It is difficult to define what it means to belong to UNC Greensboro. Everyone has their own answer. This year, 24 iBelong projects are working to come up with their own answers with viable solutions.
The UNCG iBelong project began in 2019 with a campus survey aimed at finding ways for universities to foster an inclusive environment. This year, the Student Affairs Division funded a record 24 projects.
For some, the project is personal and a chance to help others have a better and more inclusive college experience.
than my disability
Rose Ewald, treasurer of the Zeta Phi branch of Delta Alpha Pi (DAPi) said: “We are trying to change that perception.”
DAPi’s “More Than My Disability” campaign aims to get the campus community to look at disability in a different light. The Honors Society, which recognizes the academic achievement of students with disabilities, is asking members of its campus community to take pictures and share information about themselves in January to remove the stigma around their disabilities.
“We want to meet people from different backgrounds with visible and invisible disabilities. I want to make people aware that there is a very wide range of ,” says Natalie Adams of Zeta Phi Chapter. of DAPi.
The “More Than My Disability” photo will be placed at the Elliott University Center (EUC).
“There’s a very wide range of what a disability looks like, and it doesn’t look like one thing.”
Natalie Adams, President of the Zeta-Phi Chapter of the Delta Alpha Pi Honor Society
Affiliation also means existing in a safe environment on campus.
Megan Karbley of UNCG’s Title IX office said:
Title IX UNC Greensboro hosts a five-week program specifically for students to explore the historical context of sexual violence and learn about power-conscious approaches to sexual violence prevention.
“We often hear that 1 in 4 or 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence in their lifetime. “A force-conscious approach focuses on why the ratio exists in the first place.”
Karbley says people who have experienced sexual violence often do not feel connected to their community because they experienced trauma, harm, and/or violence. In some cases, the harm and violence they experience may drive them away from the community altogether.
“It changes the way someone experiences college,” says Karbley.
Students participating in the program also design campus-wide campaigns to address sexual violence that focus on harmful behaviors rather than ways to avoid harm.
“We hope that this project will give students participating in the program a real sense of connection and responsibility for prevention on their own terms, rather than through the lens of what the institution thinks is best for them.” says Karbley. “We really want them to think. This is ours.”
Former UNCG Japanese Club and Korean Student Association President Liam Kim-Martin ’22 said when he received a call from a Japanese student struggling to be affiliated with UNCG asking for help, they decided to take action. I got
“She and her roommate came during the COVID-19 pandemic, and many of the support systems that existed at UNCG for international students were closed,” says Kim-Martin. “Her roommate actually returned to her home country early because she was depressed. Everything was hard for her here.”
The international student asked Kim Martin if he could help create a support system for international students. Through the iBelong project, Kim-Martin plans to start regular meetings and eventually field trips for international students.
“We hope that international students will feel part of the UNCG community,” says Kim-Martin. “Many students felt right here. I feel like I can’t have 1 connection.”
“We hope this project will allow international students to get to know people more regularly at these meetings, have fun and explore.”
Liam Kim-Martin ’22, Former UNCG Japanese Club, President of Korean Student Association
Senior Maya Hayes says she didn’t always feel that UNCG had a place, especially for black women.
“UNCG has great diversity overall and makes everyone feel like they belong,” says Hayes. “We needed something just for black women.”
Her iBelong project, Crowned Success, is a series of events focused on the Black women’s community to help them live after college. The event will focus on professionalism, mindfulness, and workplace issues that black women may face. , working on this project as an intern at On Earth Peace.
“Being successful means reaching maturity and gaining the confidence to succeed—in this case, success in professionalism and life skills,” says Hayes. She “wanted to give black women a space to speak up just to express how they want to make a difference on the UNCG campus.”
“I wanted to combine professionalism with the iBelong project because I realized that many students don’t feel confident enough to graduate from college and get a job and succeed there. It’s the point.”
Maya Hayes, UNCG Senior
The Story of Avery Crane Powell, university communication
Photo by Sean Norona, university communication