Monday, November 30, 2009

Follow Up on Game Night

I hope that everyone had a great few-days-off last week - I took most of the week off, hence the silence on this blog. But, no worries, we're back in action!
Speaking of action, what a great time we had at the RAPP & RAPPORT Game Party last week! Many thanks to all who came out. We had a rousing games of Uno, Catchphrase, and Apples to Apples while dining on an interesting variety of snacks (thanks to Vicki for donating much of them!)

Coming up next in the RAPP social calendar will be an exam week potluck. Keep an eye on email and Facebook for details!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Game Night - TONIGHT!

Tonight is our RAPP/RAPPORT Game "Night"! I hope to see lots of RAPPers and Friends of RAPP there! We'll have lots of board games, a few decks of cards, and lots of friendly folks out.
The event is more a "Game Early Evening" than a game night - 4PM-7PM.
We'll be playing games in the 6th Floor Student Group Space in Steger Student Life Center (this is not the open space near the RAPP Office - rather, it's down the hallway where there are lots of desks).
Light snacks (think popcorn, Oreos, and crackers) will be served.
Stop by for 20 minutes or stop by for several hours!

(Apples to Apples - one of the many games available tonight, pic taken off a random website found through Google image search)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Transgender Day of Remembrance

Emma (RAPP XXIII member nad XXV Peer Leader) gave our RAPP groups the heads up on an important event today. Today is International Transgender Day of Remembrance and a student group Emma is active in - GenderBloc - has brought recognition of this day to our campus.
GenderBloc filled McMicken Commons with flags honoring those lost in hate crimes against their transgender identity and informative signs and chalkings.
These included:
  • 250 hate crimes are perpetrated against trans people each year
  • Between 2004 and 2009 there were 205 deaths in hate crimes against trans people.
  • Hate crimes often go unreported.
  • The important reminder that each person they are honoring today was part of someone's life.


The RAPPers Back at WorldQuest Trivia

For several years now, Diversity Education and RAPP have had a team compete at WorldQuest Trivia. This event is one of many in International Education Week.
Last night our team tied for 5th place after six rounds of grueling and wide-ranging international trivia - from world leaders to current events to plants and animals to pop stars. Go RAPPers!
It was also great to see many other RAPPers competing and volunteering at the event. Again, go RAPPers!
Some of our team is pictured below.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Words from President Williams

UC's new president Dr. Williams spoke to an all-faculty meeting yesterday. He covered many points about UC's excellence and his discoveries so far during his tenure. An overview from UC News can be found here and the full text of his statements can be found here.

I kept my ears perked for thoughts on diversity and social justice. Here was the highlight from his speech on that:

"While I have outlined a number of questions, there are several themes or issues that I suggest should factor into our thinking going forward...

Enhancing our diversity efforts. Excellence and diversity go hand in hand. We can be proud that UC remains one of the nation’s most diverse campuses, according to U.S. News and World Report; yet there are challenges that remain, and we must find creative ways to maintain and grow our diversity.

Expanding our international opportunities. A part of our diversity is our multicultural student body and our commitment to making sure that our students understand the world. We must find new ways to open the world’s doors to our students by building international experiences into more courses and giving many more of our students the chance to travel overseas.

Continuing to break down the silos that separate us from ourselves. If we want achieve the recognition we desire, we must truly unite to become greater than the sum of our parts."

My impression of the last part was that it was meant largely the gaps between colleges, departments, and offices - but I think it fits well in terms of the individual level, too.

(photo copied from UC News post linked at top)


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

STAR Power in Action

Last night we played STAR Power with students in Stratford Heights. The program was sponsored by Lisa, RAPP XXIV member and Gen-1 House RA, and the Minority Residents Committee of the Stratford Heights hall government.
Jen, the Diversity Education GA, and several RAPPers came and/or helped out with the game: Latoya (XXIV), Coya (XXIV), Courtney E (XXV).
Many thanks to Lisa for organizing this program, the Committee for sponsoring it, and everyone who made it a fun and meaninful time.
Last night's "Squares"
The evening's "Circles"

Some happy "Triangles"


Monday, November 16, 2009

More "RAPP Food"

This year's retreat made me reflect on one of our previous facilitators and debate whether to start another "RAPP Food" myth.

Steve Succop was a facilitator with RAPP XXII, XXIII, and XXIV. He was a last-minute replacement facilitater his first year and our office really won out with that decision. Steve became known for his great listening skills, his keen ability to connect students and their ideas, and his powerful words. Along with being an excellent facilitator, Steve played an integral role in the creation of the current RAPP curriculum.

Steve also likes gold fish crackers, so we bought a packet (or big pourable container) for each retreat.
(my favorite picture of Steve - taken during RAPP XXII with that year's "RAPP baby")

We're missing Steve this year (he's gone on to bigger and bolder things), but we brought him "in spirit" to the fall retreats. I say we start another "RAPP food" tradition in honor of Steve!

(RAPP XXV facilitators and Peer Leaders with "the new RAPP food")


Friday, November 13, 2009

Do You Have STAR Power?

