LC Voice Fall 2013
A Magazine for Residential Learning Community Students
nov. LC VOICE CONTRIBUTORS table of contents Yesenia Barkley 03 Health and Human Services - Advantages of an RLC Yesenia Barkley 03 Health and Human Services - Pumpkin Carving Yesenia Barkley Yesenia Barkley 04 Health and Human Services - Pumpkin Carving Cont. 04 Health and Human Services - Can I Kiss You? Izel Rosas 05 Criminal Justice - Jail Tour 06 Education House - Faculty Dinner Wes Murry 07 Olson’s Scholars - Like a Family Wes Murry 08 Olson’s Scholars - Southern Arizona Fieldtrip Stefan Dragic Brook Dalton 09 Forestry - Faculty Dinner 10 Chemestry and Biochemistry - In the Swing for Fall Sue Belatti assistant director of residential learning communities It was only 3 years ago that I had the opportunity to visit one of the Disney Parks for the first time in my life. I remember the excitement, curiosity, and overwhelming feelings I had in trying to take it all in. I was thinking about this experience in relation to the “adventure” many students feel when coming to college for the first time. In the months leading up to the start of the school year, similar feelings of excitement, curiosity, and being overwhelmed are often present in the planning process. But much like discovering and understanding the layout of a Disney theme park, within a few short months, freshmen students begin to figure out the university system. Although some of these early feelings may remain, often they are replaced with a comfort over understanding the lay of the land, and navigating the many “attractions” offered on the campus. Throughout your transition to NAU, there is one feeling, however, that I hope remains a part of your college experience. It is that never-ending curiosity for all that education has to offer. Just like discovering new attractions during a Disney adventure, I hope your curiosity to discover new educational adventures will remain a strong focus during these upcoming years. Good luck. Have fun. And enjoy the ride . . . Health and Human Services advantages of an rlc Writer Yesenia Barkley h, you’re a nursing major? That’s very competitive.” I can’t count how many times I heard this when I came to Northern Arizona University. I did my research, of course, and knew what my odds were well before I choose this school. However it all hit my worrisome personality the most when everyone who found out what my major was commented on how competitive it was. I had no idea what Residential Learning Communities were. All I knew is that I was in one, and now a month later, I am so glad to be in one. My RLC really gives me a sense of community. We all get along great and do activities together. I feel lucky to be in such an active RLC, and this has lifted the stress of my major choice off my shoulders. I was able to adjust from being a teenager in high school, to being a young adult in college easier. So far, I’m succeeding at all my classes thanks to our weekly meetings and study sessions. Two heads are definitely better than one when studying for an upcoming biology exam. It really helps to move forward with peers who share the same classes and therefore the same struggles and confusions (e.g. “What did Professor XYZ mean by this?”) Together with our community mentor, we overcome the muddles while staying social and engaged in all NAU has to offer. Go Lumberjacks! Go RLCJacks! Health and Human Services pumpkin carving Writer Yesenia Barkley umpkins haunt Tinsley’s Health and Human Services Learning Community as they launched off this autumn with pumpkin carving! At 7pm, everyone who had RSVP’d filed into the Tinsley class room and showed off their autumn spirit. Newspapers lined the floor as the students choose their pumpkins and designs with the help of each other, Pinterest, and Google Images. Some seeds were set aside for roasting later on in the evening, an autumn tradition kept going. Health and Human Services pumpkin carving cont. At the end of the night, the creations ranged from music notes to cats to your typical jack-o-lantern. The first floor of Tinsley Hall was filled with the scent of fresh pumpkin and those entering and exiting couldn’t help but stop by and see what the RLC had created. With their designs coming to life and a piece of red velvet cake, everyone said “goodnight” and rated this event with five stars! All agree that events like these strengthen the Health and Human Services Learning Community and provide the students a source for support as they all strive towards their majors. Halloween is long gone now, but the involvement of this RLC as seasons change hasn’t stopped. Future plans may include tree and door decorating as the holiday season approaches. Health and Human Services Can I Kiss You? Writer Yesenia Barkley t the beginning of the third week in September, my RCL peers and I woke up to notes posted on each of our doors for us to “save the date”: