestants, Cole said she is still shocked by the experience. “The process happened so fast and I feel like it’s just a dream,” she said.

In her 59-second video entry, she discussed her love for art, museums and painting. She described her love for the sun as being her way of life now after her move to Florida from Ontario, Canada. To Cole, being the new face of Hawaiian Tropic means representing a great and luxurious product that has the potential to improve lives and prevent skin cancer. “I want to be the new face of Hawaiian Tropic because I use the product every day and stand by it,” Cole said. “I go outside a lot, and with Hawaiian Tropic I don’t have to worry about sun protection.” After Cole graduates next spring, she would like to work and live in either New York City or California. In addition to being the brand’s official spokesperson, the winner will be featured in new national advertising campaigns, will receive an all-expense paid tropical vacation and will work as the brand’s official spokesperson. Winners were announced on July 31, 2013. To see the new face, visit http://apps.facebook.com/hawaiiantropic-tm.

By Undreya Billups

 

An Adventure in Spain

An Adventure in Spain

By: Erin Stewart

Mandy Fraden, a Boston University student, spent eight weeks this summer in Spain. Mandy is going into her sophomore year at BU and wanted a change of pace from her routine. After spending her freshman year as a pre-med student alternating between the majors of neuroscience and biology, she was unsure of what she wanted to do.

Going abroad for classes and an internship was the perfect way to experiment with her interests. BU offers many different study abroad opportunities such as interning and taking classes. For more information about studying abroad at BU check out the study abroad website: http://www.bu.edu/abroad/

Mandy knew that her rigorous course schedule to fulfill her pre-med requirements wasn’t ideal for studying abroad, so she decided to look into summer options. After a trip to Barcelona in a previous summer, and being fluent in Spanish, she knew she wanted to study abroad in Spain.

“After that trip I knew that I wanted to travel more in Europe,” she explained. “I love learning about different cultures and I also wanted to continue practicing my Spanish so studying abroad in Madrid, Spain was perfect for me.”

While abroad, Mandy took two classes and completed her internship. Her schedule was hectic, working in the mornings and going to school in the evenings. But Mandy is glad she got to do both.

“I chose the internship program instead of the liberal arts one because I wanted to get some work experience in Spain and see what the work environment was like there,” she commented.

She took a Spanish Literature class and a Spanish Internship class, to pair with her internship. She enjoyed both classes and loved the professors. They encouraged the students to see Spain and the culture.

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Museo Nacional del Prado

“They wanted us to experience what Madrid had to offer so some of our homework would be to go to a certain place in Madrid and write about it or prepare a short presentation for the class about it,” She described.

Even with her busy schedule Mandy was still able to explore Spain. She had Fridays off so she was able to enjoy her three-day weekends. Mandy would spend time with her host family, play video games with the son, or watch movies with the daughter. If she wasn’t at home she was traveling to different areas, with her friends from the program, which consisted of BU students as well as students from Harvard, Brown and UNC.

Mandy described her travels, “I went to Seville, Toledo, Barcelona, and Valencia and after seeing all of those places Madrid is still my favorite part of Spain.”

Although studying abroad was a lot of fun, for Mandy it was inspirational as well. After working with physical therapists helping Parkinson’s patients, she found her passion. She loved the work and found her coworkers were very encouraging.

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Mandy with her coworkers in Madrid.

“When I came back to the USA, I changed my major to Athletic Training and after that I plan to get a Doctor of Physical Therapy,” Mandy said.

Mandy is happy to finally have a goal and to know what she’s working towards. She credits the study abroad program for influencing and helping her. When asked if she would study abroad again if she had the opportunity, Mandy says she would jump at the chance.

“I would go back to Spain in a heartbeat, but not for study abroad,” she clarified. “I’d go back just to travel, eat and visit the friends I made while I was in Spain. I would love to study abroad in Australia or Italy.”

Mandy would recommend studying abroad to any BU student. To students afraid of being homesick, she says they shouldn’t worry. She was homesick at the start of the trip but living with a family helped, and she ended up feeling at home with her host family, and fully immersed in Spanish culture.

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Mandy and her host family.

“I could talk to them about anything going on in Madrid and they would tell me their opinions about it. They would also tell me places to go for eating, or just walking around that weren’t full of tourists,” she explained. “Madrid felt like home and by the end of my study abroad experience it felt weird to be coming back to the USA.”

 

Marketing Topshop at Southern Cal

Topshop is a fashion company from Britain that specializes in trendy and fashionable clothing, shoes, and makeup. It has recently launched its first location in the west coast at The Grove in Los Angeles, California. This project will help Topshop market its brand and products towards the USC student body.

Social Media Approach

As seen in my previous market research project about USC student’s social media habits, most USC students spend quite a bit of time on social media networks. The fastest and most effective way to promote Topshop is through platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Topshop could potentially work with USC to start a Topshop@USC page on facebook, and allow USC students to get some priorities on purchasing new release items, discounts on products, and updates on new trends and style. In addition, Topshop could also start a tweet chat, similar to UQ’s very own #UNIVERSITYCHAT, where students at USC would discuss fashion and the upcoming trends and questions they have regarding the new season. They can also utilize Instagram and Lookbook.nu, and post the newest and most stylish looks, and even host a competition for students to post their own looks wearing Topshop clothing, and have them hashtag or @Topshop. The pictures can be posted of the Facebook page, allowing social media users to see that many people at USC are wearing Topshop, reassuring Topshop’s popularity and brand image amongst students, and proving free promotion for Topshop.

Traditional Advertisement Approach

Aside from social media, the tradition form of advertisement billboards is also very effective. Topshop could potentially post big posters and billboards around campus. Also, USC currently has a Free Bike Project where free bikes with advertisements for companies are lent out to students. Topshop can utilize this opportunity and promote their brand the same way.

Creative Approach

Every semester, our Fashion Industry Association hosts an annual fashion show. If Topshop is willing to sponsor this event, students will have a better understanding of the culture and style that Topshop promotes. Topshop could also host an on-campus showroom for a week, allowing USC students to take a look at their products at a convenient location, encouraging them to go to the actual shop to purchase products they might like. Overall, USC has many opportunities for a new brad to develop and gain supporters from the USC student body in both traditional and creative ways.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Southern California Wynne Chan for this post!

 

Hunter Rain Boots & University of Washington

A gray and rainy day is typical for Seattle, and University of Washington students know to never expect sun; instead, it is more of a pleasant surprise. Therefore, it is crucial for every University of Washington students to invest in a pair of Hunter Rain Boots at the start of their college career at the UW. These rain boots will be a part of their lives for four years and Hunter is known for their high quality boots, which are very difficult to come by. A solid rain boot is crucial if you are a UW student and Hunters will stay with you from convocation to commencement. It will be a constant in their lives—just like the rain.

Hunter Rain Boots have been around since the early 20th century and are known to be the most versatile and trustworthy rain boot. Therefore, I plan to promote Hunter Boots as a great Rain Boot to invest in during a student’s freshman year. I first plan to create a twitter account in with the handle Harrys Hunters. Every week through this Twitter Account I plan to give a weather report, and then every day Harrys Hunters will post on how they are fairing through the weather.

For example a tweet would look like:

@HarrysHunters: Another rainy day, not sure how much longer I can stand these April Showers!

These tweets are important because they not only personify the Hunter Boot, but it also relates to every UW student. There has to be a twitter interaction with students, the twitter feed must push students to buy Hunter Rain Boots, but also play along with everyone’s interaction to the weather. Every storm must be seen as a potential sale.

A Facebook Page should be created with the title “Harry’s Hunters” and plan to get around 10,000 followers. A lot of these followers will be girls because a majority of girls wear Hunter Boots at UW. This is because they are comfortable and are currently trusted by UW students. On this Facebook page students can give testimonies about their Hunter’s and give examples of how Hunters helped them while living in Seattle!

It’s also important to set up an Instagram account. Every week it would be beneficial to have a boot lost and maybe phrase it as “Cinderella’s boot”. Through this there would be a contest and it would be a challenge to find the missing boot, and whoever finds the boot could win a free pair of Hunters!

Lastly, it would be beneficial to position Hunter Boots as the newest trend and highlight it’s necessity in Seattle. It will be important to create a presence on the UW campus and have a table during the first weeks of Fall Quarter on Red Square.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Washington Raissa Masket for this post!

 

Vitamin Water Marketing Campaign at University of Maryland

Overview

Vitamin Water can run an extremely successful marketing campaign at the University of Maryland’s campus.  College students are always looking for a healthy and hydrating beverage after a night out or in between classes on a hot spring day, making them an essential target consumer for Vitamin Water.   Utilizing the appropriate channels, Vitamin Water can create brand recognition and awareness on campus that offers the opportunity to enhance profit.

Social Media

Social media marketing is the most essential part of a successful marketing campaign on college campuses. Students are constantly connected to the Internet whether on their smart phones or laptops. Hence, Facebook and Twitter are vital to spread the word about Vitamin Water. Facebook can be used in a variety of ways. Event pages can be created that feature the products name, as well as status via their specific Facebook page. Information can also be posted on campus groups’ pages that reach anywhere from 30 to thousands of students.  Vitamin Water can also create a Twitter tailored specifically to UMD’s campus that allows students to follow the account for Tweets regarding the latest promotions. The Twitter account can also be used to Tweet facts about Vitamin Water regarding calorie content, health benefits, etc.

Sponsoring Events

A great way to promote Vitamin Water to students at UMD is the sponsoring of events like Homecoming, Greek week, Terpthon, or Art Attack just to name a few. This opportunity would allow the hundreds of students who attend these events to see Vitamin Water’s name on T-Shirts, banners, filers, emails, and tickets accompanying the events. Once at the events, those previously mentioned things are seen and related to the physical product. As a sponsor of the event, Vitamin Water would have the opportunity to set up a stand at the event where they can pass out their product and promote it through first hand consumption and word of mouth by booth attendees.

Brand Promotion

In person brand promotion can flourish on campus any day of the week.  The University of Maryland’s mall has hundreds of students cross it daily where setting up a booth can again influence students. Nothing makes a better lasting impression then a cold Vitamin Water handed to you on a long, hot day of classes at the end of April.  Campus Brand Ambassadors are very effective methods of brand promotion via word of mouth.  Other brand promotion outlets could be at the various athletic events where the brand not only has to opportunity to have a sign or sponsor a t-shirt, but another booth for thousands of spectators to visit, hand out fliers, and experience their product.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Maryland Jessica Schurtz for this post!

 

Marketing the Detroit Tigers at BGSU

In 1994, I was three years old, fascinated with the fact that I had recently moved on to the “big boy toilet,” and could name every single Cleveland Indians baseball player. Heck, I was Jim Thome for Halloween 5 years in a row. I grew up loving the Cleveland Indians, and after moving to Rochester Hills at the prime age of 10, I had a newfound affinity for two American League Central teams; the Cleveland Indians and the Detroit Tigers. After years of following both teams and attending many MLB games, I enrolled at Bowling Green State University. If properly exploited, this campus could become a breeding ground for new Detroit Tigers Fans.

Bowling Green’s campus is very advantageously located for the Detroit Tigers organization. Comerica Park, home of the Detroit Tigers, is located a little more than an hour from campus. The Tigers AAA affiliate, the Toledo Mudhens, play their home games at Fifth Third Field in Toledo. This gorgeous facility is located 22 miles from campus. Relative to BGSU, these locations allow for a very favorable marketing plan. This plan will not only allow students to see several baseball games, it will build a lasting relationship between the Detroit Tigers organization and Bowling Green students. Per stereotypes and my spring break market research, college students are constrained by a budget and spend their earnings wisely. That is the biggest benefit of this marketing plan. Packages that consist of a 5 games, 4 Mudhen’s games and one Tigers Game, can be sold to students who have a minor interest in baseball. The students will be able to spend a relatively low amount of their earnings, and in return attend five baseball games spread throughout the school year and summer. While a great deal of money will not be made by the Tigers organization that is not the main goal. We want to spread awareness of the Mudhens and the Tigers, while gaining lifelong fans who will invest in the organization upon graduation. With many BGSU students from the Toledo area and “a 40 percent increases in enrollment of Michigan students each of the last two years,” (bgsu.edu) the time to act on this plan is now.

To implement this plan, campus representatives will be selected to “sell” the 5 game packages. They will be compensated in free packages for themselves or friends, so those interested in Tigers baseball will be inclined to accept the position. Wherein lies the beauty of this program: baseball lovers selling baseball tickets. A very big target market would be campus organizations, such as Greek life. This would be a great option for Greek organization’s to include as brotherhood/sisterhood events. The added value of this approach is that often the organization splits the cost of the event, in this case our game package, with members that purchase it to increase brotherhood/sisterhood attendance. Lastly, new Twitter and Instagram handles will be used for participants to actively post pictures and experiences with Tigers front office members. Twitter will be used to offer promotions to increase student attendance for games that are predicted to be lower in attendance.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Bowling Green State University Peter Bahner for this post!

 

Sample Marketing Campaign at UNC

Brand: Tim Horton’s

Duration: 1 month

SWOT Analysis:

  • Strengths- brand appeal (home-like, small town atmosphere), quality and nutritional value of food and beverages, affordability of products
  • Weaknesses- small market share in US, no presence in Chapel Hill
  • Opportunities- appeal to small, tight-knit community of Chapel Hill with brand image; increase “buzz” and drive revenues in new market
  • Threats- competitors such as Starbucks, Daily Grind, Alpine Bagel

Executive Summary:

Tim Horton’s recently established a restaurant located on the campus of UNC-Chapel Hill (hypothetical situation). In order to reach the highest number of UNC students within a 1-month span Tim Horton’s will facilitate “Horton’s Heels”, a series of fundraising events through partnerships with UNC’s largest campus organizations. The month will be split into four weeklong segments (one week per organization). During each organization’s assigned week, Tim Horton’s will roll out a new product for that organization to promote. 30% of all sales for that organization’s assigned product, during their themed week, will go back to the organization. In addition, whichever organization raises the most combined sales, “likes”, and followers for Tim Horton’s will receive catering at one of their major events and an additional $1500 towards their organization.

