Monday, December 6, 2010

Its Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas!

We've woken up to snow on the ground here at IUB for the last week!

With temperatures hovering in the single digits, its finally winter (which means finals) so its time to bundle up and brave the snow and ice to go study!

Monday, November 29, 2010

"Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year..."

One of the best things about IU is the perfect distance between Bloomington and downtown Indy. We're just far enough away that we feel like we're getting that small, college town experience, but close enough that working in or making day trips to Indy are certainly possible.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday of the year because it starts off the holiday season. The holidays mean free time, food, family and friends. I went to Indianapolis for Thanksgiving and ventured to downtown for Indy's holiday season kick-off.

With the wind chill hovering in the high teens, I met some of my friends from school in downtown for dinner and the Circle of Lights, where a light tree is lit up around Monument Circle. My IU tree is up, I have the ingredients for sugar cookies, and my holiday music has its own new playlist on my iPod. Now just to survive finals... The break is over!

Monday, November 15, 2010

A Night Out on the Town

I love the Buskirk Chumley Theatre. Saturday night, two of my roommates and I took a stroll down Kirkwood to the Buskirk for a girls' night of fabulous acoustic music in an intimate setting where there isn't a bad seat.

The main act, an indie-esque sing named Ben Kweller, took the stage after the quirky tunes of Julia Nunes, an up-and-coming YouTube sensation whose ukulele tunes and jokes kept the audience entertained. Kweller took the stage solo for an hour of heart-rendering lyrics and occasional audience participation.

With the Buskirk sitting only a few blocks from campus and a fabulous calendar for the rest of the school year, I encourage students to take advantage of the great up-and-coming acts and low ticket prices for a fun night out on the town!

Monday, November 8, 2010

One Big "W"!

After two years of campaigning and six months of hard campaigning for the general election, Tuesday night was one big celebration for Team Todd Young for Congress! With 52% of the vote, Todd Young won Indiana's 9th Congressional District.

After an Election Eve of College Republicans putting up candidate signs at polling locations and around campus, we spent Election Day phone banking on behalf of Todd Young and encouraging registered voters to make it to the polls. Staff, College Republicans and volunteers watched election returns until the race was called at 8:48 and Todd took the stage for a speech that moved us to tears shortly after 9.

Interning on this campaign will go down as one of the most incredible experiences in my undergraduate career. I have so much respect for the hard work and sacrifices Congressman-elect Young, his family and the Todd Young for Congress staff have made for the people of Indiana's 9th District and the values we believe in.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Election Fever

After spending much of my summer volunteering on the primary campaign of Ben Quayle, a 33-year-old running for U.S. Congress in my home district (AZ CD-3) in Phoenix, I knew I wanted to stay involved in politics this fall. I read candidates' websites and watched campaign videos and something about Todd Young, a 38-year-old father of four, attorney and former Marine, struck a chord with me. He understood many of the problems I saw facing America and, unlike most other politicians, was prepared to fight to bring our country back on track.

Todd Young speaking to voters following the first Congressional debate at Valparaiso University-Jasper.

Although I could write a whole post about his stances on the issues and there are not enough words to describe his work ethic and dedication to the people of Indiana's 9th District, I don't want to make this an entirely political blog. To me, the choice is clear.

College Republicans making phone calls to get out the vote for Todd Young for Congress.

Being politically involved in this election cycle, especially in Bloomington--a small town in the midst big political battles--has proven a wonderful experience. Firstly, I think students, especially political science majors like myself, undervalue the importance of being involved in the political process. Through IDing voters and talking to students I've found that most are not register to vote in the Bloomington area, and the majority do not intend to vote this election. Students neglect to see how the actions of our elected officials influence our current lifestyles and will certainly influence our futures.

Todd Young answering voters' questions at a meet-and-greet
for voters south of Bloomington to get to know Todd.

Then comes two different arguments I tell many people who tell me they are not voting. Firstly, if you aren't happy or think you won't be happy with a certain outcome, then get involved or don't complain. Secondly, why sit around studying theory, as much of political science classes are, when you can actively participate in the real deal right now!

With former Vice President Dan Quayle.

I've met a former vice president, current and past members of Congress, the governor, and dozens of Indiana's elected officials. I've made hundreds of calls encouraging citizens to exercise their Constitutional right to vote. I've gotten to know fantastic and passionate individuals from all over southern Indiana who have faith in our system of government and hope for the American dream. As cheesy as it sounds, it has been an inspiring experience.

A voter asks Todd a question about the health care legislation.