our RLC had an upcoming event! On September 18th at 7pm, my Health and Human Services RLC filed into the hallways of Tinsley’s second floor. Before that night, none of us had heard of speaker Mike Domitrz, let alone, The Date Safe Project, and were expecting an assembly similar to the ones from high school where the message was simple: date safely, don’t do this, and don’ do that. My co-RLC peers, myself, and our predictions met our Community Mentor, RA, and any last minute stragglers at 7:30pm. The first two rows of the Ardrey Auditorium were quickly filled. Less than half way into the Can I Kiss You program, we all were convinced this was far from a high school assembly. Mike Domitrz engaged the whole audience, having us repeat phrases and finish sentences. It was great fun to shout out answers together, and even two of our very own got called up on stage for demonstrations. Adding humor to such a touchy topic made the information easier to digest and kept our attention. Some of us took the challenge of calling up three loved ones by 11pm and letting them know: “If there is ever something up, I am here for you.” We laughed, we cried, and we learned the importance of asking “Can I kiss you?” Criminal Justice jail tour Writer Izel Rosas uring the fall semester, members of the Justice Residential Learning Community toured the county jail in Flagstaff. The purpose for the tour was to provide students with a better understanding of how the county jail is run. The Community Mentor leading the field trip also wanted to expose the RLC students to what the environment is like within a county jail. We received an in depth tour of the jail gathering a lot of information along the way. Taking a tour in the Coconino County Jail was great to experience. Not only did we manage to witness what the jail had to hold but to also learn what they have to offer the inmates. Overall it was a great experience and we learned that what we know about jail from TV isnâ€™t always true. Education House faculty dinner n October, students from the Education House Residential Learning Communities got together with faculty from the College of Education to learn about teaching opportunities in Arizona and through the DoDDs (Department of Defense) program. The purpose of the dinner was to help Education House students understand what would be expected of them when entering into the education program at NAU. Olson’s Scholars like a family Writer Wes Murry never met Joel Olson. I never looked up to him like so many community members and students. And I never had the opportunity to learn from him. It’s terribly sad when someone so well-respected passes and a community is forced to cope. It’s especially sad when this someone is an educator and activist; a community member in the boldest sense. His passing left a hole at Northern Arizona University and in the hearts of many. But his legacy lives on. Olson Scholars for Social Justice began in 2012 as a way of preserving Joel Olson’s legacy. But this learning community/program/club does not serve the purpose of idolizing Joel Olson. The Olson scholars serve as an extension of his teaching and dedication to social advocacy. I want to give the best possible illustration of the Olson Scholars program, but there is nothing I can compare it to because it is such a unique experience. Calling us a learning community would not be doing us justice. We are much more than that. We are more than friends. We are a family. The word “friend” is a word I do not use loosely. Family is a word I have never used to describe anyone outside of my genetics until this program. A family does not simply happen. A family is an organization of individuals that genuinely care for one another in a mutual respect without any broken link whatsoever. The fifteen of us have this – a remarkable feat for any group, but particularly extraordinary for one that has existed for just under four months. We weren’t forced to become this close, but we had many factors when we first met in early August that were in favor of making something special. We were all forced to move on from our families and get that big shove out of the nest. We were all at different stages in this process; some of us were ready to fly solo, others weren’t even aware we had wings. In the midst of this, we bonded over small things (like having Camelbaks backpacks or making fun of Ringo Starr) and the big things – struggles and situations we’ve grown through and built ourselves out of. We got to know each other on more than an appearancebased, small-interest level; we’ve gotten to know each other from our deepest roots and being in similar scenarios in a brand new situation. There is something more to this group, however. I strongly doubt any group of random college newcomers would have bonds as close as ours, be able to connect with one another like we have, and share experiences in a similar