Michael – Hughes (Part 3)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Members of the Bear Marching Band (or BMB in campus-speak)

Hey Guys! What is striped and feared at the same time? The stripes…a.k.a. the football field at Estes stadium. We’ve got to get you up to speed before you get here and make yourself at home here at UCA. Fun facts about the STRIPES real fast; we have the largest mascot on a field, we have the only alternating color field, and it the only field that represents both school colors. So we do I bring this up? Well one, its really cool to march on.

Yes if you haven’t got that figured out I’m also in the Bears Marching Band. We march pre-game, halftime and fifth quarter every home game rain or shine. So the real reason I bring up the field your wondering? It’s because it is different.
Different here like almost everything else in life, it is not a bad thing. Being different is what makes life interesting. These differences are what create diversity in our lives.
Since I have been here at UCA I have never had to look far to find something different from where I grew up. Yes I grew up in the middle of no where, granted my graduating class was 200ish; but the first school that I went to I would have graduated in a class of 20ish. Needless to say different didn’t come up and bite you on the butt that often there and still not to much more at my Alma Mater.
Hughes life

Hughes life

So when I got to UCA I had a fun time at first getting to know the campus and exploring, getting  my room all set up, and other things. What I really started to notice was that I wasn’t always hearing english all the time when I was walking around campus.

What I found out was that UCA host students from all around the world. I have met and made friends from China, South America (various places), Italy, Various countries from Africa and even Bulgaria (for all you Harry Potter friends). Diversity is something that UCA is not short on. Whether it is created by people from all over the US or the world, or even guest speakers and artist. I have grown so much because of this experience and have gained a great amount of appreciation for other cultures by hanging out and making friends with the exchange students.
Diversity is not just present in the obvious either. At UCA I have been exposed to many different schools of thought through the general education requirements that we have. These classes have challenged me to think in new ways and even have challenged my moral values.
College in general is supposed to be about broadening yourself, while here at UCA you have the opportunity to do that any where you walk on this campus. Whether it is meeting with a group of new friends in your lobby, a new roommate/suite mates, faculty and even in the subject matter of your classes. Every where you look there is something different, something changing and being pushed forward.
Being different is a good thing whether the majority wants you to fit their mold or not. Be different! It is far better to live and die being an individual, than it is to live life as a copy. Be an AVID individual here at UCA.
Stay plugged in for my next post.

Carolynne – STARS (Part 3)

STARSHello my fellow readers,

To start off this blog, I would like to give a quote…

“Diversity is a very broad term, and its truth meaning is hard to define. However, we do experience diversity everyday which we may not be aware of such as gender, age, race, culture, and much more. Every individual has their own background and value. All these years, I have learned one valuable thing that would benefit me for a life time. I believe that in order for other individuals to accept our differences, we must first learn to accept theirs.” – Hien Phung

Honestly, Diversity is something that we face every day. Diversity is something that when we see the word we automatically think race and gender but that isnt the whole meaning of the word. Diversity is the multi-formity and variety. In the Residential Colleges we see diversity in so many different ways, from our backgrounds, to our everyday life choices, to our majors and even our race and gender.

Living in the Fine Arts dorm, people automatically assume that everyone is a fine arts major (particularly music and drama) all the way down to the lifestyles we live. There are so many stereotypes for the different dorms but when you look at the people that live in the residential colleges the stereotypes are not all that they are said to be.

In the STARS Residential College we have:

*music majors, theatre majors, art majors, English majors, psychology majors (I am one of those), and even Nursing majors

*whites, blacks, Hispanics, and Chinese students

*straight, gay, bisexual, ect.

Such Diversity may sound like it could be very segregated but honestly it isn’t. Here we look past all of the differences and it has made us one big family. Because in our differences, we find similarities among each other.

Chandler – STARS (Part 3)

I think the absolute best part about living at UCA and more specifically STARS has been the people. I basically say that in every post in a different way, but seriously. It’s great to have people who love what you love in classes and down the hall in the lobby.

A hangout we did at a local trailer park my freshman year.

A hangout we did at a local trailer park my freshman year.

But you know what’s better? Finding people you have absolutely nothing in common with. Or- at least not a whole lot in common… I’ve met a British girl who went to the same school as Emma Watson and took a year off before college to play semi-professional rugby. I’ve made friends with students from Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and China that have learned the majority of their English after we became friends.

There is diversity among students in everything from music taste, clothing style, type of humor, general speaking volume, and thickness of accent; to things like family income levels, general culture growing up, how sheltered they’ve been, life experiences in general, and so much more.

Even in class, professors will introduce you to new concepts and theories and ways of looking at life. You don’t have to agree with them or change your views, but commit to listen and to take it in. There is an infinite amount of information in the world that you haven’t learned yet or even been exposed to. Give it a shot. I think the best thing you can do is to come to UCA or the STARS or residence colleges in general with the mentality that you don’t know much and go from there. Its amazing what you can learn from people that they didn’t even mean to teach you.