Initial target audience:

  • Relay for Life- 1500 student participants
  • Dance Marathon- over 2000 student participants
  • Campus Y- over 2000 students involved
  • Campus Rec- all fitness facilities, intramural sports, club sports (+/- 50 teams)

Specialty products:

  • “Roy’s Cup of Joe” (Basketball Coach Roy Williams)
  • “Rameses Wrap” (UNC Mascot)
  • “Belltower Bagel” (Iconic Belltower)
  • “MJ’s Iced Coffee” (Michael Jordan)

Tim Horton’s Marketing Strategy

  • Tim Horton’s unveils first product for first organization via Facebook and Twitter
    • Drives consumers and student organization to social media
    • Includes picture of product
    • Twitter hashtag #Horton’sHeels
    • Gives 10 gallons of coffee and small bakery items to each organization for promotion
    • Hand out QR codes for smartphone app download
    • Engagement
      • Interact with online community
        • “One word to describe ‘Belltower Bagel’?
        • “Sign up for a Tim card to receive a free bakery item with your next purchase” –link-
        • Monitor analytics each week to determine winner of competition

Student organization’s marketing strategy

  • Flexibility
    • Tim Horton’s will give organization ability to promote in the manner of their choosing
      • Personal and organizational social media accounts, promotional video, events with Tim Horton’s samples, signs, slogans, etc.

Proposed Social Media Metrics

  • US Twitter: 4,386 followers increased to 8,000 followers
  • US Facebook: 96,492 likes increased to 100,000 likes 

Campaign is aligned with Tim Horton’s mission: “Our guiding mission is to deliver superior quality products and services for our guests and communities through leadership, innovation and partnerships. Our vision is to be the quality leader in everything we do”

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UNC Trevor Cockerham for this post!

 

Where do UCLA Students Spend Their Money?

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Talking about money is always a touchy subject for college students – mainly because we usually have none. When polling UCLA students my expectations for what would top the list of things students spend their money on proved to be fairly accurate; 65.3% of polled students said they spend the most of their money on food. Other big ticket items were rent and clothing and personal care. It is interesting to note that things like alcohol and tobacco was one of the lowest ranking categories.

When UCLA students were asked to disregard basic needs when allocating money there were some distinct changes in how students would spend their money. Travel and clothing jumped to spots one and two respectively, while night life also moved towards the front of the list. Food still remained a top priority (apparently we UCLA students like to eat), but school books fell to almost last place.

Next students were asked a series of questions regarding their spending habits in relation to specific topics. 53.4% of people responded that they online shop once a month or every three months. I was surprised to find such a low frequency of online shopping but this could be attributed to students being the typical “broke college student.” Conversely, this survey revealed that UCLA students enjoy going out to eat. When asked how often a week they eat out 62.4% of people said they go out 1-3 times a week and 24.8% said they go out 4-7 times a week. This isn’t surprising since Westwood is home to some delicious food. A majority of students (55.4%) replied that they spend  spend $100-$300 a month on food. I found these numbers to be a little low however, this could be because some people live in the dorms with a food plan, or in sorority/fraternity houses where meals are also provided and found it difficult to calculate how much they actually spend on food.

When asked about clothes and personal care 56.4 % of the respondents spend less than $100 on clothes. This percentage seem about right since new clothing and extra personal care items are a bit of a luxury to college students. A surprising 74.3%  said they spend under $100 on transportation (including gas). Clearly, transportation is not a priority to UCLA students, but with LA traffic who could blame them? Finally, students responded that 88.1% of them spend less than $100 a month on alcohol. One possible explanation for this low number could be that a majority of the survey respondents were girls and girls tend to get free alcohol when they go out. Another rather shocking finding was that 53.3% of students who responded said that they are NOT taking out any loans to pay for tuition, books, rent, etc. This statistic I find to be very unusual because I feel it is much more common to be taking out loans than this survey reflects.

It is important to note that a large majority, 87.1% of people who took this survey were women. This I’m sure led to some bias, especially when discussing clothing/personal care and alcohol.  An additional bias could result from the fact that I noticed that members of the greek system were much more likely to respond to the survey. I feel this bias accounts for the surprising response to the number of students taking out loans at UCLA.  Generally, students who are members of the Greek system have more money so they may not need to take out loans. Finally, the different grade breakdowns can be seen in the following pie chart. Survey respondents were mostly sophomores however responses are still fairly spread out amongst the four grades.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UCLA Miranda Lutz for this post!

 

DePaul: Not the Typical Spring Break Experience

When you hear the words ‘Spring Break’ everyone gets that image in their head of a group of young crazy students partying it up on the beach in Florida or Mexico somewhere. It is what countless movies and television shows have told us that spring break is supposed to be. Well, for DePaul University students, this is really not the case.

It is almost 50/50 for the students that decide to travel over break and those that decide to stay home at DePaul. And if students are traveling, most of them are just traveling home, while the rest of the top answers included vacationing with friends or family (most often in the expected Florida area)!

While this may be what DePaul students are doing, this is really not what they want. Almost 50% of students wished to be in the Caribbean somewhere over their break, while another 20% decided to go to the more varied climates of a backpacking excursion across Europe. Students would want to spend their time shopping or at the beach/pool most often, if not left at home to work.

The results shown tell me many things about how different DePaul is from many other schools. I see my friends from Facebook that go large state schools such as UW Madison or University of Illinois are spending their time on sandy beaches partying it up, while most DePaul students choose to go home or stay on campus and work. This is changing the stigma of what a typical spring break experience is like, and it is not exactly what the television shows or movies depict either.

THanks to our Virtual Intern at DePaul University Kelsey Schroeder for this post!

 

NYU Students’ Empty Wallets

“I have no idea where all my money went,” is no doubt one of the most common phrases among students at NYU. New York University is in the center of New York City, basically the shopping capital of America and the hub of shows, famous restaurants, and sight seeing opportunities, to name a few. Students here find it extremely hard to be frugal because of NYC’s endless attractions. I was interested to see what exactly NYU students were spending on and why we can never seem to remember where our money disappears!

Before collecting survey responses, I had some idea of how students’ money would be allocated based on my own experience, as well as a number of my friends’. Personally, the bulk of my money is spent on transportation because my home is in Los Angeles, California, and I definitely try to visit my family back home as much as I can. For those who are from the East Coast, I assumed that they would spend the most money on textbooks and school-related supplies because each class requires us to purchase a different set of materials. On the contrary, results show that schoolbooks were on the bottom half of the list of areas money is allocated towards.

Before analyzing the responses, I took into account the pool of people from which I gathered my information. The majority of survey takers were underclassmen, 43% sophomores and 27% freshmen, while the remaining 30% is split between juniors and seniors. These statistics affirmed my assumptions because I would think that most underclassmen have a meal plan as part of their tuition, and the highest costs they have would be on schoolbooks. Additionally, most students tend to participate in school groups their first few semesters to meet new people. These school groups tend to sponsor their own events, meaning free trips for students.

To my surprise, food takes the overwhelming majority of students’ allowances when it came to weekly expenditures.  About 70% of students spend over $100 on food weekly, 32% spend over $300. What’s more interesting is that transportation comes second.  The large majority of underclassmen live in NYU residence halls, which are all within walking distance of campus.  There are a few sophomore dorms that are somewhat out of the way, but NYU provides a free bus service. It seems like there is no avoiding public transportation in such a large city. Many students work outside of NYU’s scope of services and are experts with subways, while NYC nightlife tends to give us no choice but to taxi home.

Food and transportation beat out all the other categories when it comes to New York students’ spending costs.  However, this data may not be 100% accurate due to the small population size. NYU students come from all over the world, from those who grew up across the border to international students from across the country, there’s no way to assume how these students choose to spend their money. A larger pool may yield more accurate data, though there is no doubt that being a college student in the city is incomparable to students living on huge public school campuses. There is no college town that accommodates students, with the exception of a few stores around Washington Square Park, the center of NYU.  Many of us operate on a starving college student’s budget, but are treated as typical citizens of NYC.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at New York University Sharleen Salim for this post!

 

All About Spring Break at Cal

Out of 119 students who replied to my survey about spring break travel, I assumed that the results would show an equal number of students who planned on traveling and not traveling. After the results came out, it was close to my guess, about 58% were traveling and a total of 42% were not. This result shows the university that I attend, UC Berkeley, has a balance of students who spend more money and those who spend less. A majority of the students were traveling with friends followed by a majority of students answered to be going home. My findings were similar to the assumptions I made prior to the survey.

I was surprised the 2nd most votes for a dream vacation went towards backpacking across Europe. The number one answer, Caribbean/Bahamas did not surprise me. To me backpacking sound likes a more challenging rather than relaxing vacation. The majority of students also said they would visit or spend time with 1-5 friends, most likely their closest friends as opposed to acquaintances that would be numbered higher. Later looking at the demographics of the population separate by school year, most were second year students. As a second year student, I understand the change in the amount of people students would spend time with during the break. As a freshman in college, I spent my first spring break with more than 10 people, many from high school, but as a second year, I planned to only spend time with 5 of my closest friends from high school.

The amount of money planned to spend during spring break for the budget was very closely divided between the categories of under $100 and under $500. Many did not plan on spending money in preparation for their spring break, whereas many others said they would spend under $100. I believe the people who were spending $500 for their budget would also be the ones spending $100 in preparation for break. Many students were going to arrive at their spring break destination between a car or an airplane.  Those with a budget of $500 and under would most likely be using the airplane.

Looking at the research and survey, I can argue that the university is divided into demographics of students who come from a variety of social and economic backgrounds. There is about a half of the students willing to and capable of spending money for spring break verses another half that will be spending their vacation at home with family. I would have asked questions in regards to their past 3 spring breaks to see if there was a trend. A trend would allow me to see whether or not spending spring break the way they did this year would be the same as before. It can answer questions about whether or not the students usually spend spring break with a budge of $500 or under or $100 and under, and help me with assumptions on their family and individual backgrounds. The information provided were mostly from women than men; about 66% of the results were from women and the rest were men, therefore the percentage of men to take this survey could have been raised. I feel like the school year was on average well-rounded, therefore providing different demographics to answer the survey. Some future questions I would include would be, where are you originally from? Are you an international student? An out of state student? What is your family income? And do you have a job?

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of California, Berkeley Amy Yeung for this post!

 

Apps Gone Wild: Clemson Edition

When I first released my survey to the pubic via Facebook and Twitter, I had a few intuitions about how each of the questions would be answered.  For the first question, “What apps on your phone can’t you live without?”,  I assumed that popular applications such as Spotify, Facebook and Twitter would show up the most frequent. Not only did they, it also came to my surprise that apps from the likes of Urbanspoon and Bike Race were popular among my peers at college.  Two responses that caught my attention were the “If so, how?” replies after the “When you use a product and love/hate it, do you tell your friends”. For both answers, the response telling each other in person nearly had the most votes. This is contrary to my belief, in which I thought Twitter or Facebook were going to have the high percentage. Not only that but these were the two statistics that jumped out at me. I was quite surprised to see the other statistics normal, with response of men and women as being equal, as well as transgression of the percentage of people who would pay for an app. Lastly, the distribution of freshman to seniors and others was surprisingly equal, with sophomores having a slight edge.

Based of the findings of my survey I can make a conclusion about college students and what their favorite apps are, as well as make an assumption on where their spending money goes. With 34% of students would only purchase an app that cost them $0.99 or less, this paralleled the amount of responses of those that don’t ask for specific brand name products. Furthermore, the number one product that students from Clemson University would ask their parents to purchase is clothing, followed by groceries and gasoline for their car. Based off my findings, another questioned that I would want to ask in the survey would be the amount of money students receive as allowance from their parents. From there, it would give me a better understanding as to what type of products, other than iPhone/Android applications, students like to buy.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Clemson Dominic Kaloseuk for this post!

 

UNC’s Diverse Student Body Leads to Diverse Spring Break Destinations

Ahh, spring break. A time when students can finally let loose and leave every trace of exams, papers and meetings behind them.  Everyone seeks pleasure in one way or another, whether they are backpacking across Europe or simply heading home. I surveyed 100 students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in order to capture the latest spring break destinations, trends, and budgets.

70% of respondents traveled for spring break, so the natural question to follow was: Where did they all go? I discovered that for UNC students the answer is not so clear. Nearly 30% of respondents went home for spring break, but the other responses covered destinations all over the western hemisphere.

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“Word Cloud” representing the popularity of 2013 spring break destinations among UNC-Chapel Hill students

This image conveys the fact that UNC students don’t all flock to one spring break hot spot. I believe that this is exemplary of the university’s diverse student body. According to the survey results, even students’ dream vacations are diversified. One student dreams of lying under the Bahamas sun, while another wishes to hike the Incan trail. Furthermore, the spring break plans of each student varied. 26% of students went shopping, 27% studied, 37% went to the beach, 21% volunteered and the remaining students partook in activities ranging from sight-seeing to attending a leadership camp. The wide assortment of these plans parallels the diversity of personalities on UNC’s campus.

My results also led to the verification of a common spring break conception. Nearly 50% of respondents have not previously gone on spring break with their friends. However, the survey displays that a majority (33%) of students spent this year’s spring break with their friends. In addition, most of my respondents are sophomores, juniors, and seniors. These factors lead me to believe that “spring breakers” save their high cost, tropical adventures for when they are upperclassmen—a common assumption. This conclusion can be drawn even with my survey’s demographic error of only 3 freshmen respondents. Nearly 100% of respondents who traveled to Bahamas, Mexico and Europe were of junior or senior class standing.

A particular outstanding statistic came at no surprise. Budgeting was a major issue. Over 70% of respondents claimed that they could not afford a trip over $500. This was indicative of the high popularity of going home (31%), traveling by car (64%), and living in a homestay (40%), compared to other options. It also appears that UNC students still fit in those old swimsuits from their previous beach adventures because 53% of respondents said they did not spend any money in preparation for spring break. College students don’t have a lot of excess funds after books, rent, and tuition, so I believe they are careful to spend as little as possible for Spring Break.

Although it is difficult to predict a spring break destination for UNC students, one can be sure that they will reach that destination through affordable means.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UNC Trevor Cockerham for this post!

 

“Should I Buy Those Shoes?”: A Market Research on How Syracuse Students Spend Their Moolah

It is pretty well known that college students are naturally on a stringent budget. Ramen noodles are the delicacy of choice when is comes to food and for the next four years, you will attain the skills of a mastered dining hall kleptomaniac. But every now and then, students might splurge a bit more than economically allowed, or in some cases…quite frequently! In my studies on how Syracuse University students spend their money, I came across a lot of interesting information.

I would first like to point out that in an overall conclusion of the project, a lot of the choices were on track with the answers I chose, but there might be statistical reasoning behind the similarities. For one, more than 50 percent of respondents were in my grade (sophomores) and secondly, 68.6 percent of those I asked were girls. Though the data might be a tad skewed, I still came across really interesting information in the questions I asked. For example, in the question: How often do you online shop?, many students said once a month, however their were significant stipulations students commented on. A majority of the comments indicated that students like to “window shop” online, but never really buy anything…something I enjoy doing on a daily basis! Others said 2 to 3 times a month, and one person said that he or she only shopped online once in his life!

