Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Trick-Or-Treat with Student Affairs!

Do you miss trick-or-treating?  Do you want to go this year?  If you answered ‘yes’ to both of those questions, you’re in luck!  The Division of Student Affairs will be holding a Trick-Or-Treat event this Halloween!  Starting tomorrow at 11a.m., the first 50 students to arrive at each of the offices listed below will receive a special treat.  While some offices give out candy, others will give out big kid treats like water bottles, T-shirts, white boards, or even splat balls. Every office will be different! So grab your friends and a bag for goodies and get going!

The Fitness Center
MISPO (242 Student Center)
HofstraCard (110 Student Center)
Career Center (M. Robert Lowe Hall)
Dean of Students (243 Student Center)
Residential Programs (244 Student Center)
Health and Wellness Center (Republic Hall)
Services for Students with Disabilities (040 Memorial Hall)
The Center for University Advisement (101 Memorial Hall)
The Center for University Advisement (107 Student Center)
Office of Student Leadership and Activities (260 Student Center)
Off Campus Living and Commuting Student Services (221 Student Center)
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs/ Parent and Family Programs (200 Phillips Hall)

Happy Halloween from the Division of Student Affairs and we hope to see you on Thursday!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

What To Expect From the Drag Show?

Drag show? University? Hofstra? What is this a gay club in NYC? Many students at Hofstra are asking themselves these questions. No, this is not an NYC gay club where the Drag Circuit is popular, this is Hofstra University where everyone is accepted just the way they are.

Since 2008, The Pride Network at Hofstra University has been responsible for bringing to campus some of the most talented drag queens the tri-state has to offer. In its initial stages, it started off very small with just student performers. Then came 2010 and I had the pleasure of meeting Christian Fuscarino, Founder of The Pride Network (2012 Alumnus of Hofstra University). He talked to me, mentored me, and, in a way, brought me out of my shell during my freshman year. He then told me that the organization puts on a Drag Show every year. It was then, that I knew I had to become part of this organization. I told Christian I would be able to pull off a drag show all on my own.

I had the right connections, being part of the Carrera family (just Google “ball culture” and you will know what I refer to by ‘family,’ or if you are into learning watch Paris is Burning). I immediately got in contact with my connections. I already knew Tiah Carrera, my gay aunt, would be the perfect host. She’s funny and shady, and she can get really up close and personal with the audience. Luckily, Carmen Carrera, another gay aunt of mine, was just finished filming RuPaul’s Drag Race, so I contacted her to be a part of it as well along with some other friends I knew who did drag and a few other Carreras. It was the Carrera show you might say!

Since the first show, it has become more successful. We have had the likes of Raja, Jessica Wild, and Pandora Box: all alumni of RuPaul’s Drag Race. In addition, we had well known drag queens and showgirls like Natalie Carrera, Chanel International, Tiffany Richards, Sasha Renee, Blonka Ivette, and Halo Carrera, just to name a few. The reason I take this on every year is because I have such great respect for drag queens, drag kings, female impersonators and showgirls. Although the show is, for the most part, entertaining, these drag queens also share their experiences as performers and female impersonators. What we call showgirls refers to transgender women (Male to female) also have had the chance to perform and share their experience starting off as a drag queen and transitioning into a woman. That was the case with Carmen Carrera who decided to reveal she was transitioning after filming ended for RuPaul’s Drag Race. It takes a lot to come out as homosexual, but it takes a lot more to come out as transgender, at least in my opinion. These performers are just like any other person with a 9-5 professional job, families, children, etc. They use drag as their art exhibition in a way, showing how creative and talented they can be on the stage. Drag, is after all an art form.  Just because it is a drag show, does not mean you can’t come if you like the opposite sex. It is entertaining, but above all, you might learn a thing or two about drag queens!

So everyone is probably wondering, what should I expect from this 6th Annual Drag Show this year? Here is a list of things to expect.
1. The ever so funny and shady Tiah Carrera  will once again be hosting the show. Be warned, she might call you out, even if you are heterosexual!

