H&SS Connect: Live promotes college pride

Credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor Credit: Kristen Severson/Photo Editor

On Friday, August 28, Rangos Ballroom was the site of a social mixer called H&SS Connect: Live, bringing the students in Carnegie Mellon’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences together for a night of giveaways, free food, and DJ YS on the 1s and 2s.

Unlike other colleges on campus, H&SS students have a wide range of specialties and career goals, so it is difficult for students of different majors, although within the same college, to meet each other. Most of the time, H&SS students are only able to bond with students who have the same or a similar major.

Nicole Ifill, a sophomore information systems major, identified this lack of connection as a serious problem within the college and decided to do something about it. Ifill said, “We’re very diverse. We needed a unifying event. We wanted to do something like this last semester, but everyone’s schedule was too hectic.”

Ifill did not let that stop her from fulfilling this need. She decided to spend her summer planning an event for the fall. She approached other H&SS students to help with the event, created a Facebook group to promote it, and did most of her planning over the phone and by e-mail to ensure it would be a success.

“I’m pretty proud because we didn’t have much time and it still turned out great,” Ifill said. “We want to instill H&SS pride and create a community amongst students of different majors.”

And according to many of the students who attended, it was a success. Aurelia Henderson, a first-year creative writing major, was among the students who attended.

“It’s nice meeting a diverse group of people,” Henderson said, “people who are multi-cultural and multi-faceted. It makes me happy to know that I’m part of a community that is so passionate about so many different things.”

Yulin Kuang, a sophomore creative writing and global politics major said, “I got to meet a lot of the [first-years], which is nice because it’s always nice to bond with new people.”

Ifill approached Gloria Hill, the assistant dean and director of the Academic Advisory Center, and Renee Camerlengo, the associate dean of student affairs, at the end of the spring semester and pitched the idea.

She told them that she felt a divide within the college and that she had thought of a way to begin closing it.

Hill was more than willing to offer her support.

“I was very, very excited when Nicole came to us,” Hill said. “We are working hard to build a community within the college. We want H&SS students to feel great about being here.”

Hill also said that they hope to have two similar events per semester to ensure that they sustain the community that they have begun to build.

They even provided a suggestion box to allow students to share their ideas about what the next event should be. This may be the first mixer of this kind for H&SS, but Ifill and Hill insist it is not the last.

Whether they be one of the people who thought of, planned, and presented H&SS Connect, or one of the students who was bonding with people they may have never met, all participants can sense the excitement everyone feels about this new venture.

Crystal Wray, a sophomore economics and Chinese major said, “I think it’s great that they’re doing this because H&SS is such a diverse [college]. We really needed something like this to bring all of our interests together.”