Leysha Caraballo


Haunted Union 2016

Photos by Austin Chaney and Pooja Pasupula.

Freshman Common Reading: Find Me Unafraid

Authors Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner visited UNC Charlotte last Thursday to give a speech on their book “Find Me Unafraid”, a true story that follows their journey creating Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO), a social movement. Odede grew up in Kibera, the largest and poorest slum in Nairobi, Kenya. Posner, originally from Denver, Colorado, met him during a study abroad trip, which led to their partnership and later, their marriage. SHOFCO has created a free school for girls, along with a health clinic, a community center, and a place to obtain clean water. For more information on their movement or how to buy a copy of the book, visit http://www.findmeunafraid.com.

Photos by Leysha Caraballo.

Men’s Basketball holds scrimmage

On October 5th, the Men’s Basketball team held a scrimmage to let UNC Charlotte know where they stand. It was a fun and informal night.The team will be back on October 20th for Basketball Madness at the Halton Arena.

Photos by Leysha Caraballo.

UNC Charlotte’s Sustainability Week Photos

Last week, UNC Charlotte held its annual Sustainability Week. Events this year included a Campus Cleanup, the Transportation Fair, and a Student Gathering. Each event worked to spread sustainable ideas and get students involved on campus to create green projects. Stand out organizations include Charlotte Green Initiative, Earth Club, and the Garden Club.

Photos by Allison Tran.

Photos by Austin Chaney, Leysha Caraballo, and Allison Tran.

Students gather for green initiatives

This past Thursday, Charlotte Green Initiative sponsored a Student Gathering in the Student Union Plaza. Representatives from Earth Club, the Garden Club, The Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) and a few others were present to discuss possible project ideas and ways to collaborate.

The gathering was not all business; students had the chance to carve out pumpkins and discuss sustainability over pizza.

“It was a great time getting together with other sustainable groups on campus to figure out what we can do as students for UNC Charlotte. Not many people know that CGI funds student projects, so these events really help to get the word out,” said CGI’s secretary, Yousef Abdel-Rahman.

The gathering capped off the events that went on during UNC Charlotte’s Sustainability Week. The Transportation Fair along with the campus cleanup were the two other events that occurred. All week, students were encouraged to ask questions about sustainability, create relationships with faculty and other students and to figure out how they could be a part of UNC Charlotte’s progress towards a greener campus.

“I joined CGI this year because I wanted to make a tangible difference on our campus. The ability to vote for sustainable projects that student’s come up with gives me the opportunity to make that difference. The Student Gathering was just another way for our group to connect with students and let them know that they can truly make a difference too,” said CGI member Eddie Angelbello.

The event ran from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and in that time, the organizations were able to speak to passerby’s about what each of their groups have done and how students can become a part of it.

This is the first Student Gathering that Charlotte Green Initiative has held, but there will be others in the future. The organization plans to continue engaging with students and spreading the word about the upcoming proposal deadline for green projects Nov. 7. More information can be found at cgi.uncc.edu.

Students pose with their carved pumpkin. Photo taken by Norah Alorainy
Students pose with their carved pumpkin. Photo taken by Norah Alorainy


Center City Lecture Series

A discussion about post-traumatic growth in clinical practice was lead by Lawrence G. Calhoun and Richard G. Tedeschi on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Both speakers are professors of psychology and practicing psychologists. The conversation was introduced with a humorous yet informative presentation delivered by Lawrence Calhoun. Later, the conversation continued with a lecture from Richard Tedeschi. The overall message of the night delivered information on post-traumatic growth, how one might deal with this situation and what outcome may become of it. They also discussed how someone can tend to an individual dealing with post-traumatic stress. Both professors intrigued the audience throughout the night with humor and relatable content. As the discussion winded down, it ended with a brief Q&A, giving the audience an opportunity to ask any questions they had to both of the professors.

Written by Austin Chaney

Photos by Austin Chaney.

“We Hear You” Dance Performance

Students performed a dance in front of Kennedy last Tuesday in response to the recent protests and the shooting of Keith Lamont Scott.

Photos by Austin Chaney.

Sustainability Week to have multiple events on campus

Next week, the Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI) will hold multiple events involving multiple student groups and school departments during the annual Sustainability Week.

Starting Oct. 4 , students can be apart of the Sustainability Week activities with the fall Campus Cleanup. Students, staff and faculty interested in participating in the event can meet at Belk Plaza or at the Motorsports Lab at 10 a.m. to receive supplies and instructions. Campus Cleanup lasts until 2 p.m.

The next day, students, faculty and staff can learn more about alternative transportation options during the second annual Transportation Fair, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 5, at the plaza between the College of Health and Human Services and the College of Education.

In addition to learning about alternative options for transportation, the Parking and Transportation Services will disclose new information regarding the Light Rail.