way. I don’t know if its sheer luck or an incredibly well done job by the selection committee, but we all naturally click. That says a lot because we are a very diverse group. We spent three weeks together in August, we have two classes together every week, frequently attend events as a group, and hang out. If all classes stopped today, there is not a doubt in my mind we would all do something as a group. We aren’t forced to be this close – we simply are. Olson’s Scholars southern arizona Writer Wes Murry n October we took a trip to the United StatesMexico border. We witnessed a protest of Operation Streamline in Tucson that successfully shut the operation down temporarily, attended a vigil for a young Mexican boy gunned down by border patrol agents, explored the much less privileged city of Sonora in Northern Mexico, hiked a small portion of a commonly migrant trail, and attended a dozen or more presentations from knowledgeable border patrol experts. For some of us, this trip laid to rest preconceived ideas about immigration. For others this trip confirmed our already existent beliefs relating to border politics and human rights as it relates to immigration. It is the hands on experience, first-person wit- nessing, and third-person perspectives that make the Olson Scholars so unique. Our decisions are not uninformed. Nor are they simply “informed”, they go a step beyond that. We didn’t just read. We experienced. What separates the Olson Scholars Learning Community from other learning communities is how our program is an experience. It is an experience that can only happen from the conscious decisions of our members to learn and to do so together. Forestry faculty dinner with the“Tree House” Writer Stefan Dragic n October 15th, Tom Roland, our RLC leader, organized a dinner with the forestry professors. Now to get twenty freshmen forestry majors to behave well enough in the presence of the entire forestry faculty is like getting twenty wild jackals to all sit on command. Well, the 15th came upon us and we all got as dressed up as we could. Blazers blew in the breeze, skirts shone in the sun, and cologne clogged the clouds. There we were, the 20 of us, dressed to the nines, with one goal; to brown nose as much as possible. Dinner started and like true foresters we ate burgers, hot dogs, and refried beans. The faculty made sure to sit right in between friend groups, there was no escaping social interaction. One by one they introduced themselves, which lasted shorter than we all wanted, because as soon as they sat back down we had to talk to them. Surprisingly, we found out that 1. Professors are people too, and 2. They are pretty sociable. Dr. Duhurst sat next to me with his leather jacket complimenting his dress shirt and tie; he looked like Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s fashion sensei. He asked us the bare bones icebreakers, why we liked forestry, if we liked his class, etc. But then I asked him about his past, and soon I was in the middle of the Yukon flying helicopters and mapping acres of trees. He spoke about his novel ideas and his passions about finding out who the Zodiac killer was. In fact, he was one of the most interesting people I have ever talked too. Two hours zoomed by like a clock in a F1 car, and by the end of it we freshman left with new admiration and respect for those who teach us. Chemistry and Biochemistry in the swing for the fall Writer Brooke Dalton he Chemistry and Biochemistry Residential Learning Community has been busy during the first couple months of school. In addition to meeting individually once a month with the head of the community, Meghan Belmares, weekly meetings were also held on Thursdays on the top floor of Reilly Hall. Throughout the first couple meetings, the community played ice breakers in order to get to know each other well. During those gathering, the students would open with telling their ups and downs for the week before getting down to business. Conversation topics range from upcoming events to how to navigate Louie, and all are aimed at making freshman year as a chemistry or biochemistry student easier and more pleasant. Often students congregate afterwards to study together. Another crucial point of these meetings is the planning of events to do together as a community. Such events have included the First Friday Art Walk, which is a gathering of local artisans in downtown Flagstaff for the enjoyment of everyone. We also made Oobleck (pictured) as a group. And attended a Faculty Dinner. The Faculty Dinner was a meeting of students in the Residential Learning Community and staff from the Chemistry and Biochemistry department. The group gathered over food in the Hotspot in the Union to discuss future plans and classes. Altogether, the community has been busy since school started and is now nicely in the swing of college life. Good luck with finals and enjoy the break!