Sunday, October 28, 2012

Multicultural Walk to End Domestic Violence

Hofstra students walking w/ statistics

Students and Member of DHF
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and although it was cold and windy as Frankenstorm approaches, several students went early this morning to Eisenhower Park Field #5 to walk to end domestic violence. They walked in support with the Domestic Harmony Foundation to bring awareness to the need to end domestic violence in all of our communities. Members of Hofstra's Fraternity and Sorority Life even got there early to volunteer and assist the Domestic Harmony Foundation in setting up the walk before 9am. There were faculty, staff and students from all over campus and it was great to see people energized to educate their community about the harm of relationship and family violence. 
Multicultural Walk to End Domestic Violence 10/28/12 at Eisenhower Park
For more information on other ways you can get involved as a student please call the office of Student Leadership and Activities at 516-463-6914. 
Everyone stay safe as the storm approaches and continue to watch for more information on upcoming service programming on campus. There are so many ways you can get involved as a Hofstra student in organizations, programs and events on and off campus. For more information on OSLA sponsored programs click here. Thank you to Jose Rivera of Phi Iota Alpha for sharing his pictures for this blog.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Flavors of our Neighborhood: The Dominican Restaurant in Uniondale

This past Friday, a group of eager and curious faces took a trip to the local Dominican Restaurant of Uniondale, NY, in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.

My name is Joanna Soares and I am a first year student at Hofstra University pursuing a degree in Public Relations. Working and learning from people of all demographics is a passion of mine, and I believe it leads to a more well rounded perspective. Growing up in the suburbs of New Jersey, I did not witness as much diversity as I would have liked. I do, however, have fond memories of visiting the "bodegas" with my Abuela in Newark, New Jersey. I often filled my days daydreaming about my Latina ancestry, all the while inhaling the sweet aroma of Abuela's meals filled with love and listening to "bachata," a music genre native to the Dominican Republic. Since those childhood days in the city, I aspired to further my education in a similar community, where people of all different backgrounds not only co-exist but truly build and develop from each other. Now that I am in college, where within the university alone I am surrounded by more insight and a range of backgrounds, but also in a town where my Latina culture is especially evident, I have found the diverse lifestyle that I have sought for so long and I couldn't be happier. Now you can see why I was so excited when I was invited to partake in not only visiting the Dominican Restaurant for a delicious dinner but taking a lead in educating my peers on the heritage that I am so proud of and have waited so long to be embraced.

Our group consisted of mostly commuter students, and a third were international students from China. The event, “Flavors of our Neighborhood,” was put on by Hofstra University’s Off Campus Living and Commuter Student Services in collaboration with the Multicultural and International Student Programs Office.

Gustavo, the Restaurant’s owner was very pleased to see new students enjoying his restaurant and delicious cuisine. To begin, the students tasted Chinola, a traditional Dominican juice made of passion fruit. The sweet taste put a smile on everyone’s face and excitement cooked up among  the students to enjoy the rest of dinner! The staple Latino dish, Arroz con Pollo, with a side of a Caribbean favorite, Platanos, was served by gracious and enthusiastic waiters. After all, it is not every day that a group of 22 Hofstra students visit the Dominican Restaurant. After I spoke to the students about the history behind these dishes, the Chinese students were surprised to find out that platanos, or plantains, are indigenous to Asia. It was enjoyable to realize that our history has connections and to inference on the influences between cultures.

Afterwards, Anita Ellis, the Director of Off Campus Living and Commuter Student Services, shared some educating historical information with the group regarding the town. Not only was this trip fun but it was informal and left everyone feeling much more connected and comfortable in our relatively new home of Uniondale, NY.

Outside of The Dominican Restaurant in Uniondale
Personally, I am thankful for the experience to have been able to share some of my knowledge with students, as I take pride in my culture and love to find others who are interested in expanding their cultural knowledge. Additionally, the students benefited by finding a restaurant, in walking distance where they could eat. It is important that they become comfortable and aware with their environment and this was a perfect hands-on way to do so. Finally, I saw it as a great experience for the restaurant itself. Local businesses should be supported and it humbled me to watch the servers and owner glow with excitement due to our group being interested in their culture, their dishes, and that our university remembered their family-owned restaurant this month. Friendships were made, connections were strengthened, diversity was embraced, and much was learned.

