Monday, August 31, 2009
At UC, our First Year Experience works diligently to help new students suceed. They provide many opportunities to first year students and connect them with upperclass students.
I'm excited to say that I've been selected as a presenter at the Summit. I'll be presenting the session "Self Awareness and Social Justice." After a few minutes on what RAPP is and does, we'll spend the session exploring the impact of RAPP and RAPP-like programs on students and how this might affect their development of self identity and feelings of connection to the campus at large.
I'm asking students who completed RAPP in their first-year give me some food for thought via a SurveyMonkey survey. If you have any other food for thought you'd like to share, please don't hesistate to contact me!
(pic - summit logo, taken from their website)
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I'm excited to introduce our new RAPP Facilitator to the group!
Tara Bonistall will be facilitating the RAPP XXV Wednesday group. She comes from the University of Kentucky with degrees in Social Work and Psychology. She currently works in public affairs and volunteer coordination and has a background in education and community advocacy.
She blew us away in her interview with her deep understanding of RAPP values and principles and ability to connect them to a facilitator's work. She also demonstrated great understanding of social justice theories and issues and had an ability to discuss them in very down-to-earth ways. She also demonstrated an infectious passion for the program and understanding of how the process works and the facilitator's role in making it work.
Join us in welcoming our Tara to our facilitation team!
Returning to our team is Sarvani Prasad, who has a great past with RAPP and has done much for the program. She was a GA with Diversity Education at the end of the 2007-2008 school year, where she was pivotal to us receiving support from the Diversity Council. She then became the RAPP GA, where she facilitated the RAPP XXIV Sunday group and played a major role in the development of the current RAPP curriculum. She did all this while completing a JD and an MA in Women's Studies.
I'm greatly looking forward to the amazing RAPP year ahead with this great team!
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today's the day! I dropped them in the mail this morning. If you were a RAPP XXIV member, keep your eye on your mailbox!
(pic - The mail pile. Will my desk feel lonely now?)
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Bernstein describes That's Revolting! as "a queer intervention in the culture wars." It's includes essays, articles, and musings of three dozen leading writers and activists, as Bernstein calls them "gay liberation rabble-rousers, counterculture demons, fringe artistes, renegade academics, the dispossessed, the obsessed and various other enemy combatants."
Working in a program in a way that I'm in many ways institutionalizing a radical concept, I think this book will provide much food for thought. Particularly, it will challenge us to think in new ways about how we approach enacting the collective action part of our mission in fighting oppression.
The work also seems to provide much fodder for discussion on identity politics around sexuality, gender, and gender expression. It challenges folks to explore community priorities - what message do we send when attainment of a heteronormative processes steeped in sexist structures is considered key? What values do we have within our actions and how do we show them?
This promises to be an interesting - and digestible, with dozens of essays in three main sections - read. Stop by if you'd like to check it out!
(pic - copied from Bernstein's website)
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
With recruitment pulling into full swing as summer fades away, I want to reflect a bit on how we can use the web to connect with potential RAPP members. Mainly, I'm thinking about how we harness the web as a word-of-mouth tool.
*Messaging listservs. RAPP runs its own listservs for current groups and active RAPPORT members. Most people I know are on several and I belong to at least a half-dozen of UC listservs alone - through which I keep up-to-date on activities and issues around campus. Just as we learn about other things through these groups, others can learn about us through theirs. I'll be sending messages about RAPP to a dozen listservs this fall - send some to yours!
*Promote our videos - or make your own! You can see the RAPP videos made so far at our YouTube channel. Feel free to post them to your own blogs, Facebook profiles, and whatever else. Want to share about your RAPP experience? Make a video and pass it on to us - we'll help promote it!
*Fan us on Facebook; Share our blog. I'm trying to keep these fresh by updating 4-5 times each week about what's going on in the RAPP world. Check us out and encourage others to do the same. Participate in discussions on the RAPP fan page. Keep your eye on our calendar and spread the word about our events.
*Check out our website. The RAPP website through UC gets updated far less frequently than the blog and fan page, so it's a repository for much more static information. It goes over the basics of how to get involved and has a very cursory (but growing) overview of our history. It's a great place to send people who are interested in learning more about RAPP or want to learn how to apply.
(pic - Always high-tech: Kerry W working away at his computer in 1995)
Friday, August 14, 2009
Info tables have slowed down for the moment - new student orientation is over for the summer and our campus is somewhat empty until Welcome Week. We'll hit over a dozen welcome events with information tables and applications.
In the meantime, word-of-mouth will continue to be our big focus. We're offering some reward for folks who help with this (see previous post).
