Capturing The Coveted Cuny Service Corps Crown

Capturing The Coveted Cuny Service Corps Crown

My interview for the position of a Cuny Service Corps leader.
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On Friday, April 17, 2015, I had a group interview for the position of becoming a part of the CUNY Service Corps for a period of six months. The interview was held in the Mary Pinkett Lecture Hall, located in the S building, and business attire was required. The CUNY Service Corps is a program that provides college students with an opportunity to gain valuable work experience in the essential services, such as health and education in our communities. In return for their effort, students also benefit from the enriching and meaningful services as social skills and leadership skills are developed and students interact with professionals in the workplace environment. Students are given the opportunity to gain the initiative of learning while earning a stipend, and this creates a platform for recognition, advancement, and possible future employment.

I arrived early for the interview, which was scheduled for noon, and I observed that it was well attended. Students pursuing different degrees were all contending for the coveted positions, and only students who displayed leadership qualities would be chosen. One young lady who was successfully chosen last year addressed the audience. She attested to the fact that the program was indeed beneficial and rewarding in terms of achieving practical skills while engaging with fellow workers with a singular desire to be productive, and thereby making an effective contribution to the community.

The interviews began in a timely manner, although a few students showed up late and were sharply reprimanded. A short documentary film was presented in order to familiarize us as to the expectations of the program. We were then asked questions concerning the purpose of the CUNY Corps, which I had anticipated and therefore could answer. We were divided into groups of five and asked several questions from the panel of interviewers with a minute to answer each question. A series of questions were intended to test our public speaking capabilities. We were told to organize a corporation that would address and make recommendations in order to present a solution for a given problem in the community. Each group was given a blueprint of a community with a list of problems and we were expected to develop a strategy to solve the problems by appointing board members to address and resolve the situation. This required exceptional leadership and problem-solving techniques of each student.

In the end, each of the five students in a given group was given a minute to sell ourselves as to why we should be chosen to represent Medgar Evers College as a CUNY Service Corp intern. After our responses, we were advised that we would be notified via email as to whether we were chosen to participate in the program. Overall, the interview afforded me the chance to overcome my fear of public speaking, as well as to increase my confidence and build my self-esteem. I would strongly encourage students to apply for the upcoming 2016-17 recruitment; the application process began on Jan. 15. Additional information is available at the Career Management Service Center located on the third floor of the S building, suite 302.

Cover Image Credit: Cuny Service Corps

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Stop Saying 'Love Is Love' And Then Shame Me For Dating A Republican

"How can you date a Republican?!" Quite easily, actually.

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"And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love." Other theater geeks like me probably also remember this quote from Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony acceptance speech in 2016. Now, thanks to Lin-Manuel and his talent for catchy phrases, every time someone says "love is love," all I can think of is Lin-Manuel's emphatic cry for equality.

This cry is one that I support wholeheartedly. I think that you should be allowed to love whomever you choose and that you should do so without fear of hatred or scrutiny. If you are a guy who loves guys, great. If you are a girl who loves girls, great. If you are a girl who loves guys and girls, great. You are born a certain way with certain sexual preferences, and there is nothing wrong with that.

However, if you believe that people should be free to love anyone they choose, then, honey, you better start looking past gender.

Let me tell you a little story.

Recently, I had a conversation with one of my closest friends about my boyfriend of almost 11 months. Somehow (and I'm shocked that this hadn't come up before), my boyfriend's political preferences became the topic of conversation.

The conversation went something like this:

"Wait, so is Tom a Democrat or Republican?"

"He's a Republican."

"WHAT?! Are you serious?"

"Yep."

"How can you date a Republican?"

After that, I basically went on a five-minute rant about how at the end of the day, his political preferences only make up a small fraction of who he is as a person and that I am not so shallow that I would be deterred by something this trivial.

At our cores, Tom and I value the exact same things: compassion, knowledge, kindness, dedication, honesty, respect, and above all else, love. Tom loves me unconditionally and I give him that same love in return; honestly, what else could I ask for?

Tom and I do get in some political arguments from time to time, but we also agree on those issues that are most important to me: female reproductive rights, marriage equality, and support for survivors of sexual assault. All of those things are non-negotiables for me, and Tom understands that and possesses his own list of non-negotiables.

Before you ask, yep, he voted for Trump. Did that take me back at first? Yes. Did I struggle to understand what would compel a person to vote for him? Absolutely. Did that thought kind of terrify me at first? Hell yes.

But you know what? After I just sat and listened to Tom's reasoning as to why he voted for him and watched him delve deep into Trump's policies, I could understand why some would vote for him. And to tell the truth, once I fell in love with Tom, none of that mattered anymore. And what is sad is that people so often fall so deep into their own echo chambers nowadays, that they wouldn't even give someone with different beliefs their ear. Well, I'm damn glad I did because Tom is the most amazing person I've ever met and I fall more in love with him every day.

So to tie this all together with a pretty little bow, if you're going to go around and preach that love is love and that everyone should be free to love whom they choose, then that shouldn't change for me. Maybe you're a Democrat that would never date a Republican or maybe you're a Republican who would never date a Democrat; that's your choice. But we don't get to choose who we fall in love with (much to the dismay of my liberal family and friends). Just keep an open mind and who knows? Maybe you could find some absolutely epic happiness.

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I'm Not Voting, And Guess What, That Is OK

To all of the recent political endorsements by celebrities and Facebook posts telling me I should register to vote, I'm not voting.

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I am not the type of person to normally ever write a Facebook post related to politics, yet here I am dedicating a whole article to it. Or rather about voting itself, not my political affiliation. For the most part, I like to keep my political outlooks to myself instead of broadcasting them to all of my friends, family, coworkers, and that handful of people I do not actually know but I accepted their friend request anyway. Instead, I grace this group of people with animal videos because it doesn't cause any friction, the videos are always light-hearted, and there are already so many other people posting about the next election.

But tonight that changed. I saw a post about how people who do not vote should be fined. I do not know why this ignited something in me, but it did. I have no problem ignoring every other person telling me to register to vote or vote a hundred times on my feed, but charging me a fine for exercising my right crossed a line.

Quite frankly, I do not identify as a liberal democrat or conservative republican so I should not be subjected to vote for either. I choose not to vote because I do not support either side of the political spectrum and I do not think any of the candidates are true to what I want in the future of my country. There are some ideas I like from Democrats as well as some ideas I like from Republicans, but because of the political climate in recent years, the political parties are becoming more polarized than ever with their ideas, and instead of seeking a moderate stance, are becoming more extreme. I understand that voting is seen as a civic responsibility that comes with being a U.S. citizen, but I have the right to vote not the obligation to vote, and people should respect that decision.

Can you imagine amending the constitution to include penalties for not voting? Where is the democracy in forcing citizens to the ballots via scare tactics? I just do not want to be forced into voting or supporting something that I do not believe in. I will vote when there is a candidate that earns my vote and that I support instead of voting just to vote.

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