College is a beautiful character-developing experience and it is moments like these where I remember that so much of this development happens outside of the classroom.

Be sure to check out the Closing Reception for Hispanic Heritage Month today during Common Hour in the Student Center Plaza Rooms. Plus, the next Flavors of Our Neighborhood will be in December, where we will explore a Haitian restaurant. Come by the Off Campus Living and Commuter Student Services or the Multicultural and International Student Programs Office for more details!

Guest blogger -  Joanna Soares, First Year Student, Public Relations

Monday, October 22, 2012

Hofstra Makes Strides Against Breast Cancer!

Yesterday we put on our walking sneakers, the best combination of pink wear we could find, and gathered as much Hofstra PRIDE as possible as we headed to the Jones Beach Boardwalk for the annual American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk. It was a beautiful morning, perfect for walking alongside other committed community members, survivors, caretakers and their families to raise awareness and money to help fight breast cancer. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 64,000 people attended the walk at Jones Beach, all of whom raised over $3 million dollars in donations! 

Hofstra students gathered behind the Office of Student Leadership and Activities’ banner that read “Hofstra University; Pride and Purpose” and chanted Hofstra’s name as passerby walkers applauded Hofstra students for walking. In total, about 275 Hofstra students participated in fundraising,  volunteering, and walking, raising over $8600 for the cause! A feat the entire Hofstra community can be proud of! The Hofstra team that raised the most funds and had the most members was the Hofstra Physician Assistant Program with 56 team members raising over $2530! According to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer website, Hofstra’s Dance Department came in a close second with 22 members raising over $2507 and the Discovery Club with 10 members coming in third with $1325. We would also like to give an honorable mention to Delta Phi Epsilon who had 34 registered members and Alpha Phi with 32 members. OSLA would like to say great job to all the teams who participated! It was an inspiring experience for all those who attended and we know that the Hofstra community will continue to work towards fighting breast cancer until there is a cure.

- Melissa Mayard, 2014
Graduate Assistant, Student Leadership and Activities

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jeremy Epstein and the Presidential Debate

“Mr. President, Governor Romney, as a 20-year-old college student, all I hear from professors, neighbors and others is that when I graduate, I will have little chance to get employment. What can you say to reassure me, but more importantly to my parents, that I will be able to sufficiently support myself after I graduate?”

This was the first question of the night, asked by Jeremy Epstein a Long Island student.  This question should be and is on the mind of most of you.  As a career counselor, I am profoundly concerned about the labor market and our economy, especially here in New York.  I am in no means entering into the political debate here. However, what I would tell Jeremy and you is be proactive, work hard, start early, get a job, get an internship, get good – better yet, get great grades, and take advantage of all of The Career Center’s services and events! Right now, there are a group of seniors sitting in The Career Center lobby waiting for interviews with employers – in the building! Next Wednesday we are hosting a Communications Career Fair in Dempster Hall! And don’t be SCARED – we are hosting a Fall Career Fair on Halloween in the Mack Sports & Exhibition Complex!

As Theodore Roosevelt told me Tuesday, “ Nothing worth having was ever achieved without effort.”

~Suzanne Dagger, Director of Career Services

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Students made #HofDebate a success!

It’s hard to believe that after nearly a year of planning, Debate 2012 has come and gone. I was fortunate enough to be on campus in both 2008 and 2012, and I think the energy and participation by students this year topped 2008, which I didn’t think was possible. 

We put out a call for student volunteers in June, and by September 1, nearly 400 students were selected and placed into a role.  Simply put, the Debate could not have run without the student volunteers.  From working with the media and the Commission on Presidential Debates, to filling roles in the Media Filing Center, Credentialing, Security, campus events, and more, students were everywhere this week in their blue polos and credentials. Hofstra has received so many compliments on the skills, work ethic, and flexibility of this army of student volunteers.  We couldn’t be prouder!

There has also been a group of students (and members of Student Affairs) who have been hard at work since January, working to engage students in #HofDebate, increasing visibility and excitement during events like Fall Festival, and most importantly, planning the events for students who were not going to attend or work the Debate on October 16.  Their hard work, dedication, and enthusiasm came through yesterday at Issue Alley and at our four “Embrace the Debate” watch parties.  We estimate that close to 2,000 students joined a watch party and took part in all the activities planned by the Student Debate Committee—not counting the myriad students joining morning shows at 4am, hanging out at the “Hardball” set, and taking in the energy of campus throughout the day.

