Chi-Urban Excursion

#chiurban2014 was wonderful

March 21, 2014 · No Comments

#chiurban2014 was wonderful
That’s all that needs to be said… really. But I am sure you want to know the nitty-gritty details so allow me to guide you through what made this trip wonderful for me. I must begin by saying that as a Student Affairs professional, I thrive on student development and this trip was full of it. It was absolutely wonderful to witness so much human growth. If you have been following our blog you have already gotten some of those insights in our daily reflections, yet there is still a little more to tell you about.
The students were wonderful! Our hosts, from the Chicago Cultural Center, were very impressed with the ZAGS. We were always on time, excited to learn, engaged with the communities, asking deep-reflecting questions.
The night we went to the open-mic at L.Y.R.I.C. Mary, from the CCC, mentioned to me, how engaged the Gonzaga students were in comparison to all the other groups she has hosted. They were actively participating in providing feedback to the people on stage; and when it was time to shake it and dance, they started the party without hesitation, dancing, not only amongst themselves, but also with the youth of the L.Y.R.I.C. program. Mary said “it’s never this integrated, your kids are awesome”. As we were getting into the van to drive back, one of our girls said, “We beat BYU” and the entire van responded in unison, “Go! Gonzaga! G-O-N-Z-A-G-A Go! Gonzaga! G-O-N-Z-A-G-A”, the Zag pride definitely felt.
During our visit to the Center at Halsted, a community center dedicated to advancing community and securing the health and well-being of the LGBTQ people of Chicago, we got to chat with David G Zak. The students shared their thoughts, concerns and experiences with LGBTQ issues. Their openness showed a deep concern for improving awareness and the interest they have in creating safe spaces that promote well-being for all. I was very impressed by students’ ability to reflect on issues and the depth of their conversations.
Another big moment of Zag pride happened during the last night at the Water By The Spoonful show. Without realizing, we had attended the last preview of the show and at the end, the audience had a chance to ask questions and share reflections with the director. It was such a wonderful moment! The students were so insightful and did such a great job at identifying key elements and emotions. Their praises to the director were well founded and greatly appreciated, and out post-show conversations were reflective and truly insightful.
#chiurban2014 was wonderful and after traveling with these students, I am able to say I am proud to be a Zag!
Maria Rivera
Doctorate Student, Chaperone & Graduate Residence Director

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