Another interesting fact I found was that, no matter what year, more than 80 percent of the S.U. students I asked spent under $100 on alcohol. I found this statistic interesting because I would assume upperclassmen might splurge more on alcoholic beverages, but even the juniors and senior has a majority of respondents choose to spend under $100 for alcohol.

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If I had to do this survey again, I would probably ask for more independent variables like a student’s racial background and family class standing. As for dependent variables, I might ask whether or not a student thinks he or she is spend-thrifty or penny-pinching. I would also further categorize the two miscellaneous choices of the question: ‘In a typical week, how do you actually spend your money (in ranking)?’ so that there is only one miscellaneous option and perhaps an entertainment option or a going out option to add concerts, movies, theater, etc.

In an overall deduction of spending habits of students at Syracuse University, I found that we are relatively frugal when it comes to saving our pennies on a consistent basis, but some of us do splurge outstandingly in comparison. I think these findings relate pretty well to the overall socioeconomic makeup of Syracuse University. Though many people think S.U. students have a prevailing stereotype of being wealthy, in almost all of the answers—except for food, and under obvious circumstances—students chose to spend either under $100 on things like personal care, transportation, alcohol or eat out only 1-3 per week. Though there was the 1 or 2 percent who spent more than $300 on food per month or could eat out 11+ times a week, a majority stick to penny-pinching methods.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Syracuse University Marisa Palmer for this post!

 

Social Media at University of Michigan

When I sent out this survey to my sorority, I had a feeling that much of the data that I was going to gather would be very similar to my own responses.  After reviewing my data, this is in fact what happened.  It was not shocking to me that Facebook has the most accounts made and that it was the one most people preferred to use.  I also assumed that people would like to be contacted via Facebook message and that people used Facebook to maintain current relationships.  I also assumed that people like to keep in touch with their friends and family in person rather than social media, because like me, I enjoy a more intimate relationship with the people I care about. I was very surprised that a majority of the people who took my survey used social media to keep in touch with friends from the past because I don’t feel that college students are old enough to be doing that.  Parents use Facebook, for example, to reach out to old high school friends that they might have lost touch with.  I feel that college students haven’t had the opportunity yet to lose those friendships and would try to rekindle them via social media.  It was also shocking, and very upsetting that there was such a large number of people that reported that social media has not gotten them a job.  In today’s day in age social media is a major way for people to reach out to each other and build connections.  However, based on these results, it’s almost frustrating to see that these connections don’t really mean anything and that people aren’t using social media to their advantage.

From these findings I would be able to deduce that the students that go to my university use social media mainly for their relationships with their friends, but those who they don’t see that often.  I say this because when asked “How do you prefer to keep in touch with friends and family,” the majority of the responses answered “in person.”  This leads me to believe that the students at Michigan value spending time with the people closest in life instead of just maintaining an online relationship with them. If I were to do this survey again I would ask why those who don’t use social media don’t use it and if those people feel that they are at some sort of disadvantage because they aren’t apart of the social media world.  I would also want to see if people have used social media to contact bigger companies to possibly use that relationship to get them a job. I sent out this survey to my sorority so the majority of my responses were from girls, which probably skewed my data a lot.  Also, the majority of the girls who responded to the survey were sophomores because those are girls in my pledge class.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Michigan Chloe Hirsch for this post!

 

The Social Husky

Social media is a crucial part of today’s college experience. It is the heart and soul of a student’s social life, keeping them in constant touch with friends and family. The University of Washington is no exception to this rule, which was confirmed after I surveyed one hundred of my fellow huskies regarding their social media use. First, I was not surprised to learn that everyone I surveyed had a Facebook account. Along with that my results showed that sixty eight percent of my sample size listed Facebook as their preferred social media outlet, with Instagram coming in second at twelve percent. This of course makes sense since Facebook recently bought Instagram, thus making it more likely for individuals to use both. Facebook messaging was also was the preferred way to stay in touch with friends and family, with eighty seven percent saying they used this form of communication. I was not surprised to see this in my findings because Facebook messaging is the next closest thing to text messaging, people can message on their phones, and it also is private, compared to a comment which is on one’s profile.

Along with that the wide array of responses regarding how many times a day people use Facebook seemed realistic. For example twenty percent said they checked their Facebook two to three times a day, while seventeen percent said they checked it every hour and another seventeen percent said they checked it two to three times an hour. This made sense to me because I have friends who are obsessed with Facebook, while others are not as active. I am usually able to tell this by how fast they respond to my Facebook messages, and for me three hours seems too long to wait for a response! Of course I am one who checks my Facebook hourly.

Twitter and Instagram are the other top two websites used by my friends. Yet Facebook is used much more than these two websites, and fifty one percent said that they only have about two hundred followers on twitter, while forty four percent of those surveyed said they did not have a twitter at all. It seems that twitter is not that popular yet at the University of Washington. This may be because it is not as popular as Facebook, or some students may not feel that it is an efficient way to express oneself.

Lastly, some of my results may have been a bit skewed because fifty two percent of the students that took my survey were seniors. Therefore this may be why my results said that thirty eight percent of the students had five hundred to eight hundred friends, while twenty six percent had over one thousand. Seniors in college have met a lot more people over the four years than freshman, thus meaning they have more Facebook friends. Also, 66% of those surveyed were girls, and girls are much more active on social media outlets, especially Facebook, since it seems that we are more likely to take and post pictures.

Overall it appears that University of Washington students are avid Facebook users, and enjoy other forms of social media outlets. Social media is mainly used to stay in touch with friends and acquaintances by huskies, and I think will allow for Huskies to stay connected after college. College students love social media, and the University of Washington is no exception!

Thanks to our University of Washington Virtual Intern Raissa Masket for this post!

 

Spending Habits at UT Austin

While doing research on spending habits at the University of Texas at Austin I learned a lot about how UT students allocate their money. Some of the information I received was what I expected yet other parts took me by surprise. I was not surprised to find out that the top two things that people spend money on are food and rent. This seems typical because most people at the University of Texas live off campus and therefore have high bills for rent. Additionally there is so much good food in Austin that it is hard not to spend a lot of money on it. Even though people spend a lot of money on food I was surprised to find out that 64 percent of people only eat out 1 to 3 times per week. Considering the amount of amazing and authentic Austin restaurants that are on and near campus I would have thought that number would have been much higher. The questions regarding online shopping and the amount of money spent on clothes shows that UT students do not spend a lot of money on material things. This is slightly surprising to me yet I am sure that most college students just cannot afford to do so.

The transportation costs and alcohol costs were relatively low compared to other costs. I believe this may be at fault as to the type of people who took my survey. It turns out the majority of people who took the survey were girls. In Texas it is rare that a girl would have to pay for her own alcohol and if a girl were so go somewhere with a guy they would also pay for their transportation. If my surveyors included more males I believe the amount spent on transportation and alcohol would be higher.

If I were to do this survey again in the future I would definitely ask people about how much of their money spent is money that they earned and how much is there parents. I would also ask what items they are willing to buy with their own money and what items they will only buy if they are given money from their parents. Additionally it would be interesting to know how much of the money spent on food is through meal plans and how much is spent grocery shopping and eating out. It seems as if meal plans at the University of Texas are not very common and I would like to know what percentage of students use them.

Thanks to our University of Texas at Austin Virtual Intern Sara Isaacson for this post!

 

HOO$IER $PENDER?

When releasing a survey to the students of Indiana University at Bloomington, being a student myself, I had quite a few assumptions. Many of my forethoughts were correct, or along the same results of the survey. Food is one topic with students that is not just a basic need, but also a priority.

When students were asked how typically spend their money on a week-to-week basis an overwhelming majority selected food as their first ranked item. Approximately 75% of those who responded to the survey expressed that food was the highest allocated portion of their budget. This majority set the tone for following responses.

Eating meals out at least once a week is an activity that 100% of the students who responded to this survey do. 80% of that group eats out one to three times a week, while the other 20% eat out 4+ times a week.  The monthly budget for food that students responded with was anywhere under $100 up to $500. Approximately 65% of students fell in the spending range of $100-$300 a month on food.

Moving away from students’ food habits, they continued to show one-sided preferences with the exception of one topic. There was no strong majority when students were asked how much they spent on clothes and personal care. All responses fell under three separate categories that received a response percentage of 41%, 32%, and 25%. Although there was no strong preference student spend no more than $500 on clothes and personal care a month. Some of the topics students seemed to agree on were spending under $100 on transportation and gas per month and spending under $100 on alcohol per month.

After observing the results, some follow up questions have become evident. If performing this survey in future one important question to ask would be where the student lives on campus, the types of places that they eat at, if they work, and if they are involved in the Greek community. All of these questions would display what types of food programs are available to them and tell a little about whether they have a disposable income available to them. With this survey it has become evident that a restaurant is more likely to receive income from IU students, than any other business.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Indiana University Kelly Eaton for this post!

 

Facebook Dominates Social Media at Pitt

Social media has become integrated into every college student’s life.  Whether it’s using Instagram to document a night out or using Facebook to share information on group projects, students at Pitt can always be seen checking social media on their phones and computers.

I wasn’t surprised to see from my survey results that the top two social media outlets that students had created profiles for were Facebook (99.1 %) and Twitter (91.5 %).  Instagram was in 3rd place with 68.9% of students having profiles.  I also wasn’t surprised to see that only 8.5% of students were on Foursquare, and I personally don’t have an account and don’t know many people that do.  Social media becomes popular because of who you know that uses it and how it allows you to connect with people, which Facebook and Twitter are great for.

Facebook is also the most preferred social media outlet for Pitt students, even beating out Twitter (although only by about 4%).  One of the reasons that I think students prefer Facebook is because of the amount of people that they are able to connect with and the multitude of things that can be done/seen on the site.  To name a few things that students can do: give status updates, upload a large amount of pictures, and create groups.  But, like I said earlier, I believe the dominating factor is the amount of people that can be connected with.  34.9% of Pitt students said that currently have over 1,000 Facebook friends, a social network that is based off of mostly friends, but also largely family, classmates, and acquaintances.  You don’t need a deep relationship with someone to be friends with them on Facebook, often times just meeting once can be enough to spur a request.  Students were a bit cautious when it came to bosses though; only 17.9% said that they would allow them to be Facebook friends.    But in contrast to the large amount of friends that students have on Facebook, 50% of those with a Twitter account said that they had fewer than 200 followers.  Lastly, a strong piece of evidence that seems to put Facebook ahead of the game is that fact that when asked “How would you prefer for someone to contact you over social media?” an astounding 84.8% of students responded with a Facebook message.  This was a bit surprising to me, as I figured Twitter would be a competitive answer as it is becoming more popular, but only 7.6% of students said that they would prefer a tweet.

Overall, no matter which outlet students prefer, social media clearly plays a big role in their lives.  24.5% of students check social media 2-3 times every hour and only 3.8% check it once a day.  Students like to know what’s happening when it’s happening, and at the very least social media allows for something to do in a boring class.

But alas, us Pitt students are not completely oblivious to people in the real world, and while we may seem to be checking our phones a lot, the main reasons we do it are to maintain current relationships (88.7 %) and keep in touch with friends from the past (84 %).  Social media allows us an easy way to do this, but if we had the choice we wouldn’t prefer to keep in touch with friends and family this way.  Students would still like to keep it old fashioned and be with those people in person (63.2 %).

Although my survey results came from mostly females and mostly sophomores, I think the general consensus would be generally the same had the demographics been a little different.  It would be interesting to see if the results did change based on if more males had taken the survey, but I still wouldn’t expect my results to change too much. Overall Pitt can be described as having social media loving students (especially when it comes to Facebook) that are also able to still appreciate some good old face-to-face contact.  We’ve got the perfect combo!

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Pittsburgh Rachel Shnayder for this post!

 

We Will Know More When We Develop the Disposable Cameras

Spring Break has always been a week that college students look forward to throughout their entire spring semester. The week before break many BGSU students can hear echos of “SPRINGGG BREAKKKKKK” while they are anxiously finishing up their last midterm. The atmosphere on campus the week leading up to spring break is not comparable to any other week on campus. This is why I wanted to take this opportunity to learn a little more about this infamous week for BGSU students.

Of the 64 students that took my survey, approximately 60% of them were traveling for spring break and 45% of them were traveling with their friends for spring break. At BGSU a very common destination for spring break is Panama City Beach. When looking at my survey results, I fount it very interesting that just under 70% of students said that the Bahamas or the Caribbean was their dream Spring break. When I cross referenced this with the responses for the budget question, several things became more clear. About 85% of students claimed that their budget for spring break was under $700. A trip to PCB could be done under that budget constraint, but a trip to the Bahamas would be more difficult. With the budget constraints still in mind, I found it alarming that 34.4% of students were flying to their destination. With this given information, it seems clear that with proper financial planning/budgeting a “dream spring break” to the the Bahamas could have been accomplished for those who took my survey. If those who indicated that they flew to Florida on a budget under $700 would have driven to a port in Florida they could have planned to take a $350 cruise to the Bahamas. This showcases the busy life and lack of budgeting skills that many college students have. Many students will wait to the last minute to book their spring break vacation due to other responsibilities, ipso facto they will pay top dollar. My recommendation is simple, all business classes should take a class period to teach “Personal Financial Planning: Spring Break Edition.” Heck, I would volunteer to teach the class. In the future I would like to find out how far in advance students booked their trip as well as how many different options they looked at for their specific destination.

Furthermore, I found it very interesting that the majority of BGSU students were traveling with 10 or fewer friends. I traveled with 25-30 other students because I believe the more the merrier. While a weekend getaway with two or three best friends is always a great time, I picture spring break as a time where a larger group of people go to a beach or pool. In the future, I would like to know where those traveling with a small group are going (possibly Las Vegas) and exactly where those with a larger group are going.

Lastly, several components could skew my data. My sample size was only 64, but the results do not show any signs of a large spring break group all answering my survey. Secondly, the amount of people that were staying home could could have skewed my results for various reasons. The graph shows where students dream spring break destination is and where they actually went. By looking at the corresponding budget, a great deal can be determined.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Bowling Green State University Pete Bahner for this post!