Todd Young for Congress has had more than 100 hours of my last eight weeks. Todd Young knows he has support and commitment to the campaign in these final two days. Yet regardless of which side of the aisle you stand, I encourage each of you to get involved in the final 48 hours of this election cycle-it's going to be a close one, this is an exciting district and an exciting time in politics!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Leadership Connection

This weekend, I was a participant in the Catalyst Student Leader Retreat.

Workshop participants competing in teams to build the tallest tower of balloons and tape.

Forty of IU's campus leaders gathered for a seven-hour workshop built to inspire students to set and reach for goals. We were challenged to run against societal norms and do what makes us happy and is best for society.

Watching a clip of a video called, "The Journey."

We watched a video, talked in groups about our goals and the challenges we face to achieve these goals, and competed as teams to build the largest tower possible of balloons and tape in an attempt to learn how to work with different leadership types.

It was a wonderful opportunity to connect with campus leaders from a wide variety of groups!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Some kids dream of Disneyland...

This weekend, I was able to represent Indiana University at the Public Relations Student Society of America National Conference in Washington, D.C.

On the south lawn of the White House for a tour.

I've found that being involved in college organizations has provided as many learning opportunities as in the classroom. Being a part of professional organizations and fraternities like PRSSA provides students with educational and professional development education, practice and networking opportunities.

The Capitol and Grant Monument.

The convention held a networking night, sessions in skill development and career advice, keynote addresses and a career fair. I have been able to make connections with students from across the country, while promoting our chapter and the upcoming regional event our chapter will host for PR professionals and students in the spring.

The Washington Monument and Reflecting Pool by night.

As a journalism and political science major, I've made a point of making time to see all the sights during my first trip to our nation's capital. I've been able to go on a tour of the East Wing of the White House, the Capitol, the Supreme Court, the Library of Congress, all the monuments at night, Georgetown and a garden tour of the White House. It's been a long weekend but a great trip!

Me outside the White House-a dream come true!

Monday, October 11, 2010

'Tis the Seasons

My roommates love to celebrate holidays.

“They don’t just wish everyone "Merry..." or "Happy..." the day of. They don’t simply create a costume for Halloween or get deli meat turkey for Thanksgiving. Oh, no. My roommates love to go ALL OUT.

With Halloween only 20 days away, two of my roommates, Jes and Neely, had gone home for the weekend and both brought back things to decorate for the first holiday of the extended holiday season that runs from October through January 1.

My mom would always decorate our house for every holiday growing up, so having two roommates who love to put up kiddo window clings, use festive pot holders and make seasonal desserts, makes it feel a little more like home.

Places like Walmart and the Dollar store sell lots of inexpensive seasonal things, and picking up two or three can convert a dorm room from drab to festive in five minutes or less! Not only will it make your place feel a little more like home, but it gives you and your roommates something fun to laugh about, like why on Earth do they make ghost-shaped pot holders or battery-light-up jack-o-lanterns?

Monday, October 4, 2010

My New Obsession

My two favorite things about living in the on-campus Willkie apartments are the close proximity to the heart of campus, as I've mentioned before, and my kitchen. I absolutely love having a kitchen.

Let's be clear, I've never been one to bake, cook, or grill, so I'm not really sure where my new-found love for has come from. Maybe it's the fear of the Pizza X delivery guy knowing my name and the Freshman Fifteen finally catching up with me? Or maybe it's that I've never had a kitchen of my own to try cooking where no one has to know if I fail or succeed. Whatever the reason, I've discovered that I genuinely enjoy cooking and I'm actually pretty good at it.

So Saturdays have become my baking days: a two hour break from homework, work and any kind of stress to just be in my kitchen and cooking something delicious. This past Saturday, with three bananas sitting on our counter-top starting to get mushy, one of my roommates, Jes, and I decided to make her mom's banana nut bread.

After some mashing of bananas, mixing of ingredients and more than an hour of baking, our bread was finished and it was absolutely delicious. My only suggestion, make sure you move the top rack high enough that your bread won't rise and cook around it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Get Involved!

PRSSA President, Kristina Hunter, explains to new members the goals, activities and opportunities PRSSA provides its members.

My favorite thing about living on-campus is how much easier it makes staying involved in campus activities. I can walk to almost any campus event, meeting or lecture in 15 minutes or less. My walking distance from Willkie (which is in the corner of campus) is just far enough that I know I'm getting my daily dose of exercise without wasting time commuting to events.

College Republicans Chairman Justin Kingsolver opens the College Republicans call-out meeting.

The last two weeks have been filled with the first meetings of the year for clubs of every variety. Two organizations I am heavily involved in this semester are the College Republicans and Public Relations Student Society of America.

Todd Young speaks to the College Republicans at their call-out meeting, explaining the importance of being politically active in this general election.