I am so grateful I got to know and work with so many amazing Hofstra students this year.  You inspired me, kept me motivated through long hours, and made me laugh when I needed to.  Seeing the absolute joy on your (tired) faces last night made every bit of that work worth it, and I know every one of my colleagues in Student Affairs felt the same.  So, thank you.  Want to do it again?!? #RollPride!


Monday, October 15, 2012

Embrace the Debate!

This guest post is from Cait Stolzenberg and Larry Daves, student co-chairs of the Student Debate Committee. This group has been meeting all year in preparation for #HofDebate, and they've planned all of the events for students taking place outside of the Debate Hall on October 16.

As soon as they announced, almost a year ago, that the Debate was coming back to Hofstra, we knew we had to get involved! We didn’t know how, or where, or what, but we knew that getting involved in the Debate was something we just had to do.

Then entered Jayne Brownell in to a Student Government senate meeting with a great opportunity: Student Co-chair of the Debate Planning Committee. 

A few short weeks later, after an application process and interviews, Jayne offered both of us the opportunity to be student co-chairs of the Debate Planning Committee. (The first and only time we would ever be co’s….) 

Who knew how amazingly this would all turn out! These past few months have been a whirlwind. We’ve learned so much about what it takes to plan and effectively carry out a debate on a college campus. We probably knew it all along, but, we truly realized why Hofstra was chosen to host two debates in a row!

Along with all the learning, we have also been working! We’ve planned awesome events for students on campus for debate week!  First on the day of the Debate (October 16- but you should know that!) there’s Issue Alley!

Issue Alley
Main Dining Room
Issue Alley provides an opportunity for student clubs to educate others on the election-related issues they are most passionate about! Each student organization will have a table to display their issue’s significance to the Presidential election and the series of debates. Come out and participate in the different activities clubs have planned and learn something new!

Also, we’ve planned four GREAT simulcasts that any current student can enjoy! All of these watch parties take place at 7pm in their respective areas and to get in all you need is your Hofstra ID! Food will be served at each location and of course we’ll have amazing give-a-ways to the first 150 students to enter! On top of that we have some awesome raffles in each location.

Embrace the Debate: Create
Netherlands Café
Express yourself! Come get ready for the debate with some crafty, creative, and fun activities!

Embrace the Debate: Educate
Student Center Theater
Join Howard Dean and Ed Rollins as they educate us on the importance of Presidential Debates!

Embrace the Debate: Commemorate
Main Dining Room
Leave your mark! With trivia, photo booths, and window painting, come get ready for the Debate and show what this election means to you!

Embrace the Debate: Celebrate
Hofstra USA
Join some of Hofstra’s amazing performance groups as they celebrate their talents before the Debate. Then watch Sirius Satellite Radio and political comedian Pete Dominick broadcast live from HofUSA!

With this great line up of events and all of the excitement on campus, it’s sure to be a night to remember! Commuters, Residents, EVERY current student- get out, get active, get involved and EMBRACE THE DEBATE!

We’ll see you October 16th! J

Friday, October 12, 2012

LGBTQ in America Today - Diversity Dialogue Desserts

The Diversity Dialogue Desserts (DDD) Series kicked off to a great start. This series consists of programs revolving around  diversity and provides a safe space for open discussion and dialogue with the added touch of cakes, pastries and other delicious treats!

As part of LGBTQ month, we started off with a DDD entitled “LGBTQ in America Today” which consisted of a discussion touching on several issues affecting the LGBTQ community. A group of students including members from the Hofstra Pride Network shared their thoughts and experiences. Students from different countries, including the Netherlands and China, provided the international perspective on LGBTQ affairs in their countries. We touched on several areas including the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell legislation, LGBTQ in the media, social media and bullying and structures of support available for LGBTQ community. What an informative and insightful discussion! 

I am looking forward to our next DDD entitled  “Being Part of the American Dream” on Wednesday, October 31 at Common Hour (11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.) at the Plaza Room West in the Student Center, and I hope to see you all there! 

Annick Aska
Assistant Director
Multicultural and International Student Programs Office (MISPO)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Fright Night Returns!