 

Facebook and Beyond: Social Media Use at Northwestern University

No surprise here: Facebook is the most popular social media outlet at Northwestern; only 1 out of 107 respondents does not have a Facebook profile, and 83 (77.6%) prefer Facebook to their other social media accounts. All students on Facebook had over 200 friends, and only 13.1% had fewer than 500 friends. The majority of students include friends, classmates, family, acquaintances, and co-workers in their social networks, with 45.8% including teachers and only 22.4% brave enough to included bosses. Twitter was the second most popular social media site with 78 respondents having created an account, followed by LinkedIn (59), Pinterest (49), Tumblr (46), Instagram (42), and Foursquare (12). Every respondent had created at least one social media profile, respondents had created profiles for every option on the survey, and 10 respondents had created additional social media profiles. Of the 78 students with Twitter accounts, 69 have under 200 followers, so their Twitter networks appear to be significantly smaller than their Facebook networks, but I do not know how many profiles they follow on Twitter.

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Over 95% of respondents use social media to “keep in touch with friends from the past” and to “maintain current relationships”; however, only 13% prefer to use social media to keep in touch with friends and family, and 96.3% prefer the privacy of a Facebook message when communicating over social media. Although social media use is widespread among Northwestern students, the majority (55%) still prefers to keep in touch with people in person, but 29% prefer to keep in touch over the phone, and a few students wrote in that they prefer to use e-mail.

I was surprised by the answers to the question “How often do you check social media?” One respondent commented, “literally 100% of the time; i am never not checking social media”; I often feel the same way about my own social media use, so I was surprised by how varied the responses were. “Once every few hours” received the most responses (33), but although almost all respondents check social media multiple times a day, they do so with varying frequency.

These findings lead me to deduce that social media plays a significant role in the lives of most Northwestern students, but students’ lives do not revolve around social media. Students appear to have the largest social networks on Facebook; their Facebook profiles have probably been in existence longer. It would be interesting to collect data on when students created their various social media profiles and the size of their social networks on more social media outlets than just Facebook and Twitter. It would also be interesting to know how often students check their various profiles. I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest every day, but even though I created a Tumblr account, I haven’t used it for a few months. On that note, 10.3% of students prefer to use Tumblr over other social media outlets, much more than the 3.7% who prefer Twitter. Although more students had created Twitter profiles, Tumblr allows students to engage in interactive communities based on their interests, and I have noticed that fans of Tumblr are pretty devoted to the site.

Demographic errors: Over half of respondents (56.1%) were sophomores, probably because I am a sophomore myself, even though I did try to reach out to students in other years. Additionally, over 70% of respondents were female. However, every person who took the survey answered every question.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Northwestern University Caroline Rodriguez for this post!

 

U of I Invests in the Experience

I have always been someone who tries to be cautious with her money. No matter what I am buying, I want the best deal possible. But at my age and status of college student, I do not fit the norm. Most kids empty their pockets on frivolous items and do not think twice. I find the differences in monetary thought processes so interesting and conducted a Spending Habits Survey to further this inquisition. Initially starting this market research project I assumed my findings would reflect a campus that put a lot of priority on and money into their food. After seeing the results…I found that I was right. With 0.0% of survey participants ranking food as their lowest priority to spend money on as well as 50 out of a total 90 ranking it as either first or second, it is extremely clear the importance of food to a hard-working college kid. I can’t say that I do not understand these numbers because the only thing I see ranking higher in priority than clothes and food would be sleep, if sleep cost money. It’s simple math; college students want to nap, wake up, fuel up, and then have a great outfit to go out in at night. The lifestyle choices of a college kid are not complicated but they are also not cheap.

Another aspect of the Spending Habits survey I assumed would show high numbers was nightlife. It was interesting to see the differences in the way people said they would spend their money to they way they actually spend it. 28.9% of people said that they would spend money on nightlife fourth overall if they were able to choose. Yet when they were asked how they truthfully spend their money in a typical week, the ranking for nightlife was slightly higher. Living on a college campus whose heartbeat is the nightlife atmosphere can be tough on your wallet. Even if you would not choose to spend money on nighttime activities, it is inevitable on this campus. U of I has trouble saying no to a good time.

It is undeniable that as you grow up, your interests and priorities change. This was evident through the majority of freshmen and sophomores answering that they would spend their money on food or clothes over the other choices. Meanwhile most seniors who participated ranked travel much higher than food or clothing. As you get older you begin to realize the things you want to do in the future rather than something you want to do on Friday night. Planning becomes constant and travel is usually high up on the bucket lists.

If I were to conduct this survey again I think it would be interesting to ask a budgeting question of some sort. Do students blindly hand over their credit cards and $20 bills or is there a game plan set out before hand? Especially for those who go out frequently and the 81.1% of students spending $100 on alcohol monthly; do they budget how much they want to spend a night, a week? There are so many ways to be smart and frugal with your money, even at college. I am curious to see how many students consider budgeting and who is able to stick to it.

At the end of the day what I can deduce from my survey findings is that the students at my university are just that; students. They are kids who really care about living in the moment and making their college experience one they will not regret, as they should. I think I would be more concerned if the results yielded to the idea that students were saving all their money and not spending a dime on eating out, shopping, gas, and alcohol. Ultimately we go to a Big 10 university and these survey results were what I expected to see. I go to a university filled with kids who might wipe out their bank accounts for food, clothes, and bar cover, but this money is returned in the form of memories; and that is priceless.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Illinois Miranda Coello for this post!

 

UNC-Chapel Hill: Social Media’s Impact

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As technology has become more innovative with each passing day, we as individuals seem to adjust ourselves to fit the ingenuity given to us. In this case, the innovative technology is social media. It is not just a technology for one group of individuals, but for all who want to take advantage of the opportunities it unveils. One such group of individuals is college students. I conducted a survey at UNC-Chapel Hill to find out which social media outlet is most prominent, as well as to discover how social media affects their daily lives.

Going into this survey, I had many ideas on how the survey could turn out. It was not surprising to me that almost *99% of individuals said that they had a Facebook account, being as a common question among new friends is, “Do you have a Facebook?” Along side this, the two most common reasons for using social media were to “keep in touch with friends from the past,” as well as to “maintain current relationships”. Friends were the number one group of individuals who were allowed on students’ social network (*100%), followed closely by family (*94%) and classmates (*92%). What was also not surprising is that *52% of UNC Facebook users have between 200-800 friends and that *87% of individuals prefer (by social media) to be contacted by Facebook message.

However, Twitter and other social media having a comparably smaller impact on UNC students surprised me. Even though Twitter does show a noticeable part in students’ lives, it is not nearly as large compared to Facebook. For the *68% of individuals who have a Twitter account, about *46% of individuals have under 200 followers. Other social media outlets also fall flat in comparison to Facebook, with the percentage of individuals using Instagram at *59%, Tumblr at *41%, Pinterest at *40%, LinkedIn at *18%, and Foursquare at *5%. This shows that Facebook seems to have a larger presence in UNC students’ social media lives. A possibility of Facebook’s popularity compared to Twitter could be due to the more detailed profile Facebook offers, such as having sections for an individual’s music taste, favorite movies, past jobs, relationship status, schools they attended in the past, profile picture, cover photo, and other ways to connect to others. Twitter also offers a profile by allowing a short description, a profile picture, and choice of background (for both behind the profile picture as well as the page itself), though it is not as detailed as Facebook.

Although Facebook and other social media are influential in UNC students’ lives, I was intrigued that they were not always involved in every aspect, as many people believe is the case. When asked, “How do you prefer to keep in touch with friends and family,” about *69% of individuals responded that “In person” was their preferred method. Social media, in this instance, was last in preference, with only *12% of individuals preferring social media over in person conversation and over the phone communication. In helping individuals to attain a job, social media had a low impact, with *90% of individuals selecting “No” as their response. Even though social media is great in staying in contact with friends, family and others globally, the survey shows that nothing can completely replace a good face-to-face conversation or to hear the other person’s voice talking back to you.

Overall, the clearest conclusion that can be made is that UNC students value social media as a tool in staying in touch with others, from the life-long friend to the fellow co-worker. Social media does not take over students’ lives, but rather, they harness it and use it to their advantage in their constantly changing world. In times like these with a rapidly changing economy, being able to adapt might be exactly what the workforce needs to stand out.

*Percentages were rounded to the nearest whole number for simplicity

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UNC Chapel Hill Angelica Ortiz for this post!

 

The Hot New Spring Break Activity: Relaxing at Home?

As a student that isn’t involved in Greek life, spring break trends at the University of Virginia were fairly mysterious to me. During spring break, Charlottesville is like a ghost town. I spent my break on grounds and quickly discovered that almost all of my friends had left for what I (bitterly) assumed to be exciting and exotic destinations, at least compared to Charlottesville. I envisioned the stereotypical college spring break—mojitos on the beach, dancing at night, and bubbly young people as far as the eye can see. However, my research shows that this spring break experience isn’t as ubiquitous as it used to be. After surveying students at UVA, I discovered that a surprisingly small minority of students (48%) spent their break much like I did—relaxing at home.

Before discussing the implications of the results, I want to address demographic and structural errors. The survey was circulated via social media and e-mail, and the overwhelming majority of respondents were second-years (72.7%) as well as female (62%). Considering these facts, I am not surprised by the results. I hypothesize that if the sample had been more skewed towards upperclassmen, the percentage of students that vacationed for spring break would be much higher. I also think that a few of the questions may have been confusing. For example, when asked whether they were planning to travel for break, students may have been unsure of what to answer if they were simply traveling back home.

Despite these flaws, there is still valuable insight from the results. Underclassmen typically didn’t go on vacation for spring break, with studying (30%) slightly out ranking shopping (29%) as the top way of spending break. However, when asked about their dream spring break, the top answers were a trip to the Caribbean or Europe. I would be interested to see why students were not able to go on these trips, and whether it was because of money, a lack of planning, or another other reason.

In addition, 71% of responses indicated that they had never gone on spring break with friends. I would think that this is typical for underclassmen and that this number decreases as time remaining in school lessens. Spring break seems to be a larger concern for upperclassmen than it is for first and second years and not a school-wide phenomenon, as it is on some other campuses.

UVA is known for its unique student body, almost equally studious as we are rowdy. These results affirm this reputation in a subtle way. Underclassmen are stereotypically over-anxious about their studies, perhaps leading them to prefer an easily planned and relaxing spring break over an exciting break that takes a lot of preparation. At the same time, the ultimate wish for an exotic spring break indicates that desire conflicts with responsibility, with the latter typically taking precedence. The stereotypical belief that a huge spring break is a required experience of college culture doesn’t necessarily apply to this sample.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Virginia Jade Kim for this post!

 

Maryland Students Stay Connected

College students everywhere consider social media an integral part of their everyday life. To a generation that has grown up thriving on technology, it becomes second nature to pick up the latest iPhone or laptop and check your favorite social media accounts.  Students as the University of Maryland cite their top three forms of social media as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which reflects the pattern across all college campuses.

Maryland students utilize Facebook mainly for staying in touch with friends, family, and classmates. Facebook also proved to be the preferred social media network on campus, but not a large majority at only fifty-five percent.  A Facebook message was the most popular way to contact people on social media most likely because it is the most convenient, private, and personal. Although seventy percent of students cite over one thousand friends on Facebook, they use their account to maintain current relationships and keep in touch with their friends back at home.

Instagram and Twitter took the second and third spot, respectively, which is expected based on how interconnected the two social media outlets are. Often linked to the same account, most people have two hundred to four hundred followers on both. Students often spend time between classes scrolling through tweets and pictures, providing a quick form of entertainment. Twitter and Instagram are the outlets where most students are likely to follow news, celebrities, and entertainment.

Other forms of social media such as LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Tumblr cater to a specific niche of students. Females were more likely to use Pinterest, pinning their favorite shoes, clothes, and crafts to various boards that they’ll probably never get around to doing.  Tumblr is often used as a creative outlet instead of a way to maintain relationships, making it less poplar. It is possible that these results may be skewed due to the majority of female participants that answered the survey. Being college students, most of us  (80%) have not used sites like LinkedIn to search for jobs or expand our professional networks.  Even the seniors who responded had not found jobs through social media.

Maryland students admit to checking their social media accounts upwards of three times a day, if not three times an hour.   This has a lot to do with boredom or procrastination, which makes people more inclined to pick up their phone and see their friends or favorite celebrities latest post.  If given the opportunity again, specific question regarding social media’s correlation with boredom and procrastination would be beneficial statistics to uncover.

Despite being so wired at all waking hours of the day, the majority of participants would rather keep in touch with their peers in person then via social media or phone.  This proves that despite being avid social media users, our generation still values face-to-face interpersonal relationships.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Maryland Jessica Schurtz for this post!

 

Boston University Students: Out of the Cold, into the Sun

Every student has a different idea of what his/her ‘ideal’ spring break would be. Some like to go relax on the beach, some want to wiz down a mountain on skis or a snowboard, others want to volunteer their time to help those in need, and some simply want to go home or stay on campus. What ever fits you the best, everyone deserves that spring break they’ve always dreamed of. After conducting a survey using a convince sample of Facebook users, it seems as if Boston University students have a similar spring break dream as I did. Lucky, only a few short weeks ago my six days in paradise, aka Punta Cana, with my friends flew by. As expected, the majority of participants in my survey desired a warm, tropical, vacation with friends- not surprising, that is wonderful!

It makes sense, coming from the harsh Boston winter. Fighting the cold, walking backwards to class to keep your face from freezing off- yeah, we need some hot sun by mid-March, no surprise there.  The only surprising aspect was the respondents were mostly girls (85.2%). Although, what I can deduce from this is my sorority sisters listened to me when I asked them to take the survey.

A big question for students, and parents, is money. What is this trip going to cost? Organized spring break trips through a company may seem cost-effective, and convenient, but based on personal research- this is not always true. 92.6% of students who took this survey opted-out of going on a company organized trip. The trend of saving money continued when majorities said they had a below $500 budget for vacation, and were planning spending no money at all to prepare for spring break.

The only error encountered was 30 participants did not answer question seven. I believe that there was a technical flaw made during the production of this survey.  When taking the survey myself, I remember not being able to choose an answer for one of the questions, so I had to choose a close, but incorrect answer. Instead of choosing another answer, it seems many students decided to skip the question entirely.  All in all, getting out of the cold, and into the sun, on an affordable spring break with friends is the ultimate spring break.

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Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Boston University Meredith Miller for this post!