Me and a friend during Coming Out Week.

Me and a friend during Coming Out Week.

I have restarted this sentence three times trying to figure out how to convey through words just how much you will learn and see from people that you haven’t experienced before. Honestly, it’s really easy to stay comfortable and within your own world if you don’t really want to experience anything new, but if you’re willing to step out- you’ll find…everything. I’ve seen everything from the Pride Parades to Decapitalization circuses and step shows. Come to UCA ready and willing to experience new things and meet new people.


Me trying to learn an African folk dane...and failing.

Me trying to learn an African folk dane…and failing.



Brandon – STEM (Part 3)


Me at Battle of the Hall 2011

The residential colleges are truly amazing places when it comes to the sheer number of diverse student voices living and learning together in their communities. Just about every student has their own unique thoughts and opinions about nearly every topic that could possible come up in a conversation, and this is a great thing to have in a community. I have a group of friends that demonstrate this very well. This group has lived in STEM with me for what feels like a lifetime, and I think what makes us all such good friends is how different from each other we really are.




Blaze is one of my oldest friends in STEM and probably the most similar member of my group to myself.  I first met Blaze while playing ping-pong in the STEM lobby my freshman year. We had a large group of guys that played ping-pong for hours every day in the lobby my first year. Blaze was one of the better ping-pong players, so I’d usually play about five or six games against him before I would finally decide to head back to my room. He was, and still is, pretty quiet when it comes to most social situations, so nearly every game we played was in silence. It wasn’t until I moved across the hall from him my second semester that we really had any type of real conversation that didn’t have something to do with ping-pong. But after that, we became pretty good friends, and would usually spend hours talking about all sorts of ridiculous things while hitting around on the ping-pong table. Blaze and I are both pretty easy-going, so we never really argued about a lot of things, but we would often bounce different ideas off each other and would talk about those ideas until something else came up in the conversation.


Ben is Blaze’s roommate, so when I moved across the hall from Blaze my second semester, I also moved across the hall from Ben. Ben is a naturally competitive and argumentative guy who comes from a Mexican background. He is also one of my best friends within STEM, and we probably spend the majority of every day during the school year hanging out with each other. Ben is a computer science major and is fairly good with math which means he is one of the few people around here that will actually have a mathematical conversation with me.  We argue a lot and make fun of each other constantly, but that’s just how we pass the time. Ben and I are kind of like brothers. We fight about a lot of different ideas, but at the end of the day, we are always hanging out with each other and having fun.


Tyrus is my current roommate, and he actually went to the same high school as me before we came to UCA. Tyrus and I never really talked much in high school, but we had a lot of classes together in STEM and in our majors, so we naturally became friends over the years. Mine and Tyrus’ relationship is a lot like my relationship with Ben. We argue just about everyday too, but our arguments are usually about something involving the ability of a linebacker to outrun me in a 100m sprint or some issue from the news. Tyrus is a biochemistry major, and we often talk about various things from his classes too.


Laney was the first girl in our group. Laney was in my Bio II lab group, and I can’t really remember how or why she started hanging out with Ben, Blaze, and I, but she did. At first, Laney kind of went with whatever the group was doing, but as she became more comfortable, her voice became one of the loudest in our group. Laney disagreed with a lot of the things we talked about and would join our arguments and poke fun at the rest of the group just like everyone else did.

Taylor and Anna:

Taylor and Anna are the newest members of our group and were both members of STEM last year then became Advocates for this year. Taylor and Anna are both very different additions to my group of friends. Taylor is very outspoken and will argue about most things. Anna is quieter and usually keeps most of her opinions to herself, but every now and again, we can get her to voice her opinion about something.

Just within my closest group of friends, there is an extremely diverse set of opinions, interests, and personalities that makes my community more enjoyable. The rest of the residential colleges are just like this. Everyone has different viewpoints and when all of those people are put together in the same environment, the product is something great.

Laney – STEM (Part 3)

For the most part, Residential Colleges are made to group together like-minded people. And that can be really nice, but it’s not like we’re just a bunch of clones. You will meet all kinds of different people when you live in a Residential College, just like if you were to live in a regular dorm.

During my freshman and sophomore years here there was an RA on the guys’ side that was from Burma. Prior to him telling me that, I didn’t know that Burma existed. And this guy was a really amusing and fun person. Everyone in the building knew and loved him. Because you couldn’t help not to. All three years that I have lived in STEM, there have been foreign exchange students from Rwanda. And these guys are some of the nicest people you’ll meet while here. And they grew up in a completely different environment than I did for sure. So, I’ve learned a lot about Rwanda and about how very different life can be. STEM even started a study abroad program that involves going to Rwanda and teaching cool hands-on science and math lessons. And in May they are going to back to also teach about canning food and making ovens.