It’s back! Fright Night returns on Halloween night (Wednesday, October 31, for those who like dates). We had such a great time last year and many of you were hoping we would do it again. Well, not only are we bringing it back but we are letting YOU choose the movie.

Here are the choices:

In order to vote, please visit the Hofstra Student Life Facebook Page and choose which movie you’d like to see. Voting ends Wednesday, October 17!

But wait there’s more! Not only are we showing a movie, but there will also be:

  • Candy caramel apples, Apple and pumpkin pie, and churros
  • A professional pumpkin carver will be on-site to help you create our own jack-o-lanterns.  

Fright Night will be taking place October 31, 2012 on the Adams Quad, festivities start at 8:00 PM. So bring your blanket and lawn chairs and get ready for a fun Halloween night!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Autumn Air!

This may come as a complete shock for many of you who know me…after all, I live for those long, high UV-index beach days, the sand between my toes, sundresses and flip flops, but for me, there is nothing like the first brisk autumn air;  I am convinced that it has its own very distinct smell.  I know it seems crazy coming from me, but there is something about the first time my house catches that chill…you know the first time your floors are ice cold under your feet—you’ve got to cave in and put slippers on, OR even better, my first pumpkin muffin of the season…It’s ALMOST as great as the perfect beach day.

With the weather finally feeling more like fall, there are so many things I am looking forward to, I figured I’d share!

1)    Hopefully convincing my mother-in-law to bake me a chocolate-chip pumpkin cake.  Yes, I can definitely eat a whole cake in a week…

2)    Attending Hofstra’s Annual AUTUMN FEST on October 24th, Common Hours, Student Center Main Dining Room.

3)    Attempting to bake my caramel apple cookie recipe that took me 5 years (yes, it’s true) to perfect.  Side note: I ate A LOT of caramel apple cookies from this little bakery in Delaware Water Gap, PA in order to get this recipe down pat.  I did at one point try to pay them for their recipe…but they wouldn’t except my bribe and I was forced to use my taste buds to re-create those cookies!

4)    Watching the battle of the classes in a full-out dodge ball tourney on October 24th, 6pm in the Fitness Center.

5)    Getting a famous apple pie from Jericho Cider Mill, yum!

6)    Decorating a pumpkin outside Bits & Bytes on Halloween (10am-2pm) courtesy of SGA’s programming board!

7)    Midnight Madness at Hofstra, GET EXCITED for basketball season to start!!  November 1st, 9pm, Hofstra USA.

8)    The big halftime performance for Cheer, Dance, and Pep Band on November 17th at the Men’s Basketball game!

9)    Pecan and coconut pies on Thanksgiving.

10)    Waking up at 4am on Black Friday, buying something at a ridiculously low price and then celebrating my victorious shopping experience by feasting on pumpkin pancakes at IHOP.

11)    Pranking my colleague by spraying their office with my fall-scented spray (heavy on the cinnamon) so that he runs around the office complaining about his serious aversion to cinnamon products—*sigh* it never gets old!

I could go on…but my love of autumn takes me all the way until mid-December!  But with all there is to look forward to within the next few weeks, it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that autumn is my SECOND favorite season…just the foods alone are exciting, and then you factor in the great activities both on and off-campus—it’s definitely keeping me busy!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Consider a Career in Student Affairs!

Are you someone who enjoys helping others to reach their full potential? Are you a student leader who has loved being involved throughout your college career? Are you still undecided about which career path to pursue? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, then you might consider a career in student affairs. During October, professionals nationwide are celebrating “Careers in Student Affairs Month.”

Okay, you’re probably wondering, “What is student affairs, anyway?” It’s not a career path most college students have heard of before, like being a journalist, lawyer, or teacher. Well, you might be aware that Hofstra has Division of Student Affairs, which is comprised of 16 offices that “work together to promote student learning, growth, and success, in and out of the classroom.” The people who work in these offices are student affairs professionals. They include academic advisors, residence directors, counselors, and deans, just to name a few. They are all people who are working to support you and promote your success as a student. If you have served as a Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, or Welcome Week Coordinator, for example, roles in which you were helping, advising, and programming for students, then you were doing student affairs work.