 

Ohio State’s Spending Habits: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As a poor college student, surviving through the 4 or more years is tough if you do not have your parents’ comfortable lifestyle to live with. Sometimes it is difficult to balance bills, food costs, and alcohol while you are out on a shopping spree buying all the new j. crew line for spring or those new Sperry’s that just came out that you are dying to have. There is an internal conflict when deciding where to spend your minimum wage job money at or your dwindling life savings to where it needs to be allotted. Sometimes it is even difficult to adapt to the lifestyle of paying for everything yourself since we are growing up rather then relying in everyone else to help us do everything.

Adapting to the poor lifestyle is a difficult task I have noticed by talking to students on campus. Many do not adapt well and have credit card debt and loans just to make it through 4 years of college to hopefully find a job in this market in something they have no idea what to plan for. This intrigued me because for myself, I have funded everything myself for the past 3 years for college and while I was in high school. Most students do not have life plans let alone plans for the next few months beside a vacation in Mexico with your friends over the summer. For the most part, my life plan has been direct on with how I describe my college experience; providing everything for myself, working 2 jobs at each time to pay for the necessities, and finding internships in jobs where I have a passion to provide for my future career. But for many college students, the party scene and Greek life are priorities in their college careers so spending becomes allotted more to clothes and nightlife bars. Yes, we all love going out to eat and treating ourselves to a nice meal rather than the Kroger brand mac and cheese or typical ramen noodles, but we must not break the bank for pricey meals every other day.

Intrigued as I was, I wanted to find out more about how some of the local students at Ohio State Universtiy realize their spending habits and note when they should be limiting themselves to be able to be self sufficient. In a survey over spending habits on SurveyMonkey, I achieved 134 responses to my questions about what and how we spend our money on the Ohio State Universtiy campus. Yes, I know it is not everyone or a detailed survey, but it will give the general idea of how a college student rationalizes decisions on where to spend their money at. With that saying, 58.1% of Ohio State students in my survey stated that they have loans taken out to pay for rent, tuition, and everything else that is needed to receive a degree from Ohio State. So if basic needs were not of concern, 33.1% of students would place food as a top priority. So, more eating out at Chipotle instead of a monthly treat. Clothes were a top second with 30.9% of students having an amount of money left over from food to spend on their new wardrobes for spring. So the next question asked was during a typical week, how is the money actually spent rather then how you wished it would be spent? A whopping 58.8% of students said that food was a number one again despite what ever else they had to pay for. The second place winner goes to rent with 20.6% of students saying that the cost to live in Columbus takes most of their spending money.

These stats did not surprise me, but I did want to know more about how much these students actually have to spend and on what areas. 36% of students said that they only shop online once a month. 60.3% of students say that they spend less than $100 each month on shopping, clothes and personal care monthly. So, this means that most money is not allocated to shopping as much as I assumed it would have been. 44.9 % of students spend $100-$300 each month on food costs. 68.4% of students said that they eat out 1-3 times per week. I found this shocking because there are a lot of cheaper alternatives to purchase things at Kroger rather than getting the name brand things. Plus, Ohio State offers a lot of activities and events that provide free food for students. Students should take up these opportunities to eliminate some of their costs to lessen the burden of bills. Since Ohio State is a large campus and everything is within walking distance of the bus has the ability to take you there, most of the students spend less than $100 a month on transportation including gas in Columbus.

Now the big question I wanted to ask to Ohio State college students was how much monthly do you spend on alcohol? Shockingly, 84.6% if students said that they spend less than $100 a month on alcohol. Yes, I do not know how much of this is true because most students do not want to admit their alcohol tolerance or how much they waste at the bars, but it was still a low amount. Yes, many of college students purchase the oh so delicious Natty Light in a can or the cheap gas station Kamchatka vodka to fulfill their alcohol needs for parties, but I still did not expect this number to be that low. However looking at my statistics, 58.1% who answered my survey were women so that explains the low number on alcohol purchases. Most women get their alcohol paid for or given to them free at parties so they would have little need to purchase.

Ohio State given its wide population and diversity, I feel like my survey helped me understand how to better tailor to my audience and help them save money around the campus area without breaking their piggy banks just to get by. More focus on lowering food costs and increasing the use of coupons, apps and happy hours around the area will make your wallet feel better and allow you to spend that extra amount on some new clothes or many your electric bill.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at The Ohio State University Maria Nagel for this post!

 

Miami’s Social Media Footprint

Generation Y consists of individuals who were born in the mid-1980s and are very tech-savy in their everyday lives. This generation communicates heavily through email, text messaging, and are always surfing the web. Social Media sites are the key tools they use to communicate with family and friends, and to stay engaged.

At Miami University students 48.2% of students are checking their Facebook every hour or more which shows how prevalent social media sites have become in our daily lives. Facebook being one of the most well know social media sites today, with about a billion users; I assumed Facebook would be the number one runner for social media sites. Following Facebook, I felt that Twitter would be popular, as students are constantly tweeting about events, news, and trends. After analyzing the findings, Facebook is definitely prevalent through people’s social media interactions, all those who took the survey 98. 3% have a page, and 51.7% prefer to use this social media site. Twitter came in second with 86.2% having an account, and 37.9% prefer using this site.

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Facebook is a place where people connect with their friends, family, and classmates as people has 96.6% or above would accept a friend request with this status. 79.3% of individuals would event accept acquaintances. 86.2% of people felt like Facebook message was the best way to contact someone through social media tools. Also, Facebook was seen as the number one tool where they were able to maintain those relationships, from friends in the past, current relationships, new people.

An interesting finding was that 15.5% of individuals do not have a Twitter, which is shocking as I felt that there would be fewer than that. Twitter has now become integrated in the everyday lifestyle as for example when watching a TV show people can tweet about the show, talk to celebrities, and it has been immersed in companies advertisements all through the use of the #.

As 63.8% of those who took the survey were females, I was surprised by the amount of women who use Pinterest. Pinterest is known to be heavily used by women, as well as it is a great social media tool to organize picture boards and get ideas, only 1.7% preferred to use this social media tool, even though Pinterest is known for a great way to waste time, and lose yourself in the multiple images that you can pin.

I think it was great to see how 67.2% of individuals use LinkedIn. In the generation that we live in everything is now on the internet, and LinkedIn is a resource where the business world can make connections with a simple click of a button. LinkedIn has served as an online resume, for several individuals and 41.4% felt that LinkedIn allowed them to maintain a professional network.

It was interesting to see how people still felt that the best way to keep in touch was in person, as you have that personal connection. People worry that through social media sites, people have become less personal, however, through this survey you can see that the traditional one on one interaction is the most effective to maintain those relationships with family and friends.

Living in Generation Y and being at Miami University’s where it takes at least an hour to get to a city, social media is a resource that Miami Students use to stay engaged with family and friends from here on campus to people in faraway locations.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Miami University Dominique Suarez for this post!

 

Social Media Matters at University of Washington

In our society today social media has become an immense part of our culture. Whether you are a teenager, young adult, or parent, having a facebook, twitter, or instagram is something that is of a norm in our society. It has gotten to the poing that if you are someone who does not have any form of social media you are surprisingly seen as the “other” in our society today which comes to show the immense impact it has on our lives. Even though my market research project was only based on college students that go to my university, it was really interesting to see the social media habits that consume the lives of the students at the University of Washington.

As I expected, based on my results, 103 out of 104 students (99 percent) who took the survey said that they have a Facebook account. This is something I projected considering the fact that Facebook was one of the first social media outlets that blew up after Myspace and spread rapidly around the world. Nowadays, kids, grandparents, and adults are all using Facebook which is why I found it interesting that only one person stated they didn’t have one especially when it seems like in college everyone uses Facebook to keep in touch with friends and family.

Something I found very interesting was that only 17.3 percent of the students have a Linkedin profile which I think is a rather small percentage considering the fact that since we are college students it is imperative that we start building our profile and networking as soon as possible. I think a factor in the small percentage was the fact that over half of the people who took the survey were freshmen which makes sense since most freshmen are still teenagers who have not started thinking that far and have not done enough things in their lives to start building a profile.

Some demographic errors in my results that might have skewed my data was the fact that 87.5 percent (91 out of 104 students) of the people who took the survey were females which makes sense as to why there was a large percentage of people who had Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram profiles. Since only 12.5% of the people who took the survey were males I was not very surprised at the large percentage of the people using these social media profiles because their target audience usually pertains to girls.

Overall, based on the data, I can deduce that social media is a big part of the lives of the students at the University of Washington, especially the females, who use it for all forms of different things. With time, I can only imagine what other sorts of social outlets will consume the lives of our future generation.

Thanks to University of Washington Virtual Intern Ngozi Monu for this post!

 

Mobile App Trends on the University of Kansas Campus

College students are known for being glued to their mobile devices, besides having to take an occasional break here and there for catching up on some zzz’s, attending class, completing homework, taking exams and participating in extracurricular activities. With the intensifying creation of a variety of mobile apps, which are used as a way to stay up-to-date on all things social media, I decided to dive deeper into what mobile apps attract the most attention from 103 students at the University of Kansas.

Before I sat down and analyzed the data from this survey, I certainly had assumptions that most students’ responses to the “What apps on your phone can you not live without?” would be the traditional answers: Facebook and Twitter. Lets just say I was not too surprised when I discovered that 66 of the respondents mentioned both Twitter and Facebook as the top mobile apps that they could not live without. Honestly, what college student in today’s social media-driven world could actually live without those two social media applications?

However, don’t expect most KU students to want to pay more than $1.99 for a mobile app. 58.3 percent of respondents stated that they would only pay up to $0.99, while 31.1 percent would spend up to $1.99.

After all, college students would rather save an extra dollar or two to spend on a night out with friends or some late night snacks rather than an overpriced mobile app.

Another major finding is that despite the ability to post whatever your hearts desire on social media platforms (okay, as long as it meets Twitter and Facebook’s “terms of use”), KU students continue to rely on the old fashioned “word-of-mouth” way of informing their friends of what products they love and hate the most. In fact, more than 60 respondents would tell their friends whether or not they loved a product and more than 90 respondents would relay this information in person.

There is no doubt that KU students are all about Facebook and Twitter, inexpensive apps and influencing their friends’ purchasing decisions through WOM recommendations. Yet, for 75 respondents, it is continually easier for friends to reach them by sending a quick text message versus a phone call, Facebook message, tweet or an email. So, one might ask, what does all of this data say about students at KU?

Well, KU students stay up-to-date on what their friends are doing and saying by checking their Facebook and Twitter feeds. But, don’t let their connectedness to their mobile phones and preference of texting over talking on the phone fool you. Even though we live in a society filled with new technology and interacting with others via social media, college students continue to prefer the old-fashioned word of mouth form of communication when making peer recommendations.

*Click here for a greater visual on the data I discovered from conducting this survey!

Thanks to Unviersity of Kansas Virtual Intern Carrie Scanlon for this post!

 

UVA Students Take Pride in Their Appearance

The University of Virginia is unarguably a campus full of students who care about not only their studies, extracurriculars, and social lives, but also who place an emphasis on personal appearance; therefore, I was very interested to be able to analyze their spending habits, particularly those associated with exterior appearance. The majority of my survey’s findings were in accord with what I generally anticipated the results to be, but there were definitely multiple questions that resulted in unexpected responses. My survey’s results are, for the vast majority, aimed towards female freshman. 91.1% of those students who responded were female, and 67.9% those who responded were freshman.

As previously stated, I was aware that UVa students take pride in their appearance, but until I analyzed my survey’s findings, I do not think that I knew how true this feeling was; on average, UVa students would first spend their money on clothing if basic needs were of no importance. Again, when asked how they actually spend their money during a typical week, clothing and personal care was, on average, ranked second behind food. Furthermore, half of the UVa students who chose to respond to my survey claimed that they shop online once a month. However, not all survey responses were as predictable as these.

I personally found it interesting that at a university with such academic prestige, school books were second to last on the list, and only ahead of the ambiguous “other” category. If I were to further explore the spending habits of UVa students, I would be interested to figure out what exactly was contained in the “other” responses. I was also interested to find that travel was third on the list of what my fellow wahoos would spend their money on if basic needs did not matter; to me, this implies that UVa students are not only focused on their present studies, but also have a desire to expand their knowledge beyond not just the classroom, but our country. Discovering what UVa students desire to spend their money on, what they actually spend their money on, and where personal appearance ties into both of these, was immensely fun and enjoyable for me.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UVA Elyse Eilerman for this post!

 

Social Media and Michigan State

As social media has been developing over the years, I was interested to find out what was the most popular social media amongst Michigan State students.  Facebook became increasingly popular around 2008.  Within the last few years was when Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr became popular, followed by Pinterest and LinkedIn.  All the sites or apps are unique in their own way, but similar in ways of communication via technology.  Social media has become so addicting that I had to include questions regarding how often one checks their sites.

I surveyed 104 students at Michigan State.  My assumptions of the questions I asked we’re almost completely accurate with the results.  Facebook was the most popular profile created with 98.1%, followed by Twitter with 79.8%, Instagram with 67.3%, Pinterest with 54.8%, and concluding with LinkedIn and Tumblr.  No surprise, again, Facebook was the highest social media outlet preferred to use with 51%.  What I was extremely surprised about was 27.9% of people either had 500-800 Facebook friends or over 1000.  There is no correlation there.  Most students allow Friends, Family, Classmates, then Acquaintances and Co-workers to be their Facebook friend, but it greatly decreased in the Boss and Teacher column.  Since Twitter isn’t yet as popular and Facebook, I wasn’t surprised to see that most students had less than 200 followers.  Facebook message was the most preferred way for someone to be contacted over social media with 79.8%.  I also was surprised to see that most students check social media every 2-3 times an hour.  I actually thought it would be a lot higher since I see students/ friends on social media practically the entire lecture, walking around campus, once or twice at work, waiting around for appointments, and certainly while at home doing homework or before bed.  Regardless of the results, we all can agree that social media is used best to keep in touch with friends and maintain current relationships.

Almost anyone would agree that social media is addicting, but it has actually done many positive things.  29.8% of students have helped get a job through social media.  I can definitely see this percentage increasing with time since social media is continuing to increase!  At the end of the day, people prefer to keep in touch with friends and family in person which is very good!

I feel like Michigan State’s results would be similar to almost any other college.  Percentages may differ slightly, but the overall trend seems to be the same.  Plus, narrowing down more, we are all college students.  Social media is used for creativity, expressing you, boredom, keeping in touch, and meeting new people, yet so much more.  Social media has created a huge impact on many people’s lives.

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Michigan State Jenna LaPrise for this post.

 

How a Survey of UF Students’ Spending Habits Opened My Eyes

I recently conducted a survey to measure the spending habits of an average UF student. As a young female, I often frivolously spend money on clothes and eating out.  In other words, I’m not always the most frugal person. As a result, I was surprised to see that most of the students who responded to my survey were conservative spenders.