Most RAPPers since the late teens have all had the fun-amazing-frustrating-enlightening-fun experience of playing STAR Power. I keep this game a staple of Fall Retreat because it gives lots of opportunity for interaction and getting-to-know-ya as well as gives us a great place to start in our discussions around privilege, oppression, social construction of identities, and power structures.

Of late, I've gotten an increase in interest in the game. RAPPORT will be leading several workshops where the group plays STAR Power in the next month.

Our first is open for visitors and helpers! Missed the opportunity to play at your retreat? Want to participate "behind the scenes" this time around? Join us this coming Monday, November 23rd, at 9:30PM. Lisa (RAPP XXIV) is offering a night of STAR Power (and yummy food) to the Gen-1 House in Stratford Heights and other guests (this is you).

RAPP XXV playing STAR Power.
RAPP XVIII playing STAR Power.

RAPP XXIII playing STAR Power.


XXV @ Grailville

The lull in posting has been due to the retreats and my demands for recouperating afterward. We're back in full swing in the RAPP Office again, though. Here are a few pictures from the RAPP XXV groups' retreats at Grailville - all from our "home" in Hodie.
A happy bunch of "Squares" during the Wednesday group's STAR Power game.
A mixed-feelings group of "Triangles" during that same game.

Some of the Tuesday group waiting for the arrival of the Wednesday group.

Tuesday group deep in discussion - with Bridnee dropping some knowledge.

Tuesday group members enjoying the beautiful weather while doing a small group activity.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Heading Home, Pt. II

More pictures of RAPPers on retreat at Grailville. :)

RAPP XII in Hodie.A RAPP group (XIII , perhaps?) upstairs in Hodie.

XVIII relaxing in the basement of Hodie.

RAPP XXII waiting for the bus home on Spring Retreat.

RAPP XXIII waiting on the bus at Winter Retreat.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Heading Home

We're in final prep for Fall Retreat! Our first bus to Grailville leaves tomorrow by 5:00PM.

One of the great excitements for me in my photo explorations last year was seeing RAPP's history at Grailville. I think that it makes sense for us as a retreat center given our shared commitment to social justice. It keeps making sense to go back, also, as a tradition.

The first RAPP retreat - RAPP I.

RAPP IV in (I think) the barn building.

RAPP V in the basement of Hodie.

RAPP XIV getting settled into Hodie.

RAPP XVI doing an activity in the basement of Hodie.

There have definitely been many a RAPP retreat at other locations - Camp Joy, the Newman Center, the AACRC - but to me Grailville will always feel like RAPP's home away from home.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

An Old Staff Quote

In the RAPP Scrapbooks we recently unearthed are many wise quotes from my many wise predecessors. Needing a moment of inspiration to go ahead and respite from the hecticness that is retreat prep, I looked back through the RAPP XII one.

Here's a quote from Maria P.P. Root included in the scrapbook by Azizi C. As we're prepping for exploring the social construction of race and as we briefly touched on the issues in "marking boxes" when one's identity is multiracial, this one stuck out to me as quite relevant to our current work. Spoiler alert to current RAPPers, but I also think it complements well this video we'll likely be watching at the retreat

Not to justify my existence in this world.
Not to keep the races separate within me.
Not to be responsible for people's discomfort with my physical ambiguity.
Not to justify my ethnic legitimacy.
To identify myself differently than strangers expect me to identify.
To identify myself differently from how my parents identify me.
To identify myself differently from my brothers and sisters.
To identify myself differently in different situations.
To create a vocabulary to communicate about being multiracial.
To change my identity over my lifetime - and more than once.
To have loyalties and identification with more than one group of people.
To freely choose whom I befriend and love.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Diversity Career Fair & Graduate School Expo '09

Our friends over at the Career Development Center are known for bringing great career fairs and graduate school expos to our campus. At these events, they connect studens with potential employers and educational programs. How awesome - you can get a job or find your next academic step without having to leave campus!

Tomorrow is the Diversity Career Fair and Graduate School Expo. Over six dozen employers and schools will be in the 4th floor of TUC from noon to 4PM. Check out the CDC website for more details.

Photo & the blurb below taken from the CDC website:

The Diversity Career Fair (formerly Ethnic Student Career Fair) & Graduate School Expo is an on-campus career fair offering diverse UC students the opportunity to talk with a variety of employers about their organizations and possible career opportunities. Representatives from graduate schools will also be on hand to talk with students about the programs they offer. The Diversity Career Fair supports employers seeking to recruit for diversity in their work force.

Who attends: This fair is open to ALL UC STUDENTS from all colleges and majors, both undergraduate and graduate students and alumni seeking full-time, part-time or internship opportunities. Underclassmen are encouraged to attend to expand their career awareness and to locate internship opportunities. Students are encouraged to bring a resume. Professional dress is also recommended, however, students attend our career fairs in between class and work schedules.

Time: 12 noon - 4:00 pm
Location: Great Hall, Tangeman University Center