There are things we can do to help the conversation happen, rather than just waiting for openings to happen. Here are a few ways to help spark conversation where you can spread the word about RAPP (we'll look at electronic word-of-mouth later):
- Wear your RAPP t-shirt. The acronym and logo alone have started conversations for me. I can't begin to count how many times the quotes have sparked discussions.
- Get and wear a RAPP button. Learn more about that HERE.
- Get a RAPP flyer/postcard/poster and put it up. Hang it in your office, bedroom, home - wherever you hang out with people and talk about life.
- Don't wait for it to come up. If you know students who like challenges, who like talking, who like learning about new things, who are looking to make friends, who are looking for new activities, who want to become leaders and/or activists - in other words, folks who might like RAPP - get in touch with them and tell them about RAPP and why you thought of them.
- Share your success stories. If you've found a way of bringing up RAPP or getting people excited about it, let us know! Post it in the comments here, on our Facebook page, or email me and I'll spread the word.
A big thank you to everyone who's already working hard helping us get the next great group in!
(pic - from RAPP XXIV spring retreat, taken by Mia)
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Last Thursday, Un and I spent the day with student leaders at Thomas More College in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. We worked with students from residence life, the Student Activities Board, hall government, student government, and the National Residence Hall Honorary. They were a great group and we enjoyed exploring with them ideas of leadership, communication styles, and the importance of a diverse team.
Today I'll be back in my old stomping grounds of UC's Resident Education and Development. I'll be working with their residence coordinators and graduate students on hall government issues. This team is one I greatly appreciate being connected with because of their diligence in demonstrating their core values, including multiculturalism and communication.
RAPP and Diversity Education have been working the past year developing peer education programs with RAPPORT. We're available to facilitate workshops with student groups, offices, community groups, and more. To schedule a workshop, simply contact me.
(pic - taken from the Thomas More homepage)
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Resource Spotlight: My Gender Workbook and Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity
My Gender Workbook by Kate Bornstein is an interactive book (seriously, it's a workbook) that serves as a guide not only for developing great awareness of the construct of gender in our society but also as a guide for living with or without a gender. The activities can help you gain personal insight - and are fun!
Monday, August 10, 2009
Friday, August 7, 2009
I was digging through them today as part of a project I was working on. There are so many great comments on the RAPP experience, the frustrations we faced in the group, the challenges we overcame together, and what we left with. Buried among it was this nugget that I'm still smiling at:
RAPP gives the opportunity to really slap the status quo in the face by being an ally to the oppressed.
I really liked that image for some reason! The writer then went on to express that this was a capability that they'd never known they had, that they thought their "help wasn't wanted because of [their] privilege."
Considering that one of the take-aways we try to convey through RAPP is that we all experience oppression while also perpetuating it, I'm excited to know that someone was empowered to recognize their strength in fighting oppression specifically through the ways they are privileged.
(pic - the memory books of RAPP XXIV)
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Something old is new again in our usual summer push for recruitment: We've brought back the above poster design. Digging through some older papers, I found a poster the the above design. I really like what it conveys, so we've re-adopted it.
I know nothing much about origin of the head-with-globe-inside logo, the "challenging the mythical norm" tagline, or the "Take the Challenge - Change Your World" slogan. We use the former two in our work and are reviving the last.
Where did they come from? Who designed them? What meaning did they intend to convey? Answers to these would be useful.
The logo has been used on RAPP t-shirts since RAPP XXI. We tout "Challenging the Mythical Norm" as one of our key mottos in advertising adn informational texts.
Now, with the contact and deadline information updated, we've spread this old-but-new image around campus on flyers and campus TVs.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
We've renewed several of our magazine subscriptions and are ordering a few more. These are available any time for reading in the office or for loan. If you stop by the RAPP/Diversity Education Office (669 Steger Student Life Center, UC Main Campus) and the lights are off, be sure to stop by our suite next door (671 Steger).
Some of the magazines to stop by for:
The Queer Canon
The New Yorker
Winds of Change
In an effort to utilize campus resources, I'm also working on compiling a list of resources available at other campus offices. More on that later, too!
(Pic - Mei of RAPP XXIII checking out resource books at the Worldfest Green Lounge)
Monday, August 3, 2009
Now in my third year of interviews, I still enjoy them! It's interesting to learn about the candidates and find out what questions and concerns they have about RAPP. We've spent the last two summers updating our interview process. We've got new applications, new questions, and better prepared interviewers.
This summer we're offering interviews before the quarter begins. Last week, we held our first three interviews for RAPP XXV! Even with school (mostly) out for the summer, we have several RAPPORT students who are volunteering their time to help with interviews.
(pic - Christie (right) was a superstar with RAPP XXIV interviews, Nicole (center) has already jumped in and been a huge help with the RAPP XXV interviews already)