2. A VERY LONG LINE. Arrive early, even if you have purchased tickets. You want to get a good seat! Doors will open at 7:30 p.m. Get your ticket early and have your wristband ready. You will not have to wait in line. No wristband, no entry! Tickets will be more at the door! Spacing is limited!!

3. This year’s show will be dedicated to Lip-sync Legend Princess Janae Banks, a well-known Tri-State showgirl who lost her life to cancer this past year. Hence, there will be some tears coming from some drag queens. Prepare for an emotional ride.

4. Expect the drag queens to get up close and personal with the audience. If you have dollars, tip them! This is sort of their night job!

5. Imani, TranscenDANCE will be in the HOUSE, killing it with their moves! (disclaimer: no real killing will take place)

6. Sigma’cappella will put us all at ease with their joyful singing!

7. Hofstra Students with ID will pay $5 at the door (advanced tickets are $3). If you are a not a Hofstra Student, it will be $10 at the door.

8. Come in your best Halloween costume. Best costume will get a special prize!

9. Drum roll… Manila Luzon, from RuPaul’s Season 3 will be headlining! So if you are a FANILA make sure you come out.

Guest Blogger: Jose Rivera
Senior, Spanish and Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween House Decorating Contest with off-campus PRIDE!

This past Saturday the Office of Off-Campus Living & Commuting Student Services hosted its fifth annual Halloween House Decorating Contest in which student’s decorated their off-campus houses to show their spooky Halloween Hofstra Pride! The main goal of this event is to show the community that the students want to be involved in the neighborhood and to foster positive connections within their communities.

 The seven entered houses were judged based on creativity, originality, and overall curb appeal. The students did a magnificent job of letting their creative side loose by draping spider webs along the shrubbery and tying ghost streamers to their trees.  All of the houses donned pumpkins, and some even had haystacks on the stoop! 

Every house was decorated differently, allowing the unique personalities of the students who live there to shine through in this autumnal wonderland. The students excitedly held their participation plastic pumpkins filled to the brim with candy while the judges looked at the houses. Everyone was super excited to be there; the students stood outside of their houses on the windy October afternoon with chattering teeth, gigantic smiles and lots of candy!

The next community event the Office of Off-Campus Living & Commuting Student Services is hosting our annual Shake a Rake program, where students volunteer to help senior community members. The event takes place on Saturday, November 16th from 9 a.m. to noon. If you are interested in volunteering for the Shake a Rake program, email or call 5164633469 

Written by Cristina Pappadake-Gomez
Graduate Assistant, Office of Off-Campus Living & Commuting Student Services 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Domestic Violence Awareness

Did you know that an estimated 20-25% of all college aged women in the U.S. will experience a completed and/or attempted sexual assault during their college career?  Did you also know that about one in ten all college aged men in the U.S. has experienced rape, physical violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner?

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and the Office of Student Leadership and Activities has collaborated with Student Counseling Services, the Domestic Harmony Foundation, the Nassau Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and Hofstra student groups to bring attention to domestic violence issues and support domestic harmony.  

We kicked off the week with a discussion on Sunday night hosted by Ask Big Questions, a student group formed through Hillel that facilitates conversations between Hofstra students.  The discussion touched on shocking statistics regarding the number of victims of domestic violence, how the media portrays sexual assault, and what we can do as bystanders and college students in order to prevent this from happening. The students who attended the discussion left with a deeper understanding of these sensitive issues, and  resources for help.  

On Monday, the Student Center Atrium was filled with the tunes and lyrics of Robin Thicke's summertime hit, "Blurred Lines" in an effort to bring attention to the questionable message of the song and it's presumptuous lyrics.  The Office of Student Leadership and Activities and the Counseling Center worked with students to dissect and discuss the questionable message of the song and students were encouraged to share their feelings and reactions.

Monday evening was the opening ceremony to the Clothesline Project, located in the back of the student center dining room. The Clothesline Project is a series of shirts in various colors and sizes, hanging from a “clothesline”. The shirts are color coded to show the form of abuse and whether the victim survived the abuse they experienced. Hofstra Students, OSLA, The Counseling Center, She's The First, Collegiate Women of Color, Women of Action and Active Minds, and Student for Safe Sex decorated the t-shirts with positive statements of encouragement, testimonies and quotes to support domestic harmony.