Both organizations hosted IU alumna as guest speakers to help explain the importance of the experiences the organizations provide their members. Additionally, they explained the value of these opportunities not only for students but for the community it benefits.

Students sign-up for opportunities at the PRSSA call-out meeting.

It's never too late to join an on-campus organization, so find one that sounds interesting to you, sign-up and get involved!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Gay Talese at the Buskirk

Inside the Buskirk Chumley, a packed house waiting for Gay Talese to begin speaking.

Former New York Times writer and award-winning author, Gay Talese, came to IU Bloomington last week as the opening speaker in the Indiana University School of Journalism Fall Speaker Series. Two of my friends from the School of Journalism and I left Willkie and traveled over to the Buskirk Chumley for what will be one of my favorite events of the year. Talese's lecture revolved around his unique entrance into and style of journalism, where he finds his stories and his suggestions to budding reporters.

Author and former New York Times reporter, Gay Talese.

The Speaker Series allows students to see world-renowned authors, speakers and reporters, in a small and intimate setting alongside their professors and local journalist professionals or media enthusiasts. At the end of the speaker's usually hour speech, students and professors alike are often invited to an open microphone for a brief question and answer before the speaker has a book signing in the lobby. So students, take advantage of the accessibility that IUB programs like the School of Journalism give their students to such respected professionals like Gay Talese, by going on-campus lectures. They won't disappoint!

The Buskirk Chumley, my favorite venue in Bloomington.

Monday, September 13, 2010

4th Streets Taken Over by Art

The annual Fourth Street Arts Festival took over Bloomington's Fourth Street, just west of campus, last Saturday and Sunday.

Art and handicraft vendors from Maine to California set up booths along Fourth and Grant Street to sell hand-carved, painted and designed crafts of all kinds: jewelery and clothing to paintings and sculptures.

One of the best parts of being a student at IU Bloomington is going to school in a town that revolves around the university. Most major Bloomington events take place within a 15 minute walk of campus and oftentimes provide discounts for students who bring their IDs.

Going to the Festival with four of my friends bright and early Saturday morning was a great way to start off my weekend and enjoy lovely fall weather.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Welcome to the Hoosier Nation, Class of 2014!

Welcome to IU, Class of 2014!

Indiana University's 'Welcome Week' provides five days of events for incoming freshmen to get acquainted with campus, meet new people and be introduced to all things IU.

I've always been fond of school spirit: wearing school colors, shouting school cheers, attending school events. 'Traditions and Spirit of IU' is Welcome Week's event for people like me who want to be a part of the tradition and bleed cream and crimson.

Students are introduced to IU Athletics and taught cheers for sporting events. As an out-of-state student who only heard about IU for its sports when I was growing up, learning the cheers and being a member of the Hoosier Nation was an IU tradition I couldn't wait to experience.

So Class of 2014, you've survived thirteen years of grade school education, graduated from high school, and been accepted to an outstanding university. You're all moved in and unpacked, met new and exciting people, and said goodbye to Mom and Dad. Now cheer at games, join clubs, attend events, study diligently, and explore Bloomington.

Welcome to the Hoosier Nation.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Back to Btown

Welcome back! Hopefully you followed our RPS blogs last year, but for those of you who are new, I'm Kristen, a junior double-majoring in journalism and political science. I'm from Phoenix, Arizona, but found the academics, campus and adventure I wanted in my college experience when I toured Indiana University Bloomington. I'm half-way through college and could not have asked for a more incredible first two years.

Me in Santiago, Chile.

For me, summer means going home, working hard, and playing harder. Immediately after classes were out, I traveled to Santiago, Chile, for a ten day Latin American adventure as the final component of a journalism class I had taken in the spring. I loved the people, the landscapes, the food and the culture. We rode horseback and zip-lined through the Andes, traveled to seaside Valparaiso, and toured the top journalism organizations in the country!

Santiago, Chile.

Back in the USA with my first stamp in my passport, I moved home to Phoenix, Arizona, and started interning at Phoenix Children’s Hospital and for United States Senator Jon Kyl. As a double-major, my internships provided me with the best of my two academic worlds and I could not have asked for better experiences.

Horseback riding in the Andes in Chile.

I spent time outdoors, watched movies and enjoyed time with family and friends when I could, but spent much of my free time volunteering on a political campaign for a congressional candidate running for Congress. With the Arizona primary being just last week it made for a busy summer, but I loved it!

Outdoors in Utah.

With summer over, its back to B-town! This year I've moved into an apartment in the Wilkie complex with three of my best friends. We're all moved in so let the fun begin!

There's nothing like a Phoenix sunset.