Let’s take a look at my first weakness-clothes. I found that 34% of participants said they shop online only once a month, and 24% once every three months. This is pretty modest in my opinion! However, I only spend around $100-$300 on clothes and personal care monthly, which is the same amount the majority of participants (46%) selected as well. In regards to food, 60% said they spend between $100-300 food monthly and 56% said they only eat 1-3 meals out each week. This blew my mind. I spend $100-300 on food weekly and usually eat more than 3 meals out each week.

While I sometimes forget money doesn’t grow on trees at the mall or grocery store, I am a conservative spender in other aspects of life. For example, the majority of participants spend under $100 for transportation and gas (62%) and alcohol (80%) each month. I too spend under $100 for these things.

This survey is a bit of a wake-up call for me. The majority of the participants (38 out of 50) were female.  This surprised me, because I assumed most females had spending habits similar to mine. Furthermore, 44% of the participants were sophomores like me. Analyzing the responses of my peers encouraged me to be more careful about my spending habits. So, I’m currently doing my best to carefully select what I buy. It’s a good thing I continue to find a job each summer, because until I’ve mastered the art of spending conservatively, I’ll be using that hard-earned cash to pay for my bad habits!

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P.S.- I made this graph to remind me of my bad spending habits each month in comparison to my peers based off my survey results. I’m thinking about putting it on my fridge! Note: In my analysis above, I state that I spend the same amount ($100-$300) on clothes and personal care each month as my peers. While this is true, I wanted to make-up for the fact that I do a lot more online shopping than them so I went ahead and illustrated that I spend a little more to remind myself that I still need to watch it!

Thanks to our VIrtual Intern at University of Florida Kate Snyder for this post!

 

UMD Spring Break Patterns

As a Junior at the University of Maryland, I’ve already experiences 3 unforgettable spring breaks. Having these experiences, the idea of researching Spring Break trends seemed both interesting, and exciting.  I loved each trip I was able to take with the people I’ve met at UMD and was eager to see if my fellow students felt the same way as I did.  I had an idea of the type of spring break that UMD students were planning, but my assumptions on price, and location dates were slightly off.  The overall research was interesting and I quickly saw patterns develop.  From the research I’ve collected I can say proudly that University of Maryland students know how to have a good time, and create a memorable spring break trip.

I sent the survey to mostly members of the Greek community at my school with maybe 10 or so exceptions.  I think that being in Greek life had a lot to do with the type of spring break they took.  Greek life tends to stick together when it comes to planning a spring break vacation.  I noticed that if not going to a tropical location (79%), then they planned on going to Europe to visit their friends who are studying abroad their, which is another Greek trend at The University of Maryland.

More then half of my respondents said they have gone on spring break previously and after interviewing many of the students who took the survey I found a pattern for Greek Life students at UMD.  Freshmen typically return home too see their families and friends from high school.  Sophomores and Seniors typically go together on an organized spring break to Mexico, or another tropical location that is ran by either Student City, of Xtreme Trips.  Juniors are most likely abroad for their spring break in which case they would travel to another part of Europe.  For the Juniors that are not abroad like I mentioned before, they travel to Europe to visit their fellow students who are there for the semester, or they return home as well to either relax or travel to Florida with their families.

The hotels that these students are traveling to in Mexico are all inclusive resorts with pre-packaged deals that are available to them.  While they are there they are spending their time on the beach (56.2%), by the pool (40%), and shopping (45.7%).  Most of the hotels I’ve realized are placed directly on the beach strip in Mexico so they have a prime location. Interestingly enough even though the vacations are all inclusive UMD students roughly 30% planned on spending anywhere from 500-700 dollars while they were there and only 3.8% expected to spend nothing additional.  UMD students did however plan on spending money in preparation for their travels.  23.8% planned on spending under 500$, and 24.8% planned on spending under $250 and under $100.  The majority of students traveled by plane since it was included in their spring break packages.

If I were to re visit this survey I would ask more questions to identify the person answering.  For example their year of graduation, if they are abroad, the details of the previous spring breaks they took, and if they are in a Greek, or other organization on campus.  Without my additional interview research I would not have been able to see the patterns that formed within the Greek community.  Also most of my respondents (93%) were women so I would have liked to receive more feedback from men.  I think location plays a very big role in the type of spring break plans you make.  I’m sure students at Universities in the south have different plans for their breaks. The research project in all was very interesting and in the future would love to compare my university’s spring break plans with other schools to see how they differ and how they are similar.

Thanks to University of Maryland Virtual Intern Christina Carras for this post!

 

UGA Lives for Spring Break

Matt Klugman

Spring Break Survey Blog

 

Well, the results are in! These past few weeks, I gathered survey responses from my UGA peers about what their Spring Break plans entailed. As I expected, students were looking to have a great time this year—84% of students said that they planned to travel. From sandy Florida beaches, to skiing in Colorado, the kids were ready to get out of town.

Interestingly enough, one statistic that I came across was that almost 60% of travelers headed to the Caribbean (those poor, poor, cruise lines). I can imagine that there were a lot of people who knew each other, because 44% of people said that they stuck with small groups of up to 5 people. That’s a lot of friend groups, but we all know how hard it is to plan a trip for 20 people.

Obviously, the budget of a college kid is one of the most important aspects when planning a vacation. To my surprise, I found that 50% of Spring Breakers planned on a budget of $500.00 or less! That’s a bit high for me! Especially when 51% also said that they planned on bringing an extra $100.00 spending money! To the 10% of Dawgs unfortunate enough to have to work on Spring Break, I express my sorrows. You are an inspiration to all.

All in all, the data showed that most people had a great time on Spring Break. The survey was not the only evidence of this, but the bronzed shoulders and thighs sported throughout campus this past week. The only flaw that might skew the reality of the results is the fact that 60% of the surveys were completed by sophomores. While this does not show a diversity of the UGA student body, it definitely proves that Sophomores know how to have a good time.

Thanks to UGA Virtual Intern Matt Klugman for this post!

 

Facebook Still Dominates at University of Wisconsin

Photos, statuses, messages, wall conversations, and private groups – these are just a few of the things that can be done on someone’s Facebook account No matter what new social medias are created, Facebook will still always be the go to network for students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Facebook is how incoming students find roommates, it allows friends at other schools to stay updated in your life at college, groups can be made for classes and clubs, etc. It has so many different tools to keep everyone happy, so its no surprise that 100% of the respondents have a Facebook account.

Being a freshman in college, I had assumed that most of my survey would be filled out by fellow freshman. This survey had a 70.2 % of freshman responses, which confirmed my hypothesis. Freshman are the future of the school, so their social media habits will most likely affect future students habits as well. No one is going to use a social media network, if all of their friends don’t. Networks spread by word of mouth, just as brands do. A social media network is going to expand through people raving about it to all of their friends and so on. It’s a chain reaction, once you find something you like you’re going to keep using it and tell everyone about it.

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Many social media networks are now history, so why won’t Facebook be? Almost everyone has a Facebook and that’s why it will never be a fad. Students are consistently checking this network, even up to 2-3 times every hour. The more diversity in a network the longer it will stay around. Facebook is a social media network that everyone can use and enjoy. My mom, dad, brothers, aunts, uncles, and even grandma have one and it is an easy way to stay in touch with their lives while not speaking everyday. That isn’t saying that there aren’t other social media networks that allow people to stay updated in a friend’s life. Students at Madison love using new apps such as Vine and Instagram, but not everyone gets onto their ban-wagon, so then they don’t stay popular for as long. From my findings, I can see that Facebook will stay a social media habit for almost every student as long as everyone keeps using it.

With every survey there are going to have demographic errors. Being on the bottom of the hierarchy in college as a freshman made it difficult to get older students responses. As freshman we don’t know that many older students yet because we are still in general classes that every freshman must take before advancing. If I were to complete this survey again I would find a wider variety of students, rather than having mostly freshman responses.

Thanks to our University of Wisconsin – Madison Virtual Intern Katie Goggin for this post!

 

UCSD Spring Break Plans

The University of California, San Diego is home to a very diverse student body that has students with different backgrounds, interests, and ethnicities. Despite the differences from student to student, in terms of their plans for spring break, many students had overlapping vacation plans and ideas for the perfect spring break.

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The majority of students, 53.8%, had plans to go home for spring break to spend quality time with their families and friends. Despite being at home or in a new vacation destination, popular spring break activities included shopping, at 46.7%, followed by beach and pool activities, and relaxing, catching up on sleep, and studying for the upcoming quarter. Shopping is most likely a very popular activity because it is easily accessible since it is widely available and can be enjoyed alone or with a group of people.  Shopping over spring break was expected, but a surprising statistic was that 23% of students were planning to study over spring break! UCSD is known to be a very competitive institution, causing many students to become severe bookworms; despite this, I would have believed that since it is spring break and winter quarter had ended, students would elect to enjoy spring break by traveling or by enjoying leisure activities rather than studying for spring quarter.

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When the students were asked what was their dream spring break destination, 36.1% said it would be the Bahamas or the Caribbean. This response does not necessarily come as a surprise since many college students enjoy the idea of the typical spring break-beach or poolside in the tropics on a sunny day. Considering that UCSD is considered a beach school and is known for its impeccable weather, UCSD is less than a 15-minute walk away from the beach, it was not shocking to learn that UCSD students’ dream vacation was a beach destination.  While a majority of students had plans to return home for their spring break, it is intriguing to know that a majority of them want to go to the Caribbean/Bahamas. It would be interesting to know what percentage of students would actually go to the Caribbean/Bahamas if it were a free, yet idealized, trip. Thus, students would have to account for if they could realistically get permission from their parents, if they would still go by themselves, and such. Changing these variables and asking students if they would still go to the Bahamas would give a great insight into the priorities of students when planning spring break. Parental permission, the destination, finances, and the company all play a crucial role in spring break plans.

The question is, why home? What are the motives behind returning home for the break? Do finances play an influential role to students’ return home? Or rather, maybe plans with friends did not work out as intended? Or perhaps, students truly miss their hometown and want to return to home sweet home. If I were to conduct this research again, I would love to delve deeper and understand the reasons behind why such a high percentage of students are going home for spring break. It is also interesting to note that a majority of homebound students are males. Thus, I would like to know why this trend exist- why is it that males did not have plans to travel for break?

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at the University of California – San Diego Valerie Lai for this post!

 

Prevalence of Apps at Vanderbilt

My survey focused on the favorite apps of students at Vanderbilt University campus. The most popular apps on campus included Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. These results did not surprise me because these are the apps that are very popular with the young generation today. These apps show how social media is extremely important to students on my campus, and how college-aged students are constantly plugged in and connected to others through these apps. 40.5% of Vanderbilt students said they are willing to pay $1.99 for an app, and 31.1% said they would be willing to pay $0.99.

Many students said that they would ask their parents to buy them a laptop, iPhone, or clothes. While students at other schools may find iPhones and laptops essentially to their daily lives, clothes are especially important to the students at Vanderbilt University. Students at other schools tend to wear sweatpants to class but Vanderbilt students are always dressed up and looking nice. One assumption I had previous to the responses is that a popular response to this question would be a car. Although this was an answer in some responses, it was not an answer in as many as I expected. Cars may be less important at Vanderbilt University because it is a smaller campus with everything in walking distance.

One statistic I found interesting was in answer to the question “When you use a product and you hate/love it, how do you tell your friends?” For both responses the majority of people said that they tell their friends in person. This shows how direct conversation and word-of-mouth is the most popular way to spread information. It suggests that marketing efforts should be focused on this word-of-mouth communication to advance their products.

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What I also found interesting is that the majority of people said that the best way for their friends to reach them is through text. While phone calls used to be the most popular method of communication, the younger generation of today contacts each other through text messages because it is quicker and takes up less of their attention. Students are often doing multiple activities at once, and text messaging allows for this multi-tasking.

The majority of students who answered my survey were female and sophomores, presenting a slight demographic error. If I did the survey again I would try to get responses that were more evenly balanced between males and females of different ages. If I did the survey again I would also add the question how much time do you spend on apps on your phone. I think this response would be interesting because it would show the importance of smartphones to college students and how much of their day is spent utilizing these applications.

Thanks to our Vanderbilt Virtual Intern Hilary Burger for this post!

 

UK: Big Blue Nation School Spirit

There is truly no greater feeling in the world than waking up on a University of Kentucky game day. Growing up in Kentucky, I always knew that I wanted to attend UK because, in my eyes, it is the best school in the country. I loved feeling connected to an entire community just through a college team.

Now, living on UK’s campus I get to experience this in an entirely new (and better) way. The campus truly comes alive on game day and everyone floods to the nearest restaurant or bar to watch their Wildcats play with some perfect strangers. Staring at a big screen TV and cheering alongside people you have never met before in your life but getting along and acting like forever friends because you both share such a passion for this team is not irregular.

I’m sure school spirit is at every school in the nation, but I truly believe that the passion of UK fans is incomparable. If we’re not attending home basketball games at Rupp Arena or football games at Commonwealth Stadium, then we’re traveling to “Catlanta” or “Blue Orleans”, or even just downtown to some pretty great places to eat and drink with all our friends and other Kentucky fans. I love being part of the Big Blue Nation and seeing everyone’s support and passion for this school.

 

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Kentucky Maddie Potter for this post!

 

Budget-Friendly Activities at Ohio State

Living in Columbus is difficult for a small town girl like myself. I grew up born and raised in a small town Amish town in the Akron Area called Hartville, Ohio where my heart still resides. So moving to the “big” city of Columbus was a difficult transition for me. Since I was around 14 I have been paying for everything for myself. I pay for my car, cell phone, rent, schooling, books, groceries, rent, my adorable 6-month-old puppy (who serves as my child and yes, I torture her with clothes and pajamas) and other necessities to survive in the city. Also, I emptied my bank account several times to travel and live in different countries without a second thought. So for me, money is tight some months since I have a puppy to provide for and electric and water to pay so I can function with my crazy lifestyle. For my friends and I to have a fun time, we have to keep the budget tight since we are all paying outrageous amounts for rent and minimum wage jobs providing for all the bills. So for our fun nights we do various things such as buying a dozen donuts at Kroger at the end of the night for $1.99 with a cheaply made Netflix movie that none of us has seen before (Marwencol, Fish Tank, Hunger: never heard of or watched rarely by users). Also, we go on random drives to nowhere to get lost and find a hole-in-the-wall restaurant to eat lunch or dinner at. Many times we end up at the dog park downtown playing with all of the puppies, which is an instant mood booster during the cold (and a great free activity). All of these times have made the long cold days fun and adventurous and have provided me with more memories than spending crazy amounts on a fancy restaurant will ever do. If you are not on Pinterest, I recommend it right now and want the readers to sign up and start pinning right now because it is a great way to find ideas to save money and still enjoy the college life. There are plenty of recipes and craft ideas on budget for all types of occasions. Since Valentine’s Day is coming up and I have a valentine, I personally am using creative valentine craft ideas for my boyfriend this year since I recently had a lot of costs going towards my ’96 Honda Civic, Fonda. So, I am making a basket full of his favorite candy and snacks with cute messages to help relay how much I love him.  Pinterest also has great other ideas such as ways to make words into pictures such as a heart or a website for you two write a personal message in the shadows of a photo that you choose to add a personal touch for valentines day. Pinterest is like an addicting drug for me that I constantly pin and find new ideas for cheap dates and crafts for my boyfriend or my friends to do on these bipolar Ohioan nights.