DV Awareness Programming continued with tie dying pillow cases on Tuesday to support consent.  The pillow cases read "Keeping Sex Sexy: Talk Consent."


You probably saw people on campus wearing those blue t-shirts all day on Wednesday: "I Ask First, Often, and Always."  Staff from the Office of Student Leadership and Activities, the Dean of Students Office, the Health and Wellness Center, student leaders, and organizations sported these t-shirts all day as we took a campus-wide initiative to "ask first, often, and always."

On Thursday, members of the Nassau Coalition Against Domestic Violence hosted an atrium table to talk about the "Red Flags of Domestic Violence" with Hofstra students, providing handouts, give-aways, hotline numbers and resources for students. It is important for college aged students to have these resources available.

The Clothesline Project Closing Ceremony was Friday at noon in the back of the student center dining room, where groups gathered to listen to the Counseling Center and realize that our support for victims of Domestic Violence should not end at the end of awareness week, but we should always be aware of how to help someone in need.

The culmination of programs for Domestic Violence Awareness Week is the Walk To End Domestic Violence on Sunday, October 27th at Eisenhower Park Field 5.  Hosted by the Domestic Harmony Foundation, Hofstra students, staff, and faculty will fund raise and walk in support of the Domestic Harmony Foundation.
For information, regarding Hofstra University's Policy regarding Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault as well as the definition of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence, please click here. If you are a victim of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault or know someone who is, please contact Public Safety at 516-463-6789 as soon as possible. Hofstra University also offers counseling to students who have been victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault. Appointments can be set up at Student Counseling Services at 516-463-6791.  If you need a counselor immediately call 516-463-6789. To find out what you can do to help the local community as well as see various resources open to you, please visit the Nassau Coalition Of Domestic Violence website here.

Student Counseling Services & Alcohol Awareness Screening Day

Many of you stopped by our table in the Student Center yesterday to talk to us about alcohol use during college. Counselors from Student Counseling Services were available to provide students with brief screenings and offer educational information about this topic.  

Making healthy choices in college can sometimes be a challenge but many of you expressed interest in learning ways to improve upon your health and well-being. If you’d like further information about alcohol use and how to make healthier decisions, please contact Student Counseling Services or visit our website for more information. 

Thanks to all of you who made this effort a success!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

"Somos Latinos" ---- Latino / Hispanic Heritage Month Reception (by MISPO)

The Office of Multicultural and International Student Programs Office (MISPO) hosted the Latino/Hispanic Heritage Month reception.  Denisse Giron, a sophomore in History major, was the host of the program and she also shared her experience of growing up as a Latina.  She asked us the question: “What makes you who you are?”  She defines the Latino/Hispanic experience “as the travelers, moving to better their lives; the dancers, feeling the beat to a good Cumbia o merengue in their souls; the teachers, passing down their language to their children and grandchildren to remind them that family is not something they can run away from.” Her words were inspirational and powerful—and solidified the community of diverse backgrounds within the Latino/Hispanic community.

Osman Canales, our Keynote speaker, is originally from El Salvador.  Now, Osman is a student at SUNY Old Westbury College with Major in Politics Economic and Law.  He is the Founder of Long Island Immigrant Students Advocates ---- an immigrant youth group committed to advocate for higher education for immigrant students on Long Island and immigrant rights.  He is one of the 2012 honorees of the Central American Refugee Center (CARECEN).  He devoted his free time to learn about the DREAM Act and volunteer as an Immigrant Rights Activist.  In his speech, he gave us a lot of examples of struggles of those who are undocumented and how they are trying to fight for their rights. He was especially passionate for undocumented students who grow up and pursue their life and dream in the States.  Osman quoted Martin Luther King Jr. “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and he asked us to join him to get involved in our community for immigration rights.  Osman’s motivational speech was not only to give the audience the reality that how the lives of those who are undocumented are under current immigration law, but also ask us to think deeply how we can fight to ensure all people can pursue their dreams without any limitation in this immigrant country.