In my experience, you don’t even necessarily have to leave your room to see the diversity that Residential Colleges have to offer. I’ve had more than my share of roommates over the years. Once I had a roommate who was from Kenya. She had the most beautiful accent. Another of my roommates’ mothers was from…I think Korea. And she grew up near a big city. So, having grown up in a pretty small city myself, that was pretty different all on its own.

It doesn’t matter where you’ve come from, what you’re interested in, or what personality type you are. Like I said in my first post, STEM is a family. And from what I’ve heard, that’s the same type of experience you’ll find in any of the Residential Colleges. And what does that mean? That means that you’ll fit in just fine. And you’re also sure to meet all kinds of interesting people while you’re here.

Kirsten – EDGE (Part 3)

I moved to UCA from a small town in Arkansas. My graduating class was a HUGE 74 people. My friend who lives only thirty minutes away in a “bigger” town frequently makes fun of my little town. She says, “I don’t stop when I drive through, because I fear I will end up in a situation like the movie Deliverance.” So, it is needless to say we didn’t have much diversity. I had a hard time working through the culture shock of moving to UCA. The population here is not all “white-back-woods-rednecks”.

To some this is going to sound ridiculous, but it is the sad truth. I had never seen a black person outside of the television before moving to UCA. I personally am very interested in people who are different than myself, but terrified of offending people by asking what may seem to be “stupid” or “racist” questions. So, after two semesters of taking classes with and becoming friends with a black girl was I finally able to say, “I don’t want you to take this the wrong way, but will you tell me about your hair? It always looks so perfect and I have always wanted to know how. I only hear bits of conversations and what I hear on T.V. and I am confused and intrigued.”

She laughed, “Girl, what do you want to know?”

I smiled, “Everything you want to tell me, I know nothing.”

Besides being a place to meet new cultures from here in America. There are people from all over the world, places I knew and places I have never heard of.  Have you heard of Guinea-Bissau?  I have now met two people from there.

One of my RAs (meaning Resident Assistant, not to be confused with “RA”s a noise Lady Ga-Ga uses as lyric fillers) is from Rwanda. His name is Robert. Living with Robert and others who come from such different cultures has been eye opening. He has told me some of his ideas and goals in life. He has an amazing passion to help people back home, a passion that is lost where I come from. Most of the people “back home” for me just want to leave town or be able to survive on minimum wage at the factory raising their children. Not often do they think about helping improve the town.


Living in EDGE has provided me with an even bigger insight than, I can assume (maybe I am true or maybe I am just very proud of my new home), any other Res’ College can offer. EDGE stands for Educating for Global Engagement. This means most of the classes offered in the dorm classroom are geared toward global awareness. What EDGE stands for also explains why there are several exchange students living in the dorm.

While there are many amazing facts to learn from exchange students, I am going to tell you one that is less important on a global stand point, but very interesting in my opinion. I was talking with one of the Chinese exchange students and she told me that she will not eat the cookies in the cafeteria. I asked her why, because I personally think the cookies in the caf’ are the best thing they serve. She then explained to me that where she is from cookies are all crunchy. The fact the caf’ cookies are soft and chewy made her believe they were expired.

To wrap it up, UCA has allowed me to become a cultured being. Not only is there a huge diversity on campus, but within my beautiful Res’ College home there is enough culture to learn more about the world than my high school geography class could have ever taught me.

Jackson – EPIC (Part 3)


When you initially hear the word diversity discussed regarding an institution or organization, what comes to mind?  Most people think of racial diversity, working together as one cohesive unit.  While this is found within all of UCA’s Residential Colleges, that is not all that diversity encompasses here.

We have a wide variety of Residential Colleges that fit multiple fields of interest.  This diversity allows for everyone who comes to UCA to find his or her perfect fit.  Diversity can be seen even within these individual programs, which is pretty remarkable if you think about it.  With EPIC, teams are created to tackle projects that nobody in particular is an expert on, so that everyone is able to contribute their points of view.  In the group for my most recent project, we had a Marketing major, Chemistry major, Music Education major, Physical Therapy major, and a Pre-Medical Biology major.  Because of this, we had methodological business minds, creative artistic minds, and analytical science minds all working as a unified group to complete our project.

Having projects with such diversity allows students in Residential Colleges to experience more than those who are not, both in projects than they can participate in, as well as the huge variety of friends they will inevitably make.  UCA’s Residential Colleges are an amazing way for people to meet and interact with others from all walks of life.

Chelsey – STARS (Part 3)




I come from a small town at the very bottom of Arkansas; it only contains 5,000 people and takes 10 minutes to drive all the way through. Growing up, I was not exposed to many that lived outside of my town. Sure, we had one foreign exchange student every year, but that was all. When I first started attending UCA, I lived in a dorm known as State Hall.