Attendants can also learn about UNC Charlotte’s new bike sharing program, which is set to launch in the spring.

On Oct. 6, the Sustainability Office will sponsor a gathering of student organizations that focus on making a positive environmental impact in the community.

Representatives from UNC Charlotte’s Green Initiative, Earth Club, Garden Club and Wellness Ambassadors will be in attendance. The goal is for the organizations to discuss how they can collaborate and to invite other students to learn more about campus sustainability efforts. CGI will be sponsoring the event and will have a giveaway for a pair of Charlotte Motor Speedway tickets. The Campus Cleanup and Transportation fair will have their own Speedway ticket giveaways.

According to Tyler Sytsma, University sustainability coordinator, increasing awareness of sustainability efforts occurring across campus is a goal of Sustainability Week.

“At UNC Charlotte, we place an emphasis on the economic, ecological, regional and environmental impacts that are affected by our operations,” said Sytsma. “The University is committed to being a leading environmental steward and an institution that strives to proactively and effectively manage its impact on energy, water and other natural resources.”

In addition to the multiple events being held next week, there will also be several representatives on campus with more information and giveaways.

The week will be full of different ways to gain environmental awareness and chances to be a part of Charlotte’s sustainability movement. Students are encouraged to come out and take part in these activities occurring between October 4 th and October 6th.

Week of Welcome Kick-off Concert featuring Mario

Last Sunday, Mario helped kick-off the new school year with a free concert on the West Quad. Student Body President, Fahn Darkor, introduced the singer as well as the DJ who started off the concert.

All photos by Pooja Pasupula


Photos: CAB’s Last Day of Class Extravaganza

Despite rain cancelling a the outdoor-portion of the event, UNC Charlotte’s Campus Activities Board hosted their Last Day of Class Extravaganza on May 3rd, 2016. The event was to help students unwind and celebrate getting through the Spring 2016 semester with free food, music and games.

All Photos by Leysha Carballo.

UNC Charlotte goes green

Photos by Leysha Caraballo.

UNC Charlotte’s student-led organization Charlotte Green Initiative (CGI), is accepting proposals once again for green projects. For the spring semester, the organization is accepting small grant proposals opposed to the larger grant requests of the fall. Any UNC Charlotte student can write a proposal and submit it for review. The Committee recommends writing grant proposals for a maximum of $1000, but they are flexible.

An application can be found on the CGI website which asks for a project description, budget, timeline and justification. It is important to have a connection within the university system — like a specific department — to assist in the project and its development, as well as the continuation for future years.

Recent additions to the campus have been water bottle filling stations and the new bike rack in front of Prospector. Some CGI completed projects in the past include the Zero Waste Football Stadium and the addition of compost bins across campus. New plants are waiting to be planted at the community garden from CGI funds.

“Overall, this is the perfect time and method for students to get their ideas heard and make positive change on campus. Students help support the green fee fund and we want as many as possible to utilize it,” said Head of the CGI Kaitlyn Chapman. “Even if it is still in the early stages. We have the resources available to help bring a good idea into fruition with your help.”

Proposals are not limited to individual students, but are open to fraternities, sororities and other campus organizations as well.

The committee will be reviewing the proposals after the due date of April 25. Click this link for further instructions and to submit yours: http://cgi.uncc.edu/cgi-challenge.

If you are interested in presenting a proposal, but do not have the time to submit it by April 25, wait until the fall deadline, which will most likely be in early November.

REVIEW: California Roots Carolina Sessions

Fans waiting for the first band to go on stage. Photo by Leysha Caraballo
Fans waiting for the first band to go on stage. Photo by Leysha Caraballo

This past Saturday, hundreds of people from around the country made their way to the California Roots Carolina Sessions Festival in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. A festival that showcased some of the best acts in reggae music today, Cali Roots was the place to be for reggae lovers. Promising acts included Stick Figure, SOJA, and 311. Some of the more up and coming bands, like Passafire and Sun Dried Vibes, gave the audience new music to jam to.

The first band of the day that really caught my attention was Passafire. Although they fell into the typical category that is rock-reggae fusion, the addition of strong bass and melodica – a small keyboard with a mouthpiece attached to blow into – separated them from the rest.  Songs from their older albums, “Start from Scratch” and “Submersible”, got the crowd moving just as much as their recent release, “Feel It”. Ted Bowne’s unique, full voice, mixed in with the music created a harmonious sound, a sound to look forward to in upcoming albums.

Passafire performing on the Endless Summer stage. Photo by Leysha Caraballo
Passafire performing on the Carolina stage. Photo by Leysha Caraballo

As the day went on, New Kingston, The Movement, and Stick Figure took on the two stages at the festival. Stick Figure, a band based in Southern California, brought along many of their fans. You could easily spot them by their signature  “Stick Figure” logo on hats, t-shirts, and even leggings. The best part of their show was an appearance by their band dog, Cocoa, a beautiful Australian Shepard.  She walked across the stage and wasn’t fazed by the loud music or huge crowd. At one point, lead singer Scott Woodruff picked her up and the crowd went insane.