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Next, if you are like me, I love eating. I love food. I love cooking food. And I especially love when someone cooks me food. Growing up Italian, I always loved the homemade noodles and sauce on family dinner every Sunday with the family wine to have with our feast. Food is everything in my life. Just kidding, maybe not everything, but it plays an important role. Pinterest has given me the opportunity to have that great home cooked taste with half the cost for my low budget. Instead of paying $12 a person on a mediocre meal at some swanky downtown restaurant, My friends and I choose to have nights where we each bring a dish and make a meal out of it. It is a great way to save money and also have a lot of different food at a meal. If the cost is broken up between 4-5 friends it makes it easier to have a nice meal rather than just eating fast food or ramen noodles to keep the costs low. Also, crockpots are the way to go if you have a busy lifestyle like me. I love making easy dishes in my crockpot to have for the next several days for pennies on the dollar. My favorite is the crockpot jambalaya. Perfect spicy and hot southern dish that warms up my soul on these long winter nights. Plus all that really has to be done is cutting up the veggies and meat and throwing it in the crockpot to simmer while I am in class. If you love the ingredients in it, then I dare you to try it out because it was enough food for my boyfriend and I for about 2-3 days worth of meals. Making food in bulk and saving it or freezing it in plastic containers is a great way to save money on food and also a great way to have a home-cooked meal after a tiring day at school and work. So if you are interested in a night out on the town, a lot of local restaurants on high street offer happy hour deals and specials for buckIDs and college students. But there are also other forms to save money. The Saver magazine that is delivered to everyone on the campus area yet no one pays attention to them are great coupon savers that help the broke college students. Another is apps. Moocho is a great college app dedicated to college campuses. It allows parents to add money to your account and you can pay with your phone if you do not have a card with you. It also gives you money back for every $10 you spend at any of their restaurants that take Moocho as a payment. If you have a smart phone, utilizing it to your best interest is crucial when the money is tight when you’ve spent too much on natty light for the month.

A great dinner place if you love authentic Mexican food, head over to Plaza Mexican Grill on Chittenden and High across the street from Eddie George’s grill. It has the best queso dip out there and also everything is cheap on the menu. I eat there for less than $5 every time I go in there. It is the perfect place for cheap tacos on a first date or just friends gathering around for a few of their famous margaritas. Also, they have happy hour times, which if you are 21+ you can get a pitcher of margarita any flavor for $6-8. It is the best place to hang out and catch a game on a few bucks. I hope you take these places into consideration when your friends are trying to have a fun night without breaking the bank or maxing out your already close credit cards.

 

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at The Ohio State University Maria Nagel for this post!

 

Spring Formals Galore at Vanderbilt

Spring semester at Vanderbilt University is filled with a ton of wild events and parties that make all the students wish for Winter Break to be over.

In particular, one of the most highly anticipated events of Spring Semester is Fraternity Spring Formals. Spring Formals are when all the members of a fraternity, with the date of their choice, take a long bus ride to a vacation spot for an exciting and crazy weekend. Last year the destinations were Panama City Beach, Florida and New Orleans Louisiana.

More than a month before these weekend events take place, you can hear whispering and gossiping throughout the hallways about what fraternities are going where, and what boys are going to ask what girls. As the date gets closer, the girls have to start preparing for the trip.

As a tradition at Vanderbilt, the girls have to intricately decorate coolers that their dates will bring on the trip. Coolers virtually sell out at the Targets, Walmarts, and Home Depots of the surrounding Vanderbilt area, as girls run to buy them to begin their decorating process. Decorations of the coolers include, but are not limited to, quotes from songs or movies, fraternity/sorority names or logos, beach scenes, sports teams, etc.

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The date of the Spring Formal finally arrives, and when the clock strikes midnight the buses begin to leave for their 8-11 hour drive to the destination. The weekend is filled with going to the beaches, hanging out with friends, and getting absolutely no sleep. The girls and boys return to Vanderbilt, utterly exhausted and sunburnt, but it’s definitely worth it.

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Thanks to our Virtual Intern at Vanderbilt University Hilary Burger for this post!

 

Why You Should GO GREEK at University of Wisconsin

With over 42,000 students on a campus the school can become a little overwhelming. A great way to make the school seem smaller is by joining the Greek community especially because almost every school has them. At the University of Wisconsin-Madison only 10% of the college is Greek, leaving 90% as Non-Greek or as GDIs (God Damn Independents). Some may think, “Why join if it is such a small number of people in them?” My answer would be that who cares about the number, you get to be a part of an amazing community rather than just being a typical college student. With that said, a sorority or fraternity is so much more than it seems and is a great way to be involved on campus.

Joining a sorority on campus was what I considered one of the best choices I have made so far being here. It is much easier to be a bigger fish in a small pond, rather than being a tiny fish in a huge pond. Even being in a sorority/fraternity you most likely still won’t know everyone, but it does make the college feel not as huge.  Being in a sorority I am able to give back to my community, make friendships that will last a lifetime, receive cute clothes (frats get cute clothes too), and I will always have something to do on the weekends. It’s a win-win situation in every aspect!

I am not saying that being a GDI is a bad thing because they make lasting friendships and do things on the weekends. However, I have seen it from first hand that joining a sorority or fraternity can be extremely beneficial. For instance, my roommate chose not to rush and it is a little harder for her to find something to do on the weekends and it took more time making friendships with other people. She still has fun and does things but she is much less involved in the campus. The Greek life may not be for everyone, but it is definitely something to consider joining because it will only benefit you now and in the future!

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Thanks to our University of Wisconsin – Madison Virtual Intern Katie Goggin for this post!

 

An Inside Look at Recruitment at UMD

Campus is busing and nightlife is stirring as the University of Maryland has just ended its busy and exciting recruitment period.   New members are settling in at their new homes and starting to get to know their future sisters. With 15 sororities on campus, Greek life at UMD is a large part of student’s social lives.  Most universities have a week set aside for sorority recruitment before the semester starts, however at UMD they start the weekend after classes kick off. Many people do not know the involvement and preparation it takes for a sorority to have a successful recruit.   Personally, being a sister of the Beta Alpha chapter of Phi Sigma Sigma at UMD, I know the amount of stress, money, and dedication that the chapter goes through.

I got to speak with our very own recruitment chair Amy Gruner who is finally starting to catch up on her sleep with rush coming to close.  Phi Sigma Sigma nationals paid for all of the furniture to be moved out of the house and stored for the 2 week period so that smaller tables and chairs could be brought in to seat more PNMs (potential new members).  The Phi Sig house recently went under a 10 million dollar renovation, so it was another obstacle for the girls to be recruiting out of a different house then they are use to.  This recruitment period was an exciting time for us because last year while our house was getting redone, we were recruiting out of a frat house.. not the most ideal situation.  However we are so proud of our recruitment chair Amy for putting so much dedication and passion into her position.  We are also in love with our new member class and could not be happier with who we have selected to be our future sisters.

All sororities at The University of Maryland work extremely hard during recruitment.  As cheesy as it sounds during rush, you hear the same phrase over and over again, “you end up where you belong”.  Cheesy and all it is overwhelmingly happy to see all of the new members falling into place with the rest of Greek life.

 

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Maryland Chrissy Carras for this post!

 

Finding Your Family @ Miami U

Greek life on every college campus is represented by their letters, yet each organization is unique as is drenched with its culture and values that represent them, starting with their symbol, to the colors and flowers that embody them. To things that are more meaningful such as their symphony, secrets, and rituals. One of the most electrifying events that occur for new members when joining a Greek organization is being paired up as Big and Little and joining a family within the organization. They are matched up by a special bond that is created through strong sisterhood. Your big is your support system, they are there through thick and thin, and are your best friend, and lifelong ally.

Big and Little week at Miami’s campus is filled with experiences that will last a life time. For sororities it begins with personal serenades by your typical frat boy crew, to precious presents, and yummy baked goods. This all builds up to the big revelation, the big surprise, the big moment where you find out who your Big is and who will be there to support you during the rest of your journey through college.

At Miami University it has been told that the Upham Arch is a building with a special power that at midnight underneath the lantern, if you share a special kiss with your significant other, you will be destined to marry. One sorority’s special tradition is to kick off their big and little revelation by singing under the Upham Arch. Meanwhile their little’s crush, boyfriend, or best friend comes through the arch with a bouquet of flowers and a note from their Big. The special guy walks over to the group of thrilled girls, and announces one of the girl’s names and gives them the message “Your Big Loves You”. These ladies greet the guy with a gleaming smile and are ecstatic that by the end of the week they will find out who their one and only Big is, and they will now be part of their own special fun sorority family!

 

Thanks to our Virtual Internat Miami University Dominique Suarez for this post!

 

Game Day @ University of Washington

At the University of Washington, ports are an immense part of the student culture. Everywhere you go, the pride and tradition that spews from the university on game days is very contagious making one feel part of the husky family also known as the dawg pack. Unlike most schools, game days at UW are a big event that our school really capitalizes on.

Normally the day of or before big games there is always some sort of pep rally that goes on throughout the campus. This pep rally truly is like no other; not only is our incredible marching band walking through campus, but free shirts, hats, sweats and other goodies are giving out to our student body getting us pumped for the sporting event that day.

I can honestly say you have never really experienced a game day till you come to one at the University of Washington. Our husky sports team really takes pride in our student section which is also known as the dawg pack; an area for students to get loud, rowdy, and cheer on the huskies all the way to victory. For the opposing team, having to deal with the dawg pack is a challenge on its own. The constant bashing and insults targeted at the players, refs, and even coaching staff is unbelievable yet very entertaining at the same time. When its game day at the University of Washington we love to have fun and celebrate throughout the day through different festivities like the pep rally, but when it comes to game time the dawg pack truly does not mess around.

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Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Washington Ngozi Monu for this post!

 

Greek Life at the UMD Leaves a Lasting Impression

The University of Maryland, College Park may have over 37,000 students, but only about 10% of men and 14% of women join the brotherhood or sisterhood of Greek organizations. Despite the size and negative stereotypes that can be falsely associated with Greek life, Greek students form a community that is so much more.  In fact, Greek Life is committed to shaping well-rounded college men and women through scholarship, leadership, athletics, and giving back to the community.

Greek life prides itself on holding its members to a high academic standard. They have Greek study sessions and require members to maintain a minimum G.P.A. Their efforts often go unnoticed, but while the all women’s average G.P.A. for the 2012 fall semester was 3.26, the all sorority average was 3.36! This work hard, play hard attitude pays off as Greeks also have a high graduation rate.

Members of Greek organization also devote their time to giving back not only the their philanthropies, but the campus community as a whole. They lead not only their chapters, but also other student organizations, hold internships, work on campus, and participate in both intermural and varsity athletic teams. Many students volunteer their time tutoring through a program called “Kids Power Tutoring” or raise money for UMD’s annual Terpthon, which raised $268,027 for Children Miracle Network last year.  When it comes to their philanthropic events, chapters like Delta Delta Delta raised over 38,000 dollars for St. Jude’s in 2012 alone. Their commitment to giving back to the community is greater than any other campus organization.

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Greek members exhibit strong character in their ability to lead their peers in the classroom, on the athletic field, and in their community. While they might not be a significant percentage of students, their dedication to UMD leaves a lasting impact on campus that will be seen for generations to come.

For further insight into the world of a Greek student and their impact on campus, please visit this video put together by UMD’s department of Fraternity and Sorority life.

 

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at University of Maryland Jessica Schurtz for this post!

 

Illinois: Hail Alma Mater

At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign you will find three things in extreme abundance: the color orange, Greek letters, and school pride. We as a student body are so proud to attend our university and we come together to make it known. Although the students do a good job of this, we also have a campus landmark that symbolizes the tradition and unity of our school as well- the Alma Mater. Alma is a statue created by renowned sculptor and Illinois graduate, Lorado Taft. Located in a lively part of campus, just outside the quad and near the infamous Green Street, Alma stands tall at approximately 13 feet and oversees her children at work.

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The Alma Mater acts as a motherly figure to the entire university as she stands in front of her throne wearing scholarly robes with her hands outstretched gesturing a generous greeting to all. Positioned behind her with joined hands, are twin figures that represent our school’s motto “Learning and Labor.” At Alma’s base the words “to thy happy children of the future, those of the past send greetings” are inscribed into the granite. This phrase proves not only the connection between current students and the Alma Mater, as she seems to be the messenger, but also the connection between all students who have ever attended U of I. They are powerful words that bind us to our Alumni forever.

As one of the most widely recognized symbols of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, we like to involve Alma in as much as possible. Taft specifically designed the Alma Mater so that students could climb her and celebrate the school, and that is exactly what we do. From suiting her up in a jersey for a basketball game to having a custom graduation cap and gown made by Herff Jones for the big day; the Alma Mater is definitely not a spectator when it comes to Illinois’ events, she is a participant.

It is a tradition to be photographed with Alma on your first and last day as a student at Illinois. The line of people who wait for this opportunity on their graduation day is extremely telling of Alma’s importance to the Illini community. She has represented our school since 1929 and is currently being restored so that she will able see thousands more students prosper on her campus. The Alma Mater’s presence and purpose is something that we very much value at Illinois and we cannot wait to get her back home in May.

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Thanks to University of Illinois Virtual Intern Miranda Coello for this post!

