Category: Student Involvement

Reading Rainbow: Spreading Joy Through Literacy

As a college student in America, at any given moment, there is probably at least one book in your backpack, not to mention the countless books on shelves in your home. Now, imagine wanting to read, but not having the resources to do so.

A group of UCO students stands in front of a library in Gulu, Uganda.

The group of Central students stands in front of the library in Gulu, Uganda where they made improvements.

This summer, as part of a study tour, a group of UCO students traveled more than 8,000 miles across the world to serve the Ugandan community and provide maintenance for a new library that had been built at the St. Monica vocational school in Gulu, Uganda. This library was built thanks to the generous support of the UCO community. Last semester, the same group of students hosted a gala and organized a T-shirt fundraiser for St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre, with the help of Sister Rosemary, the director of the center, all to assist with literacy efforts in the area. The St. Monica Girls’ Tailoring Centre is a safe-haven for young women who have been subjected to horrors such as abduction, torture and more, as well as being forced to injure or kill family members while serving as soldiers in Kony’s army against their will.

With more than $12,000 in raised funds, the students set off to give their time and efforts to the Ugandan community. During their time in Uganda, the students helped sand, prime and paint the new library in St. Monica’s convent. In addition to helping abroad, the UCO students helped foster growth and leadership in students of all ages within the metro community, by engaging the students of Belle Isle Middle School in Oklahoma City. The middle school donated enough books to fill 23 suitcases, which then were taken to Uganda during the UCO trip.

Student body president Stockton Duvall attended the study tour and described the valuable experience.

“I think [the trip] was important, because it taught us, as students, that you can create change as a college student. You don’t have to wait until you’re grown up and settled into a job. Giving your time is one of the most valuable gifts you can present to someone.”

“I would say that on my trip the most important lesson that I learned is that we should strive to not always focus our work around ourselves, but instead be willing to be part of someone else’s story,” Duvall continued. “We each got to play a small part in the story of Sister Rosemary and all the other women at st. Monica’s and help in the best way we possibly could.”

Four women at St. Monica's convent in Uganda stand with student Stockton Duvall.

Stockton Duvall, student body president, stands with women from St. Monica’s in Gulu, Uganda.

For those searching for a way to give back, like this group of UCO students, Duvall gave this advice, “I would suggest trying new things and developing a passion in an area where you can help others. Dedicating your life to helping those around you, whether it be through your job here or overseas, can change your perspective on life for the better. If you have the opportunity to travel abroad, whether it is for a short time or an entire year, take it.”

Serve on, Bronchos!

 

UCO Students Dance Their Way to a Better World

University of Central Oklahoma students are brushing up on all of the latest moves for participation in BronchoThon, an 8-hour dance marathon dedicated to the many children who are assisted by Children’s Miracle Network. BronchoThon is UCO’s version of popular dance marathons done by universities throughout the nation. BronchoThon is new to UCO this semester, taking the place of Spring Sing, and will generate awareness and financial support for the Oklahoma Children’s Hospital Foundation, an affiliate of the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. BronchoThon will include musical entertainment, student-led activities, refreshments and, of course, dancing. At the end, everyone will celebrate the total amount of money raised.

“BronchoThon is a philanthropy composed of college students who want to make a difference and fight for the next generation. We believe that every kid should have the opportunity to dance, fight, and live. BronchoThon is how we act out on that belief.”

UCO students can sign up for BronchoThon either as an individual dancer or with an organization. The registration cost is $25 per dancer. Throughout the spring semester, students will attend benefit nights, complete tasks and fundraise to earn points. These points are called Miracle Points, and the organization that has the most Miracle Points by the night of BronchoThon will receive an award called the Miracle Cup. There is also a Miracle Cup for the individual who earns the most Miracle Points. In addition, there will be an organization that is the overall winner of BronchoThon, considered the “Overall Miracle Cup Champion.” The Miracle Cup is a great incentive, evoking healthy competition that will encourage students to raise more money for the cause.

Celebrating Diversity in Scholarship

Captured in two of Central’s six tenets, global and cultural competencies and research, scholarly and creative activities are prevalent throughout the UCO campus, in both curricular and extra-curricular settings. However, one student group is celebrating its diversity, while promoting research, scholarship and creativity.

 

screen-shot-2017-01-09-at-10-55-02-amDiverse Student Scholars (DSS) is a group comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students at Central, who collaborate to conduct, present and share scholarly research to the academic community and beyond. Dr. Jeanetta Sims, assistant dean for Central’s Jackson College of Graduate Studies and a tenured associate professor in the marketing department in Central’s College of Business, began DSS in the fall of 2007, her first semester of teaching at UCO.

Being Involved at UCO

By Riley Cole, junior strategic communication major, leadership minor

Being involved at UCO has allowed me to become connected to campus, understanding the history and richness Central embodies. I have built community like no other. I’ve discovered my passion and strengths, and built my resume more and more. So it seems, busier students do better in all areas; I’ve found this to be true.

Serving as a chapter president I’ve been stretched and strengthened more than I could have ever imagined. If it wasn’t for peers who saw potential in me and encouraged me to step up in leadership roles, I would have never had the opportunity to become a member of Sigma Phi Lambda and serve as president. This role has given me immense opportunities on campus, influence in areas I never would’ve dreamed and friendships that will last forever.

Getting involved at UCO has greatly enhanced my college experience. I would not be the leader, student, friend or sister I am if it wasn’t for the organizations I’ve invested in.

Editor’s note: Cole is a member of the following organizations:

  • Sigma Phi Lambda (president, chaplain, homecoming chair, cheer and dance choreographer and Spring Sing chair);
  • President’s Leadership Council (senior representative);
  • New Broncho Orientation (Stampede Week director); and,
  • Hooves Up (rally coordinator).