At the end, members of HOLA (Hofstra’s Organization of Latin Americans) performed a beautiful Bachata dance to the song called Propuesta Indecente.

Throughout this reception, the Latino/Hispanic community was celebrated while also giving the opportunity to learn and understand more about Latino/Hispanic community.  

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Fright Night 2013

The Office of University Relations and the Hofstra Cultural Center will host “Fright Night” – an outdoor Halloween festival and movie screening, on Tuesday, October 29, 2013. The event kicks off at 8pm on the Adams Quad, south campus, and will be full of Halloween fun!

 From 8-9 pm, there will be a costume contest. The first place winner for the Fright Night costume will take home an iPad Mini. All those who attend before 9 pm will also enjoy free harvest treats and activities including; pumpkin decorating, jack-o-lantern carving, candy and caramel apples, Halloween cupcakes and much more. 

This year Fright Night will feature a screening of “Scream” (Rated R for violence and language) beginning at 9 p.m. Popcorn, apple cider and hot chocolate will be provided during the screening. To enjoy the outdoor movie atmosphere we are asking student and community members to bring blankets, sleeping bags, and camping chairs. For more information call the Office of University Relations at 516-463-7146.

Trailer for Scream:

Little Girl, Big Aspirations

I came to Hofstra with one goal in mind: to become a broadcast journalist. If you asked me four years ago what I thought I would be doing in college, I would have just named some journalism clubs on campus and maybe a few groups in the theater area. I never could have imagined where my life would be…
       I am now a senior in college, pursuing a double major in broadcast journalism and political science.
Cheer Practice, Fall '13
I am a three time national champion for cheerleading-ready to give it my fourth and final run. I also practice three times a week extra on my own with my partner so that we can qualify and compete in UCA partner stunts in January. I work at an on-campus job 9 hours a week at OSLA , where I get to interact with not only amazing faculty but hundreds of students. And biggest of all I am interning for CBS This Morning twice a week in New York City. I manage to fit all of these things into my week, while taking four classes, holding a 3.8 GPA, and maintaining a social life.
            If you look at my weekly schedule right now it would look something like this….
Monday/Wednesday: Class from 9am until 6pm with an hour of work each day, plus cheerleading practice until 10pm.
Tuesday/Thursday: Intern in the city 4am-12pm (yes, that means a 2:30am wake up time), then work 1:45-5pm
Friday: Classes 9am until 2, Cheerleading 2 until 4:30
Sunday: Cheerleading 10am until 1:30, with a partner practice from 6:30-8pm

        I am now a little over a month into juggling all of these things, and besides the slight eye twitch from stress I am surviving; not just surviving but excelling. So how do I do it? Right now, I can attribute my survival mostly on time management. If you want to succeed in everything, you must be able to give 100% at each destination. To do this, I had to devise a plan. Philosophy homework is done on Monday/Wednesday during my breaks between classes. History homework is done on the train ride back from my internship, and at any down time during work. Political Science homework is done on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. And luckily, for my Journalism 75 class all production is completed during class time.
My CBS intern desk
It is easy to excel in my internship and cheerleading IF I have my school work done; that is always my number one priority. Once homework is completed, there is nothing to stress about. It allows me to be able to enjoy being at my internship and cheerleading because I then have nothing else on my mind but the task at hand.
       But, it’s a lot more than just making a plan to get my school work done. It’s about discipline. Interning in the city puts a major strain on my week. Every Tuesday and Thursday I run on just three hours of sleep. It’s extremely difficult, and after a long day it’s hard to sit down and do homework. But I have to remind myself that it is the price I must pay if I want to make my dreams come true.  Once you discipline your mind into understanding the end result of all the chaos- for me it is experience in one of the top three leading news market places in the world- it becomes easy to stay focused. Reminding myself of the worth of the experience sets me on track.
Fall Festival 2013
        The next best advice to offer is I try to take every moment of down time I have and be productive. Now, I am not saying being productive is getting work done. When in such a situation as this, it is important that if I need some sleep that I get it. Without a power nap I won’t be productive because my body will not be getting the necessary rest it needs to function. Whether it be to take a forty five minute nap after work so that I can get up and do some homework, of if I have some time before practice to do some homework, I never let time go to waste-meaning doing nothing that will ultimately benefit my  production. Every minute wasted adds more minutes of stress on at the end of the night.
        And finally, I have found some little tricks that work for me to stay on top of my work. First, I always rely on my syllabuses. All of my teachers provide a list of homework and when it is due. I try to stay a week ahead of schedule at all times for all my classes, that way if something unforeseen comes up and I am unable to do any work one day I will still be prepared for the class at hand.
         Second, I great way to boost my energy is to try and go to the gym. Yes, it is very hard to get myself to the gym on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have been up since 2:30am, but working out generally gives me a boost of energy to do some homework after. Or, better yet I will bring any reading I have and do it while walking on the treadmill.
CBS This Morning, control room
        Are you asking – does she really have a social life? The answer is YES, I do. One, I consider cheerleading socializing because I spend hours with all of my best friends. But, in addition to that I do take Friday afternoon and evening to go out, relax, or do whatever the rest of my friends are doing that night. I build this time into my schedule each week as a way not only to relieve stress but to stay connected to my friends.
        Juggling a job, internship, classes, and a social life is do-able, but the most important thing is that you must really want it. The drive must come for within or you will be miserable trying to do all these things. Make sure it is something you really want to do, and from there it becomes easy because in the end the experience will be worth it.

