New Member Project BEnjamin lantinberg

Diversity Partners

My diversity partner is Marissa Schauder. With both of us being Jewish, it was not that hard for us to find an event that was different for both us. Luckily, Ash Wednesday was just around the corner and neither of us had ever attended, so we settled on going there. I had been to a couple church services before, but never one for a specific holiday. This event gave Marissa and I an opportunity to see how Ash Wednesday is really celebrated and the values that are focused on.

The event was held at noon in Plaza of the Americas. It was casual, outdoors, and the weather was comfortable that day. It made the service even more enjoyable, and so many students attended. It was fun to see different friends from all around campus come and join together for a service. Hearing the words of the pastors echoed by the students emphasized a sense of unity and acceptance in a community that I had never immersed myself in before.

At the end of the ceremony, ashes are rubbed in a cross on everyone’s forehead who would like them. I learned they represent the life cycle, as you go from ashes to ashes. The ashes themselves are just burnt palm fronds, and the tradition is optional yet done almost everywhere. The ashes are left on from the minute you apply them until you choose to shower, so the presence of Go and values are carried with you all day.

I think the event really opened my eyes to learning about other religions. I am strong in my faith, but curious about other religions and getting to learn about diverse cultures. Getting to attend ash Wednesday with someone of the same background who was unfamiliar was a cool experience to me.

Marissa and I had a great time at Ash Wednesday. Though her and I are very similar in actuality, we were able to find differences in our backgrounds and bond over our diversity event. We got to see our friends and meet new people that gave us a fresh take on our event. Both Marissa and I are Jewish, so finding the differing event was not hard, and we had a great time getting to hang and know each other better.

Interview with Marissa-

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your social identity? Not really for the most part. I was lucky that no one ever really bullied me for it, but I used to hear the occasional Jew joke that people would make or Holocaust jokes, but it was never something that ever bothered me or got bad.

If so, what happened? How did you feel? It wasn’t fun, obviously, but I never let it get to me. I would try and brush it off and make sure people knew that it didn’t bother me, but as I got older I would get mad when people joked about the Holocaust.

Interview with Megan- a member of Cru and girl at Ash Wednesday

What identities do you think about most often? Why? I think a lot about my faith and how He can guide me in my daily life. My momma always raised me to be aware of how God can get us through struggles and celebrate good times with us.

What identities do you think about least often? Why? I do my best to not think about my weaknesses or disabilities. I try and focus on what I am best at and how I can grow rather than think about things I cannot do.

How does identifying with the Christian community impact your life? They give me a backbone in my daily life. I love having emotional and spiritual support from those I know that share a lot of the same values as me and want to grow with me.

Have you ever experienced discrimination based on your social identities? Which one? People have sometimes called me “Jesus Freak” for being so spiritual or connected to Him. It’s hard to love a God so much but have others tear you down for loving your religion.

What happened? How did this make you feel? Obviously it hurt. I felt like I needed to change my ways to be more accepted but I did some deep thinking and realized that I don’t need to hide my true feelings when I can just accept what I love and ignore the hate of others.

SAA

• $20 per year, $70 for all 4 (annual plus plan)

• Yearly- BEAT Tees before every game, access to your local Gator Club, tax deductions from dues, Cicerone application eligibailty

• Life- All annual benefits + 50% off UAA membership, Gator Run VIP tent access, fastpass for TK and BEAT Tee events

UFAA

• Common- $40 annually, $800 lifetime; Recent grads- $25 annual, $600 life; 65 or older- $400 lifetime

• Regular: Gator Nation Club Tailgates, Mark Bostick Golf Course access, UFAA mentorship program

• UFAA Lifetime: Plus 1 at Gator Nation Club Tailgates, first refusal for Gator Football Tickets, Fast pass for member events

Mentor / Mentee @ Grill Fresh

Grill Fresh may seem like a weird place for a date, but It’s where Bri and I met. As my small group leader, she organized our group to meet there for dinner. BY the end of the meal, Bri and I had already become friends. We drove to the bonfire together and hung out all day at the retreat, so Grill Fresh is the place that really brought us together. Finding a mentor that’s just a sarcastic and fun as me is crucial, because I want someone in my life who understands my sense of humor. Bri is someone I know I can go to for advice or just hang out with when I’m bored. We get along really well and understand each other which is why I think we’re a great pair for mentor/ mentee. I’m lucky that grill fresh gave me not only a great mentor but a best friend.

VP Hangout - Forrest Hoffman

Melinda and I shared our date with Forrest at Tri Delt for lunch. It was Greek day so we had pita, hummus, tzatziki, and gyros. Delicious meal. Anyhow, it was great to sit down and catch up on Forrest’s time as a cicerone overall and being on exec. He said it was really rewarding being SAAVP, but it was a serious responsibility and he put in a lot of time and effort toward his position and collaborating with the other executive members. He told us to make sure that balance was taken into account when getting involved- Cicerones can take up as much or as little time as possible so we have to take it into account when planning out our commitments.

GatorWell -Reitz Union Level 1

Gator Well is a great resource on UF’s campus. During my visit, I learned a lot more about the organization than I even knew existed. They have their main office, but also have little satteltie offices in some dorms like Jennings Hall. They stress mental and physical health, especially sexual safety and staying healthy. They have little knick knacks too like band aids and chapsticks. Their resources on health include free condoms, packets on the dangers of smoking, ways to eat healthy and workout, and even private advisors to speak to.

CWC – Radio Rd, SW edge of campus

The CWC, also known as the Counseling and Wellness Center, offers advisors and advocates for mental health here on campus. They stress the importance of mental and psychological health, especially as a college student. Their services are completely free and completely anonymous with everything from meetings with doctors to a 24/7 hotline to help students through any sort of issue they may be having here at school. You can join group therapy sessions, individual, couples counseling, outreach, mental health screenings, and many other services put in place to protect the mental health of students.

General -- Alex Le told me to have fun with it all and balance your responsibilities. Take advantage of all the amazing people that you’ll get to meet. Kristen Withrow gave me advice along the same lines. She stressed the importance of appreciating your new friends but also keeping the old ones close to you and not forgetting them. Take on what you like, but only invest yourself in things you’re truly invested in. Don’t spread yourself thin for the sake of being out there.

SAAAlex Llodra talked about tabling with me. She mentioned that you can’t take it personally when people are rude to you. You have a job to do, and just to move on after trying to get people to listen.

UAASteph Kouvatsos talked about knowing when to move on and stop forcing conversations with players and students. It's just as important to disucss.

P-Host -- Sammi Biondi – Make sure to always be aware and engaged in a conversation. Knowing how to deflect on questions that are inappropriate or uncomfortable will stop you from getting into uncomfortable positions.

Tours -- Savannah Collins told me to always keep composure on a tour- never let the crowd make you feel like they’re too big for you to handle.

1. Earn a committee chair position within cicerones.

2. Sit on exec in some position, whether it be FVP, MVP, AVP, EVP, or eventually President.

3. Sit on the recruitment committee and help come up with the recruitment theme.

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