So how does one pursue this field? First, there is no one career path that needs to be followed in order to work in student affairs. Student affairs professionals study a wide variety of majors as undergraduates and hold many diverse interests (a quick survey of some of the folks in my office revealed majors in psychology, communications, and business). Most people fall into student affairs by accident because they were very involved in college and realized they could continue this type of activity as a professional. Some pursued other career paths, but realized they missed the college environment. Though there are some exceptions, most entry level student affairs jobs require a masters degree (typically in areas such as higher education, college student affairs, or counseling), so advanced education is something you should consider if you wish to pursue this field. Typically, you can work as a graduate assistant while you are studying, so you can gain related work experience at the same time you earn your degree.

If you’re still reading this, then I hope I’ve piqued your interest. So you’re probably wondering, “How can I learn more and figure out if student affairs is right for me?” Here are some suggestions:

1) Set up a 15 minute informational interview with a student affairs professional to learn more about what they do. You should already know at least one, because they serve as your Advisement dean, your club advisor, or your Residence Director. People love to talk about what they do and are generally flattered to hear that someone wants to enter their field, so don’t be shy about reaching out!

2) Visit The Career Center and speak with a career counselor. They can help you clarify your goals, interests, and skills and help you better understand if this field would be a good fit for you.

3) Visit the field’s professional organization websites to learn more about student affairs. There are regional, national, and international professional organizations related to student affairs that help set standards for the field, offer training and development, and provide a forum to discuss important issues within the profession. Two of the largest of these organization are the American College Personnel Association- College Student Educators International (ACPA) and the National Association for Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

4) Research graduate preparation programs in the field to see what degrees are offered and the courses they require.

If you are still reading this then perhaps we will be colleagues one day! I wish you luck and fulfillment in whatever career path you choose!

Students Getting Active Days Before Debate

This past Wednesday signalled the beginning of Presidential Debate season, and Hofstra students are warming their pipes in preparation for when Hofstra gets a chance to host its own Presidential Debate, this year's second, on October 16.

SGA Members start us off with the first of what will be 10 performances of our National Anthem.

Each weekday leading up to and including the debate, students from various on-campus clubs will sing the Star-Spangled Banner during Common Hour in the Student Center Atrium. SGA got the festivities going with a rousing rendition of our National Anthem on Wednesday, 10/3. The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship continued in grand style yesterday, 10/4, and today we were treated to a lovely performance from the Hofstra Gospel Ensemble.

The Intervarsity Christian Fellowship shows its pride 12 days before the debate.
The Hofstra Gospel Ensemble treats the Student Center to their rendition of the Star-Spangled Banner earlier today.

Make sure to keep a look out every day, Monday through Friday, in the Student Center Atrium around 11:10 a.m. leading up to the big night on October 16. Catch your peers showing their pride in our great nation as we near this momentous occasion. Also, be sure to check your Pride email accounts and visit the Debate 2012 website in the coming days to get the latest information on debate events.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

LGBTQ Heritage Month Kick Off!

Yesterday kicked off Hofstra University’s 2012 LGBTQ Heritage Month with the Opening Reception. 

At the reception, participants were able to learn about famous LGBTQ role models through various informational posters presented throughout the room. The Pride Network provided interesting facts about LGBTQ pre-20th Century history. In addition, Queerocracy, a grassroots organization in NYC working to promote and realize social and economic justice through activism and education, presented information about issues some members of the LGBTQ community are thinking about this election season.

We, at Hofstra University, are proud to be an institution that advocates for our LGBTQ community and also hosts a strong Pride Network student organization. We strive to not only highlight LGBTQ events throughout our heritage month, but also throughout the year. However, it is important to recognize that this month is special in that we will be joining others across the nation to celebrate and advocate LGBTQ history, equality, and acceptance.

As members of the LGBTQ community traditionally cannot learn about their history at home or in  school, the nation-wide LGBT History Month was created to celebrate the key people who aid in the LGBTQ equality movement, to foster community between those who identify as LGBTQ or as allies, and to educate the public on LGBTQ civil rights issues, intercultural sensitivity, and acceptance. 

I encourage you to look at our LGBTQ Heritage Month calendar. Show your support of our LGBTQ community by participating in our events throughout the month.
Queerocracy Presentation 
Photo By: Nolan Meditz, Graduate Assistant, Division of Student Affairs, Communication/Parent and Family Programs