 

Stepping Outside of the Classroom at Berkeley

I believe it is important to expand and learn outside the classroom. I believe it is necessary to learn soft skills that will help me interact and work with others, prior to my entrance into the working world. As a student I entered a business club under the Social Committee then Professional Development Committee. Within the committee, I develop an exponential amount of personal growth, and shared the soft skills with other members. I worked my way to become Social Chair working to maintain and strength the relationship between alumni and students. Developing professionally increased my curiosity about the real world. The club provided me with security, friends, and growth. I was able to learn more about myself as a person and strive for skills I never obtained. I grew as a person.

Under social chair, I came up with numerous events that help promote diversity, and community. I enjoyed working with 6 boys and one girl, who I often had to chase after to make sure they completed their work. I became a mom to them. We were family. I enjoyed their presence and loved spending every minute with them. The most memorable semester would be the semester where I led 7 committee members and worked along a co-chair.  Within the club I acquired countless friendships, which were a beneficial aspect to my college career. I met my best friends and current roommate all within the club. It was the most exciting three semesters I have experienced within UC Berkeley. I enjoyed the variety of opportunities the club provided for me, including volunteering work, and retreats. I was able to volunteer for a variety of events with other organizations as well as have fun with members at amusements parks, the beach, and cultural dinner dates. It was a memorable experience and I definitely believe I wouldn’t be the person I am without the three semesters of fun, growth, and dedication.

 

Thanks to our VIrtual Intern from Berkeley Amy Yeung for this post!

 

The Guide to Choosing the Most Suitable Library at UF

As every student at the University of Florida knows, there are many libraries that offer great environments for studying, socializing, last minute cramming, or even the ever so archaic activity of checking out a book. But new students or outsiders often don’t realize that UF’s libraries are as diverse as the people on its campus. Each library provides a different atmosphere that must be taken into careful consideration when selecting the library that is most appropriate for your current needs. In order to make the lives of incoming freshman, transfer students, or non-UF students easier, I listed characteristics of each library below to make this overwhelming decision much more bearable.

Library West

Of course I need to address this library first, because it is the head honcho of libraries. Library West (often called “Lib West” for convenience or occasionally “Club West”) is the most well known of the UF libraries. It asserts its dominance through its entrance- a field titled “Plaza of the Americas” that is so colossal it takes an extra 2 minutes to walk through it. As its fame might suggest, Lib West is the most popular library for students. The chances of you going to this library without seeing anyone you know are slim to none. This library is probably most enticing because it is the only library with a Starbucks, and is open 24 hours on the weekdays and during finals. If you’re like me and can’t resist the convenience of a nearby Starbucks, go to the third floor or above because it is much quieter (except near the elevators). My advice would be to avoid this library at all costs during final exams, because you probably won’t get a table unless you camp out in advance.

Marston Science Library

This library is great because of its central location. Marston has more accessible parking than Library West, and is usually open pretty late. If you need to get some serious studying done, or need to last minute cram in silence, go to the fourth floor of this library. This floor offers cubicles for maximum focus, although it does feel slightly claustrophobic and the outlets are difficult to find.

Norman Education Library

If you live in a sorority or near sorority row, this library is a great convenience. The second floor is pretty silent, and you can usually find a table to yourself. My only complaints are the early closing hours and the pretty view of the courtyard that I find very distracting.

UF Law Library

I’ve actually never been to this library, but I’ve heard enough about it to make a few assertions.  If you live in a fraternity house or near fraternity row, this library is perfect to you. The hours are late, and as you can expect from a library designed for law students, it is extremely quiet to offer you maximum concentration.

Good luck studying!

 

Thanks to University of Florida Virtual Intern Kate Snyder for this post!

 

Fest Season at Ohio U

In Athens, Ohio, the first sign of spring prompts wild excitement from thousands of OU students who have waited all winter for this divine moment.  With rising temperatures and increasing sunlight, also comes the Ohio University tradition of “fest season”.  Spring time in Athens provides more than 10 fests that take the streets of Athens by storm, while often causing controversies for the city and its local residents.

Fests, which are block parties named after the streets in which they are located on, are a tradition on this campus that spans over decades.  Every fest has a different personality and feel and every OU student usually has their own favorite.  Each fest season begins with some of the smaller fests which are held on Oak, Elliot, Millron, High, and Congress streets.  Throughout the spring, the fests gradually increase in attendance and notoriety.  The three biggest street fests held at Ohio University are Mill, PalmerPlace, and Palmer fest.

Wildly popular with the student population, these parties have given headaches to OU administration throughout the past decade. With the increasing number of out of town students traveling to Athens to take part in the revelry, OU has taken measures to create a safer environment for their own students.  Increased police activity and volunteer support has made fest season not only safer for college students but also for the city of Athens.

Although these events have garnered some negative attention for the university, in the past few years they remain some of the biggest events held on OU’s campus each year.  I feel that although these fests are associated with stereotypical college revelry, fest season at Ohio University creates a sense of pride and school spirit that OU frequently lacks.

 

Thanks to Ohio University’s Virtual Intern Stephen Fogle for this post!

 

Conquest at USC

Every year, hundreds of students gather at McCarthy Quad on campus to rally to beat the Bruins! Yes, it’s Conquest, USC’s annual tradition before the rivalry football game against UCLA!

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It’s not any typical pep rally. It’s a Carnival!

The giant illuminating Ferris Wheel at the corner of the quad drew the attention to many of the students. Upon entering the quad, you can immediately smell the different grills from each of the food trucks aligned around the quad. From the all time favorite In-n-out food truck to my favorite refreshment: boba, you name it, you get it.

The festival started off with an award ceremony hosted by Comedian Michael Ian Black. Conquest also celebrates the accomplishments of the student athletes, as well as the academics and spirit of all Trojans. The Spirit of Troy marching band and the USC Song Girls then performed a series of USC Spirit Songs to rally everyone for the upcoming football game. The ceremony concluded with the burning of the cardboard Bruin and a fireworks show.

Nope, the night is not over yet. In fact, it just began.

Next up on stage was a live music performance by hip-hop rapper Childish Gambino. His humorous, upbeat selection of music moved all the audience to the highest energy level!

Round of Applause to USC’s very own Program Board for putting everything together every year! Although this season we might not have done as well as we hoped, we will definitely come back strong. Fight on!

 

Thanks to University of Southern California’s Virtual Intern Wynne Chan for this post!

 

Hidden Gems at UNC

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Each university across the nation has their “hidden gems” which only those involved with the university know of their importance. Franklin Street is one of the many “hidden gems” which Chapel Hill has, even though it is in plain sight. There are a boundless amount of shops, restaurants, and activities that can be found right outside campus. Here are just two among many of Franklin Street’s finest:

Ye Olde Waffle Shop: Since their opening back in 1972, Ye Olde Waffle Shoppe has been given students, visitors, and locals alike the taste of good home cooking during the most important meal of the day. They have many great menu items, but one of the most popular items is the M&M waffles. A Carolina tradition is that following the Duke vs. UNC game everyone eats at the famous breakfast eatery. When tradition and great food are combined, you simply can’t go wrong.

Sugarland: Beware all dieters! Known for its delectable cupcakes and gelato, Sugarland has been it has been a favorite among all who enter its doors. They have a variety of cupcakes, gelato, cakes, and other baked goods just ready to be devoured. In addition, they can make various coffees to give their customers the perfect addition to their divine desert. If you find yourself on Franklin Street, be sure to stop by Sugarland and get a taste on what Chapel Hill can’t get enough of.

Franklin Street is certainly unique to UNC Chapel Hill. UNC students love Franklin Street for not only the food, but for its shops, boutiques, and nightlife. Simply put: There’s just no place like Franklin Street.

 

Thanks to our Virtual Intern at UNC Chapel Hill Angelica Ortiz for this post!

 

Pitt Greeks Give Back

Greeks often get stereotyped.  People think of what they see in the movies and think being in Greek life is just all about the parties and hazing and pictures of girls squatting next to their standard.  Well here at Pitt the Greek system proves that those are not the stereotypes that should be thought of and Spring semester shows this better than ever. Throughout the semester Greeks raise money through big events and greek-week that benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Two of the biggest of these events are the Pitt Dance Marathon and Greek Sing.

The Pitt Dance Marathon (referred to on campus as just PDM) is a 24-hour dance marathon that is run by Greek life but is open to all students.  To send dancers to this event each chapter has to pay money, and it all adds up very quickly.  My chapter alone, Sigma Sigma Sigma, has already donated $1,275 towards PDM in order to send dancers to the event.  Even if you’re not an official 24-hour dancer or 8-hour moraler everyone is still encouraged to go and support the event!

Greek Sing is another type of dancing event, except in this case fraternities and sororities get paired up each year and have to come up with a dance routine together that gets performed at a big Greek Sing event at the end of March.  Although I am not a dancer myself, this was one of my favorite events last spring, and something I am really looking forward to attending again this year.  Again, the money raised from this event goes to raise money towards the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Last year my sorority was paired up with Delta Tau Delta and we did a “War” theme since one of the brothers from DTD had just come back from serving.  The dances are awesome and there is so much energy in the auditorium as everyone cheers on their respective chapters.

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Supporting two of our dancers at Greek Sing last year!

So the next time someone wants to bash on Greek life and say that it’s not good for anything but partying I think it’s important to remember all the good that it does do.  I’m sure any representative from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation would be happy to back that up in a second, especially considering last spring alone Pitt Greeks raised $70,000 for the foundation.

 

Thanks to our University of Pittsburgh Virtual Intern, Rachel Shnayder, for this post!

 

Why it’s Great to be a Wolverine

Everything here at Michigan is amazing.  I know that almost everyone who attends college will say that same statement with pride but about their own school, however I really find it hard to imagine anywhere greater than The University of Michigan. In light of our recent basketball success, and the fact that college game day is here to cover the Michigan vs. OSU game today, I feel that it is appropriate for my first blog post to be about one of the most central parts of Michigan life: the sports.

If you are from the state of Michigan, you probably grew up with either a devotion (yes that is a strong word, but when it comes to Michigan sports, passion is involved) to UM or to State (for those who aren’t familiar with the lingo State= Michigan State, boo). When stepping onto campus, there is an undeniable spirit in the air and support for our school’s sports teams.  The athletes that walk around campus are like local celebrities, and to get a picture with one of them is a great accomplishment.

During the fall, everyone’s favorite day has to be Saturday, not because we don’t have class, but because of the football games.  Members apart of Greek Life wake up at the crack of dawn to attend pregrames and get ready to go to the game. Pregames consist of huge parties with music blasting, students leading chants about the opposing team, people dancing on elevated surfaces (such as stages or wall ledges) in excitement and preparation for the game.  Once you walk into The Big House, there is a sea of Maize and Blue. Each game that I attend, I am in awe that so many people can fit in one stadium.  After every play, there is a cheer that is to be sang and after every touchdown, there is an uproar of “Hail to the Victors.”

When football season is over, people are sad, but then get over it quickly when they realize that it is basketball season.  This year we have been doing especially great and have been cycling in and out of the number 1 spot.   Basketball here hasn’t been this big since the “Fab Five” in 1992.  To give just a brief basketball history, the “Fab Five” was maybe one of the best teams to ever be recruited.  They helped to transform the way basketball players dressed, bring a “Hip Hop” style to the game by wearing baggier shorts and shirts, by shaving their heads, and by wearing black shoes and socks. They gained a lot of attention to the point where people who weren’t even associated with Michigan wore the apparel.  There is so much history between the Basketball and Football teams here that it’s difficult to not get excited about your team.  People make sure that they deck out in their best Michigan apparel from the MDen for every game that they attend.

Whether its Basketball, football, hockey, soccer, or even quidditch, everyone loves the sporting events here.  If you aren’t a professional athlete, there are plenty of IM teams for people to be apart of.  It’s great to be a Michigan Wolverine, and you now can understand why.

 

Thanks to our VIrtual Intern at University of Michigan, Chloe Hirsch, for this post!

 

A Glimpse into Finals Week at UCLA

Finals Week: the dreaded two words in any college student’s vocabulary. The time for cramming, slamming shots of espresso at 3 a.m., and praying that you can remember the definitions for all 105 ID terms on your study guide. I am always surprised at UCLA when exams week rolls around. I never thought college students could get so weird, and let me tell you midterm/finals week brings out “the crazies” in people. You can tell when exams are approaching because a frenzy settles over campus and if you happen to venture into South Campus (where all the math and science majors have their classes)  you can see the poor pre-med students talking to themselves in a language that I, as Political Science major, simply can not understand. And be careful because you might get lost in the dungeons of Bolter Hall where the floor you are on changes as you walk down the hall and half the building is underground. Trust me, South Campus is a scary place during finals.

However finals week does have some redeeming qualities. You notice the small things in life that make you happy; like the blessed 4 hours of sleep you get a night, or the 5th cup of coffee from Kerchoff you’ve had that day that gives you just enough energy to read that last fifty pages of your textbook. In all honesty though there are two things that help finals week suck just a little less that are specific to UCLA. In order to truly appreciate finals week you must:

  1. Do the Midnight Yell and scare the crap out of people studying in the library.
  2. Take off all your clothes and run around campus for the annual Undie-Run.

The Midnight Yell is exactly  what it sounds like: every night during finals at the stroke of midnight every student at UCLA lets out all of their frustrations in a blissful 5 second scream that rejuvenates the weary, sleep-deprived, souls of us students. The best ones are when you are at Powell Library and you get to witness the aftermath of the Midnight Yell; the startled jump of student who had passed out on top of their books, or the angry glares of those people that think of any noise as a personal offense to their well-being. It’s a grand ol’ time.

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(Powell Library at UCLA, Yeah…..it’s that pretty)

            The other tradition, the Undie-Run, is even more comical. Wednesday night of finals week hundreds of UCLA students strip down (almost) to their birthday suits to go one one giant run around campus. Usually, imbibing some social lubricant to assist the more modest students by making it easier to run around in just their underwear/ bra or boxers precedes this run. Unfortunately, while this may make it easier to have hundreds of your peers see you naked, it makes it significantly harder to do the actual running of the Undie-Run – and that much more humorous. The Undie-Run really is something to experience. I mean, when can you see hundreds of the country’s brightest minds running around in their underwear. And running around the very same grounds where these students do big important intellectual things, like groundbreaking research. The irony is not lost on us students.

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(Just a little glimpse of the Undie-Run chaos)

            Having just finished midterms here at UCLA, my fellow Bruins and I give ourselves a week to enjoy (and by enjoy I mean enjoy not living in the library with our eyes glued to our textbooks) the calm before turning our burnt-out brains to the storm, better known as finals. It also gives us girls a few weeks to find the right pair of booty shorts to debut on the Undie-Run.

 

Thanks to our UCLA Virtual Intern Miranda Lutz for this post!