One University of Maryland student calls her bilingual experience at the university “powerful” and “motivating.”
Junior sociology and Spanish major Lauren Paniati decided to double major in the language because of her love for it. Paniati believes being bilingual has not thwarted her time here. “I think it has helped tremendously,” she said. “It’s like discovering or opening up a whole new world. It helps to gain perspective, helps with job opportunities, allows you to understand a culture in a different way and relate to others and it’s fun.”
At the University of Maryland, many bilingual students can continue learning their native language within the language department or participate in the Global Communities Living and Learning program. Students that are part of the program have the option to live in Dorchester Hall, which according to its website, is known as “one of the most diverse, active and community-oriented residence halls on campus.”
According to a 2004 study conducted by psychologists Ellen Bialystok and Michelle Martin-Rhee, “Bilingual experience improves the brain’s so-called executive function — a command system that directs the attention processes that we use for planning, solving problems and performing various other mentally demanding tasks.”
The city of College Park recently established a committee to address the growth of diverse communities.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the estimated population in 2010 for College Park was 30,413. This number grew in 2014 to 32,256. Since 2010, the ethnic breakdown in one of Maryland’s biggest college towns has also changed.
In College Park, there are many popular chain restaurants, including Chipotle, numerous pizza places and Ten Ren’s Tea Time Inc. However, on Route 1, one restaurant serves a fusion of Mexican, Indian and Pakistani food. At Krazi Kebob, Mughlai cuisine can be rolled into a Mexican quesadilla or burrito.
Naumaan Hamid opened Krazi Kebob in 2010. Hamid, who is originally from Long Island, New York, grew up working in his father Salaam Hamid’s Shaheen Restaurant in Catonsville, Maryland. Shaheen Restaurant is one of the oldest Indian-Pakistani establishments in the Baltimore area. Hamid also ran a Mexican restaurant before opening Krazi Kebob.
On Friday, Krazi Kebob celebrated its fifth year anniversary. Customers could purchase a $5 naan wrap or salad all-day, and the first five customers in the store at the top of every hour received a free meal.
A University of Maryland indecent exposure alert at the start of the semester inspired some College Park citizens to change their safety habits.
Since the alert, there have been two voyeur incidents in women’s restrooms on campus and an indecent touching report. College Park resident Danielle Gisselbeck has not changed her walking paths, but she has questioned her safety in the College Park community. Despite this, Gisselbeck does not avoid Route 1 at night.
At the University of Maryland, students are eligible to apply for many forms of financial aid. The university offers federal work study, scholarships and grants, but most often, students take out loans to pay for school.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, “42.5 percent of full-time undergraduates receive some kind of need-based financial aid and the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $9,213.”
This year, the fashion began on Saturday, October 3 in Boston, made its way to New York and for the first time took a stop in Washington, D.C. The events will end on Saturday, October 24 in Atlanta.
College Fashion Week features student models to show off the latest trends. According to the HerCampus website, the models are “of all body types to ensure that our runway reflects the diversity among collegiettes everywhere!” To apply to be a model for College Fashion Week, students posted a selfie on Instagram accounts and mentioned @HerCampusCFW and tag #CastMeCFW with the city they want to model in. Many of the models from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Terps After Dark is a new programming initiative designed by the University of Maryland to keep new freshmen on campus with “engaging programming on weekends and holidays during the first six weeks of school,” according to the University of Maryland website.
The campus-sponsored tailgates, which took place from Aug. 28 through Oct.10, were especially successful in the College Park, Maryland and Old Town College Park community, according to senior government and politics major Cole Holocker, the Student Liaison for the College Park City Council.
“We can see that it’s working and I’m proud of our students, that they’re being respectful of our community,” Holocker said. “I’m proud that they generated this idea in conjunction with other community partners.”
Though the program aims to provide students an alternative to drinking, it is partly paid for by the revenue generated from the one-year pilot alcohol sales at athletic events. Those programs were held each Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If alcohol is no longer sold at the university after this year, Terps After Dark will have to find a new source of funding.
At the University of Maryland, students can decide whether or not to take some of their classes in the classroom or online. While many students decide to follow traditional styles of learning, the online learning community is growing.
According to Babson Survey Research Group’s 2014 Survey of Online Learning, public and private nonprofit institutions recorded enrollment growth in online classes.
Members of the College Park City council have discussed whether the city of College Park should purchase electronic voting machines and the associated software from Election Systems & Software, LLC (ES&S) for the upcoming November 3rd elections. According to ES&S, public officials who aim to administer fair and accurate elections should use the machines.
The city council will require close to $3,000 to buy the ballots, which are 29 cents per ballot. After entering the ballots into a machine, the results will be instantaneous. Members of the community that help with voting will have to be trained on how to use the software, which will also be used during the 2016 presidential election.
Baltimore native and public speaker Lamontre Randall planned a town hall meeting which occurred late Wednesday night so that “Maryland students could meet with the real of Baltimore, the people that are really doing something.”
Members of the panel included Astrid Diaz, the Public Relations Chair for PLUMAS (The Political Latinxs United for Movement and Action in Society), Kondwani Fidel, a Baltimore poet and Virginia State University alumnus and other various community grassroots leaders.
“I think the uprisings woke up the Black community and I think everyone recognized the system for what it is,” said Randall. “The uprisings were great because it was about the young people for once. We hear the older people talk all the time, they talk, but they don’t listen. It actually took some people putting in action for people to say hey something’s going on, let’s figure out what’s going on.”
After graduating from the University of Maryland last May, Randall founded BMore Clean, a new initative to help the citizens of Baltimore. Randall believes that there are many things that led to the uprisings, such as lead paint and abandoned homes.
Many people, including Randall, believe that social media has been a valuable tool for people interested in the uprisings.
“It’s a difference between, and our generation is trying to find a balance, a social media activist and a social activist. We need to have people programming their mind that being a social media activist is not the same as being a social activist. Being a social media activist makes you comfortable and it makes it seem like oh, I just retweeted this I can go ahead and live my life without bettering the society around me.”
Randall believes that the Black Lives Matter campaign is a beneficial use of social media.