Guest Student Writer: Mariel Carbone ‘14

Friday, October 18, 2013

Studying Abroad Made Me Better

How often do you say, “I’m going to ______” and then never do it?  The truth is, I think that for most of us the answer is: too often.  And for students in particular, everything from “I’m going to do my homework early this week” to “I’m going to study abroad” often gets overlooked and procrastinated, and I think it’s time for that to stop.  When it comes to the big I’m-going-to’s, like studying abroad, we have to be proactive. 

In junior high, I went to the UK for a month with a student ambassador program, and upon my return I made myself promise that I would go back abroad someway, somehow.  I put it off for about seven years, and last semester I finally made it happen.  I spent a semester abroad in Seville, Spain and it was the most positive, life-changing experience I have ever had (so far at least).  I came back a better person, and I know this because I feel it.  I feel like a better person.

How did I become better?  Was it the travel or the different education system?  Was it the fact that I visited over 20 cities and 9 countries?  Did I become better through experiencing what it’s like to camp under the stars in the Sahara Desert in Morocco after a two-hour camel ride?  Or did it happen after cliff diving in Portugal?

Maybe I’m better because I got to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland or because I watched the most breathtaking sunset on the westernmost point of Europe.  Perhaps living with an incredible and welcoming Spanish family, or trying some new foreign foods and practicing the sacred art of Spanish siesta (that’s naptime for those of you who don’t know) have made me better.  

I’ve been reflecting on this question of how I became better for the last four months, and to be quite honest I think that it was all of those experiences that have helped me to grow in so many ways.  The personal, social, academic, and professional growth that I went through in the six months that I was abroad is permanent.  I learned from the histories of the places I visited, the stories of the people I met, and best of all I learned from myself. 

Sometimes I can’t even think of what to write about my experience abroad because the only words that make it onto the page end up being the most cliché phrases that everyone has heard a million times before.

The idea of going abroad is appealing to most people…and yet most people don’t go abroad.  Less than 1% of American students study abroad.  That number concerns me, and I want students to know that wishes to study abroad only turn into regrets if you let them.  The best way to keep my experience alive is to encourage others to pursue an international education and study abroad.  So here’s what I have to say to someone who assumes that the option of studying abroad is not possible for everyone: It IS an option, no matter what your academic or financial situation is.  Believe it or not, my semester abroad was less expensive than any of my previous semesters at Hofstra.  When I returned from Spain, my mom told me to go back abroad for another semester.  That alone should be enough encouragement for any student.

I went abroad because I don’t want to have the best years of my life behind me and say I didn’t do everything I wanted when I had the chance.  I want to share this opportunity with you, whoever you are.  Use the resources you have as an educated student and soon you will discover that studying abroad is affordable, life changing, and necessary.

Guest Student Writer:
Christine O’Dea, Class of 2014