I did not know much about the dorm until I had already moved in—I did not expect that the dorm was mainly for foreign exchange students. It was specifically for those who were so far from home that, during holidays such as Christmas Break, they still needed to be able to live in the dorms or they would have nowhere else to stay. Living in State was my first experience with diversity in Residential Colleges. I was able to meet (and live next door to!) people from a plethora of different places, such as Africa and China. Meeting people from all around the world allowed me to be exposed to different religions, languages, and even foods! Then, at the end of the first semester, I changed dorms.

I currently live in Short/Denney, a dorm that focuses more on the arts. Don’t think the diversity among students is of lesser value here, on the contrary! Short/Denney contains plenty of students with different lifestyles. And it is not only the foreign exchange students who represent the diversity in the Residential Colleges– it is every single student who walks in the halls. Especially when it comes to religion, I have met Mormons, Christians, Buddhists, Atheists, Muslims, and so many more.

Meeting these people in Residential Colleges with all these different beliefs and values allows me to open my mind and try to see things from the eyes of others. Diversity is important for the college experience. Students have to learn that their ‘world’ isn’t the only one that exists, that open-mindedness is one of the many puzzle pieces that fit into a better future for everyone. Racism and prejudice only lead to needless conflict; I believe that the diversity in Residential Colleges helps students raised with slightly skewed views open their eyes. We can only reach as far as our mind is broad.

Hunter – EDGE (Part 3)

Hunter2When I think of EDGE Residential College the first thing that pops to mind is diversity. After all we are the international residence hall.

We have programs in our building to help students adjust from their small-town lives to big-city culture and diversity. One of the programs that I’ve grown to love is called language corner. It is a way for students to get to know each other from all over campus and to learn about different cultures and learn new words and ideas in different languages. Language corner is a way to have fun with games and to get students talking.

I personally grew up in a small town in North Arkansas that was filled with just a sprinkling of diverse cultures.  Now, I’m not going to lie when I came to UCA I did experience a little culture shock. I knew it was going to be a big change but I didn’t know how big of a change my life would have in store.

When I was welcomed on my freshman move-in day I remember one of the first people I met was Robert from Rwanda in Africa. I could tell by his accent he definitely was not from around here and I realize my life has changed completely. As the day grew on I’ve met people from all over the world including students from China and Japan and even Saudi Arabia.

I feel EDGE was the best thing that could have ever happened to me my freshman year because I became so open to different cultures and open to new ideas and experiences and has given me a totally different perspective.


Daniel – STARS (Part 3)

Dan2Daniel. Freshman. Marketing Major. STARS Residential College.

When writing on the topic of “diversity” the most socially obvious point of discussion is of the ethnic or racial diversity of one’s surroundings. Given my background this is a fair definition. Graduating from high school in Bentonville to university in Conway carries a noticeable shift in demographics. However when considering my exposure to greater diversity at UCA I rarely think along those lines. The fact that the racial demographic of Bentonville is more uniform than my new home in Central Arkansas rarely occurs to me. College has matured my sense of diversity more to individuals and not attempts to divide people into a myriad of categories.

Living in a Residential College is a wonderful method of meeting people different than oneself. The STARS offers a charming summary of different parts of Arkansas. I am from NWA. My girlfriend, also a Short/Denney resident, is from a southern town that borders Louisiana. Many of my friends have homes scattered across our state’s interior while others come from nations outside America; each brings a different social viewpoint to our shared world in the STARS.

I taste different foods being prepared in our kitchen. I hear different music played in the halls and different languages in conversation. Diversity exists in the STARS Residential College and every member of our program benefits from it.Daniel4

Seneca – EPIC (Part 3)

EPICEPIC Residential College is all about diversity. I would go as far as to say regardless of what major you are you can make a difference here in EPIC.

I am living proof of this because I myself am a nutrition/dietetics major. We live by the “think wrong concept” which I would think to some extent would indicate a theme of diversity. We have biochemistry majors, psychology majors, physical therapy, (you get the hint) the list goes on and on.

So don’t let your major stop you from being part of EPIC Residential College.  We have diverse majors, diverse people with diverse personalities. That is our makeup here in EPIC and it all comes together to work out pretty well I might add.

Are you nervous about fitting in? Don’t worry, I was too. No need to be concerned. You will find who you mesh up the first week you are here, especially when you get in your teams. Not only do we have diversity in students we are diverse with our projects as well.

We are approaching the end of the first full school year of EPIC Residential Colleges inception and since that time we have done a few different activities. We have done a create your own app contest, a best game at tailgate contest, recruitment/retention ideas and community enhancement projects and I see no end to the activities during my time here.

Step away from the normal college life and do something that’s fun and different at the same time.

Come find your niche, all students welcome!!!