Author Archives: Mike Queroz, Communication

Until the summer

It’s here! The home stretch. The end of the semester! Of course, I am recouping after a week of papers and final assignments, and preparing for this week full of finals. But the end is near…I can almost taste it.

It sounds extremely cliché, but this academic year has truly gone by fast and was super hard. I don’t think I’ve ever been as challenged as I was this year, which is understandable considering I’m ending my junior year. Everything just seemed to come hard and fast at me – so much that when I think about this year everything just blends together, making it seem like one big semester. I still feel like I am just finishing up my fall semester!

Nevertheless, I’ve had a great year, especially this semester. I think I finally learned time management and good study skills! I did very well in my studies and have sincerely learned a lot.

On a personal level, I’ve had some great opportunities at my current internship at Clear Channel. I’ve really developed a good sense of business and had a lot of fun working in the promotions department. I will surely miss it when I end my term this semester.

I’m also in the midst of wrapping up my two-year term as the vice president of the Undergraduate Student Government. I’ve learned a great deal about managing and running an organization in my position and have been able to learn a great deal about the university. This week, I end my term and will become a member of the assembly. Although I will not have the same title, I will still be a big student advocate next year.

As I’m writing this, I’m now thinking about my three final exams…eek. I must go.
Thank you to everyone who has been reading my blog throughout the year! I will update once a month during the summer, so keep checking back the blogs here.
Good luck with exams :)

Until next time…
Mike

Wrapping up RECESS and USG

This past week was certainly a busy one, as always. Luckily, I finished the majority of my homework over the weekend so I can dedicate my time to tying up some loose ends.

On Wednesday, Campus Programs and USG held “RECESS,” a fun carnival-esque event where students could roller skate on the quad, make their own lip balm or tie-dye shirts, snack on some popcorn and cotton candy, and enjoy music from the UIC Pep Band and UIC Radio. The goal of the event was to have one last blast of school spirit and fun before the end of the semester…and boy did I think we succeeded!

I spent most of my day Wednesday running around passing out flyers about RECESS and finishing some last minute stuff for the event. Around 4 p.m., the fun started.

The quad was packed with students waiting to partake in the activities. We also had a lot of students trying to win an iPad Mini that USG was raffling off in a photo scavenger hunt contest. With music blasting, people laughing and skates rolling, the event was loud and fun. ABC7 even stopped by to film coverage of the event!

Overall, I was so happy to see that students came out to RECESS and more importantly, enjoyed it! I think it was a huge success and hope that we can make it even bigger and better next year.

On Thursday, USG held its last meeting of the academic year. It was bittersweet having my last meeting as the vice president of the organization. It was bitter because I’ve held the position for two years and it’s become a part of me. It’s sweet, though, because now I can change my role in the organization and help in different ares. And as a member, I will now have voting rights — yes!

I’m really starting to see all the blessings I have at UIC. From being able to provide fun for students through RECESS, to being able to help the undergraduate body at UIC, I’m having a blast being a college student.

Now to brace myself for the next two weeks of school…dun dun dun!

Until next time…

Mike

 

 

Lobbying, awards and RECESS

Last week has certainly been a busy one.

On Wednesday, I went to Springfield again with some other Undergraduate Student Government (USG) members and a couple of other students. This time around, we met with state senators and representatives and asked them to vote in support of some bills that will mandate publishers to be more transparent with textbook prices and that would create more affordable textbook rental programs for colleges in Illinois. We also lobbied for support of a bill that would provide funding for homeless students across Illinois. The trip was certainly successful and received a lot of great feedback from the legislators! I hope to update you all more with good news as time goes on.

On Thursday evening, I received the Chancellors’ Service Award for the third year in a row! But it wasn’t the award that made my day great. It was the fact that I was able to see so many of my colleagues in USG and other classmates receive recognition for all of the hard work they do for the campus and larger community. The university has a strong league of students who put so much passion and dedication towards what they believe in — whether it’s fundraising for disease prevention, researching, organizing charity events, creating school programs or lobbying for financial aid. The award ceremony made me realize how much goodness our students at the university produce. It really made me feel great about our school and even inspired me to do more next year!

Finally, before I venture off to my bed to rest after a long week, I wanted to remind you all about RECESS on Wednesday, April 24! It’s going to be a blast — with a huge roller rink in the quad, a wide variety of competitions and activities, music and a big burst of school spirit. Campus Programs and USG have worked hard to bring you this event so make sure you come on out to the quad between 4-7 p.m. to enjoy an end-of-the-year fiesta.

Until next week…

Mike

Lobbying for education

Hello all!

