An active student from the Golden State, Arielle Singer found many opportunities to shine at Union, especially in her Minerva House.
“What drew me here was the Minerva program, for sure. I was excited by being able to assume leadership positions early on,” she says.
She jumped right in, serving as a first-year student rep at her Minerva, Wold House, immediately after arriving on campus, then becoming co-chair of the Wold House Council in the spring. As such, she oversees programming at this Minerva House, one of seven on campus.
Among the initiatives she helped coordinate at Wold were fall programs devoted to life as a first-year. Events focused on introducing the newest Union students to key aspects of college life through informal meetings with staff from Residential Life, the Career Center in Becker Hall, the Dean of First Years Office and Schaffer Library.
Winter brought a flurry of gatherings based on “secret talents” of staff and faculty, while spring ushered in a High Tea with Religious Studies Professor Peter Bedford, a discussion by Political Science Professor Brad Hays on the rise of “zombie politics,” and a talk about the earthquake in Kathmandu and Nepali culture and history.
In between, there were get-togethers with faculty and their dogs (“a great de-stressor”), a German dinner and culture night, and a movie night with members of the Environmental Club, as well as plenty of pancake study breaks and pizza lunches.
“You start seeing how cool the Minervas are,” Arielle says. “Everyone can propose events and make things happen.”
In total, students plan more than 500 Minerva activities each year. Some events are for house members only; others are open to the whole campus. Each house has a generous budget to support the activities.
“We have three goals,” says Arielle. “To combine the academic and social, bring together faculty and students, and create diversity in campus life.
“Essentially,” she says, “Wold has given me a community and a base of friends, and a way to branch out and meet people in other class years. It has given me another family, a group of people I know are always going to be there for me.”