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April 2016 Blog Posts

April 2016 Blog Posts

by Grant Barrett

With spring break in the rear view mirror and summer too far off to look forward to, there isn’t much students can do now except to prepare for the barrage of tests and projects that normally come at the end of a semester. However, there will be one reprieve from the madness, and it will come in the form of Volapalooza which will be on April 29th. Cleverly named after the large Chicago music festival “Lollapalooza”, Volapalooza is an annual event that brings big name artists to Knoxville to perform for students.

Since its creation in 2003, the event has brought in performers from several genres, spanning from hip hop to country. The event has been held in Circle Park, Thompson Boling Arena, and the TRECS fields but this year all students will head to Worlds Fair Park for Volapalooza. This year’s artists are headlined Moon Taxi, Portugal. the Man, and one special guest that is yet to be announced. A unique aspect of this event is that is completely planned and organized by UT students.

The best part about this fantastic event, is that it is absolutely free for all students that opted in. All that opting in means is that the student gave the university permission to use a portion of his or her Student Programs and Services fee, about twenty dollars of it, for Student-Organized Programming. For students that have not opted in, tickets can be purchased in for fifteen dollars.
This event has gotten bigger every year since its inception, so make sure your student doesn’t miss out on an opportunity to see world class musical talent! The complete lineup for Volapalooza 2016 can be found by visiting:

Alternative Breaks
by Sophia Rubio

The University of Tennessee is full of opportunity and going on an Alternative Break is definitely one of the best. The Alternative Break Program has trips during Fall and Spring Break, and it is a great way for students to experience service learning at its finest. Every trip has a trip theme attached to it which addresses a social justice issue that if affecting the community that the trips will serve in. I was able to lead a trip during the Fall focusing on Disability/Ability Awareness to Indianapolis, IN. Our team completed 168 hours of service combined, which was able to help local non-profits that served people with disabilities. One of our service sites was Agape which provided therapeutic horse riding, and we were able to clean stables and clear roads to get into their facility. The four days went by quickly, but in that time our group was able to learn more about people with disabilities of all kinds!

All of us students just came back from Spring Break and we had 6 service trips which included themes such as Hispanic Communities and Health, Urban Youth Development, and Animal Outreach. Maria Martinez, the trip co-leader for the trip of Hispanic Communities and Health says, “Serving as an Alternative Break Leader was an amazing experience. I got to plan and create a service trip with a theme I am extremely passionate about, Hispanic Communities and Health. It was so rewarding to see my trip come to life through the actions and selfless service of my participants!

We served over 400 hours combined that week, learned about social injustices and how to be better advocates for marginalized populations, and bonded with fellow Vols along the way. I am so appreciative of the Alternative Break program and what it has given me!” Encourage your students to apply next year in the Fall and Spring! It is an incredible experience for all VOLunteers.

Panhellenic Preview
by Elisabeth Logan

On March 5th, the University of Tennessee Panhellenic Council hosted Panhellenic Preview, an opportunity for Potential New Members of the community to visit the 13 chapters and get a glimpse at what Greek Life is like here at UT. If your student was not able to go, have no fear! This does not impact their participation in the recruitment process. It was simply a way for potential students to become more informed. The formal recruitment process can be very stressful for some, but we work to ensure that your student is supported throughout the process.

We have Recruitment Counselors – Gamma Chi’s – who take a leadership course in the spring and serve as mentors for your students throughout the recruitment process. My own experience with this community has been amazing. When I was an incoming first-year student at UT, I was extremely nervous; I did not know anyone, was coming from out of state, and was a little younger than most other students. When I made the decision to become a part of Greek Life, it was because I wanted a quick way to get involved and meet new friends to overcome these fears; however, throughout my three years here it has become so much more. You have probably seen the movies and know the stereotypes, but I can assure you that being a part of the Greek Community enables students to gain time management and leadership skills while also gaining a support system for their academics. These organizations work hard to embody their values, and I am very thankful for the opportunity to join in this experience.

No matter what year your student is at the University of Tennessee, feel free to check out any of the four Greek Councils – the Panhellenic Council (NPC), National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), or the Interfraternity Council (IFC – sorry ladies, this one is for the men). More information can be found on the website!.

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