This past Wednesday, I spent the day in Springfield lobbying with the University of Illinois system (all three schools) for university funding and student MAP grants. Each year, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) helps sponsor the University of Illinois Day at the Capitol. It was a long, tiring day, but well worth the time and effort.

It started off at 7 a.m. when UIC students, faculty and staff got ready for a breakfast in SCE. After, we took off in some buses down to the Capitol. I spent the bus ride preparing for the lobbying I would be doing – jotting down notes and reading up on the issue of state funding. I also was working on editing a video USG members gave to their state representatives about funding.

After a three-hour bus ride, we arrived at the Governor’s Mansion in Springfield. It was beautiful and huge (see photo below)! We had a nice lunch and had a presentation from university administration about the importance of lobbying and receiving state funding.

After the presentation, we made our way to the Capitol. It was raining and muggy out, but our spirits were lively enough to brave the weather.

Along with a group of students from UIC who live in the same district, we went to various state representatives and our state senator’s office.

We met with state Rep. Lisa Hernandez, Rep. Michael Zalewski and Sen. Steven Landek — and all had ties to the U of I system. Rep. Hernandez’s daughter attended UIC, Rep. Zalewski attend UIUC, and Sen. Landek’s brother works at UIC. After sitting in their offices and having personal discussions with them about our reliance on state funding, all three legislators seemed supportive of our purpose. They appreciated us coming out and speaking to them personally and said they would do all they could to ensure that the university and MAP program are appropriated well. I was very happy that all three meetings went well, as some legislators can be opposed to funding and may elect budget cuts.

After meeting with all three legislators, all U of I lobbyists made our way to eat some dinner and debriefed about the experience. It was a huge success this year and I was happy to have helped for the second year in a row. Missing class, my internship office hours and catching up on lots of school work was all worth spending the day in Springfield fighting for the student body of the U of I system.

A big thanks to the members of USG who helped make this event possible for UIC students —funding the buses for transportation, the breakfast and raffle prizes!

RECESS is coming

Hey readers! This week I’m going to fill you all in about something exciting that I’ve been working on with Campus Programs for three months now…GET EXCITED.

So back in January, I met with Campus Programs to talk about bringing back an old UIC tradition: RECESS. For many years, the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) hosted the event to give students a break from end-of-the year work and have one last hoorah before the end of the semester. After a two-year hiatus, this year RECESS is back and will be hosted by Campus Programs.

As the Vice President of USG, I have been collaborating with Campus Programs to ensure that the event is as fun as previous years and will bring students a stronger sense of school spirit!

The event will be on Wed., April 24 from 4 to 7 p.m., which is the perfect time for students who commute. In a case of rain, as April weather could be a bit unpredictable, the event will be held on May 1.

Let me give you all a (tentative) preview of what will be going on at RECESS:

  • A huge roller rink in the Quad
  • Music from UIC Radio
  • Free cotton candy, drinks and popcorn; other food on sale as well
  • Pitch & Burst – we will have some notable UIC peeps on the wet seat…get ready to dunk them into the abyss by popping a balloon!
  • Make your own lip balm
  • A scavenger hunt for some cool prizes
  • Photo key chains for memories
  • Tie-dye T-shirts
  • Airbrush face painting and glitter tattoos
  • A magician
  • Various sporting games

It’s basically a carnival of fun. I’m going to fill you all in with more tidbits about RECESS as more ideas develop. Keep an eye out for advertisements around campus in the next week or so.

I couldn’t think of a better way to say goodbye to the 2012-2013 academic year!

 

 

Six more weeks!

Grr…back to school. On the bright side, there are only six weeks left of classes and finals.

In a sense, this school year has gone by super fast. I often have random moments during the school day in which my mind thinks we are still in the fall semester and still have the spring semester to go. I’m not sure if this is due to the lack of sleep I have had this academic year, or just because the year has gone by fast. I really hope it’s the latter and I’m not losing my mind.

Nevertheless, I have to say I have been proud of my academic achievements this year. I have been able to stay afloat in my classes, especially this semester. I learned a lot about planning my days and using time wisely – something that has taken me a while to learn. I’m just glad it’s come now rather than never. Prioritizing is the key to time management. Do I really have to look up more celebrity gossip at 1 a.m.? It could wait until tomorrow. Should I spend an hour on the phone talking to my best friend? Nope, having a cap of 20 minutes will do. In order to learn time management, you have to figure out what is important and prioritize it according to your daily schedule.

Juggling 18 credit hours, an internship, the Undergraduate Student Government and sanity is difficult – but it could be handled well.

Here’s to six more weeks!

Cheers –

Mike

UIC Confessions brings us together?

As a communication major, I frequently study the impact and mechanisms of social media and technology. Now I won’t bore you by citing research, but I do want to highlight something I noticed in regards to the popular Facebook page, UIC Confessions.

The page basically posts anonymous confessions from UIC students. Through an external website, students can submit text up to 300 words. The unknown page admin then posts the confessions on the page for all users to see, comment on and like. It’s pretty a simple, straight-forward format. But it in a weird, sick-twisted way, it’s bringing the students of UIC closer together.

Most of the confessions consist of secret admirers, silly pranks and stories. Some are so farfetched that it leaves me wondering if some of them are real. Nevertheless, all of the confessions make for a good laugh. I have found myself constantly refreshing the page for more hilarious stories. Its a good pick-me-up during a long day. And based off of the many comments and likes on the page’s posts, it seems most students are enjoying the page also.

I love examining the comments on the confessions. Sometimes people respond with snarky feedback, clever comebacks or lengthy laments. It’s also great to see people tagging their friends that the confession could be about. Although it’s entertaining to look at the page’s feedback, I also noticed that the page in itself is a community. Many UIC students are connecting through the page to share stories, experiences, laughs and more. It seems that people are even being connected to crushes through the page. It seems as if the UIC Confessions page has brought together students in a way that I have not seen other outlets do so far in my 3 years at the university. To be quite honest, it seems like students are meeting and conversing with other students more through the UIC Confessions page then through classes or campus social events.

The fact that the UIC Confessions page has brought a sense of community is commendable. It’s very telling to see that this community is taking place online – especially since it’s on Facebook. As a communication major, it really tells me a lot about the shift of communication from in-person to social websites. Is it that hard to talk to someone and share a story or secret in class? Why are we resorting to a Facebook page to air our dirty laundry?

I think what makes the UIC Confessions page so successful is the fact that it’s anonymous, convenient and entertaining. I felt I had to spotlight it this week because whether we notice it or not, what we’re seeing develop before our very eyes is a new form of UIC communities and communication. Welcome to 2013.

PS – Who wrote this about me?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading your massmails

I’ve never really understood why some students don’t read the massmails sent out from UIC. Yes, I understand they can be annoying because about three to four, on average, are sent out every day. But the massmails really do contain a lot of good information and resources!

I scan my massmails everyday, and if something interests me I read on more about it. I usually end up learning about new events on campus, initiatives from the school administration or just news from UIC News. I think it’s a great system that really attempts to keep students in the loop about what’s going with their university.

Students often complain about the university not giving information about new things. In USG, we usually send massmails out to students about our events or new initiatives. Some students ask us: why you don’t communicate with us? While I feel that more can be done, the massmail system is a really good tool to keep UIC informed about what’s new. I honestly believe UIC does a good job of giving news out – it’s just that many students choose not to read them.

If you don’t read your massmails – I challenge you to do so for the next week! Let me know what new things you learn that you haven’t known before. I promise you will feel more informed about the university!

Student elections 2013

As some of you may know, this week UIC is holding its annual student elections. During student elections, undergraduates vote for the Undergraduate Student Government (USG) president and vice president. Additionally, both undergraduate and graduate students vote for their choice for student trustee. This year, the only position that has two candidates is the student trustee position.

I’m writing this blog to encourage all of you students to vote! Vote today and Wednesday for your favorite candidate! Here are links to the two candidates. Please review them and their platform and decide who you will vote for:

 Ponnu Padiyara

Danielle Leibowitz

Productively busy

It’s funny, but I feel like I’m the most productive when my schedule is fully loaded. This semester I am at 18 credit hours, have an internship and still in USG. It’s a pretty heavy load…but knock on wood…I’m managing it well?

I think it’s because whenever I am beyond busy, I truly value the free time I do have and make sure I accomplish all my tasks on time. It’s like I realize that I have no time, so I make sure I make use of the time I do have. I’ve been studying management intensively this semester so this is the best way I am making sense of this.

I am doing pretty good in my classes this semester, which is great. But I still feel like there’s more to make up for. I wish I could schedule more time for exercise and meditation. These things really helped me last semester, but I haven’t had the time to really fit them in. It’s something called work-life balance that I need to find. I feel like school eats up so much of your time that it’s really hard to live you life, so to speak. Don’t get me wrong, I still go out and have fun with friends, but I think there’s always more I want to do. With college being a time of working to get to the next level, it’s just so hard to squeeze everything you want in you want to do in between.

So I’m writing this complant-esque blog to see what you all think…how do you get a sense of work-life balance? Thoughts?

Thanks!

Mike

 

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