Southern California based Stick Figure with their dog. Photo by Leysha Caraballo.

The night came to an end with the two headliners, SOJA and 311. Both groups gave the show of a lifetime. SOJA’s performance was incredible – with a drum sequence reminiscent of Brazilian Carnival, infused jazzy elements with Rafael Rodriguez on the trumpet and Hellman Escorcia on the sax, and deep lyrical raps by lead singer Jacob Hemphill. It was a complete production that did not skip a single beat. Although the temperatures dropped quickly as they played, the audience was not deterred and kept the spirits high.

Jacob Hemphill of SOJA. Photo by Leysha Caraballo
Jacob Hemphill of SOJA. Photo by Leysha Caraballo

After some time for set up, 311 took on the stage to close up the festival. “Beautiful Disaster” started their set – which turned out to be quite flawless. Nick Hexum’s voice was just as smooth and velvety as on their records. S.A Martinez, 311s rapper, was so impeccable and on point that it seemed as though he’d have to be lip-syncing – he was not. Tim Mahoney on guitar did not disappoint as he played each song with skill and mastery. The band played some fan favorites, like “All Mixed Up” and of course, “Amber”. This band has paved the way for so many others by introducing a mix of rap, rock, and reggae. Their heavy guitar rifts combined with the well-known reggae bass chords create a blend that continually surprises me.

Nick Hexum, vocalist and guitarist for 311. Photo by Leysha Caraballo.
Nick Hexum, vocalist and guitarist for 311. Photo by Leysha Caraballo.

Throughout the set, the band played songs from their 13 albums. They will be celebrating 26 years together this summer. After screaming out encore for about a minute, 311 reappeared onto the stage to finish the night off with “Creatures (For a While)”, one of my personal favorites. They didn’t neglect their older music, some of the originals, and the audience was thankful for that. Their energy on stage was contagious, and in 50-degree weather, the audience pushed through and allowed the music to move them.

I had been very excited for this festival all year. I was lucky enough to attend it in April since it got moved from October due to bad weather. I was not disappointed in the slighted by any of the acts. I came in knowing about half the bands, but after listening to the ones I hadn’t heard before, I was pleasantly surprised. The central message of Cali Roots Carolina Sessions was to relax, enjoy life, and obviously, bring good vibes.

Doug "SA" Martinez. Photo by Benjamin Robson.
Doug “SA” Martinez. Photo by Benjamin Robson.

‘Hunger Games’ movie marathon to fire up the Union

The Student Union Movie Theater kicks off its “Hunger Games” Movie Marathon this weekend Jan. 30.

The Theater Committee is putting on this marathon due to the huge success that the movie franchise has seen.

Students who attend any of the movies over the weekend will be entered for a chance to receive a “Hunger Games” movie poster. The winner will be selected Feb. 1.

The first movie of the marathon will show Jan. 30 at 2:15 p.m.

UNC Charlotte alum authors book on American worklife

UNC Charlotte alum Austin Halbert’s book “The American Workday” will cover important social and economic issues that affect workers across America today.

The inspiration for the book sprouted from his “frustration with the continuing divides in the United States,” said Halbert.

The disparities in income between different races, nationalities, and genders are highlighted in his work to show that this issue must be addressed.

“The idea behind The American Workday is to use storytelling to foster empathy, to foster unity,” said Halbert.

The book will showcase the personal stories of workers in 38 different occupations, from a custodian to a CEO. By sharing these firsthand accounts, Halbert hopes to defeat the misconceptions surrounding certain jobs and groups of people.

Halbert began writing the book as a student at UNC Charlotte, but he had a lot of help from his peers while attending school.

“Dozens of people in the university system came together to help bring these stories to life, helping connect me with interviews and so many other resources,” said Halbert.

Halbert found many of these connections through the Levine Scholars Program, in which he was able to intern with Carolinas Healthcare Foundation and Unilever, a consumer goods company in New York.

“Both organizations taught me how to execute strong business strategies with the goal of achieving a broader social impact,” said Halbert. “That fueled me to learn about how all businesses can leverage their resources for good.”

Halbert was also a member of the Business Honors Program and President of Enactus.

After his graduation, Halbert continued his studies with the help of a Fulbright Fellowship.

He chose to conduct research in Sweden that will help him write his second book.

In Stockholm, he interviews executives about their companies’ social impact.

“The aim is to find out what U.S. businesses can learn from the way companies operate in Scandinavia,” said Halbert.

Halbert is thankful for the organizations at UNC Charlotte that invested in him during his time here and for the connections it has brought him.

“When I started university a few years ago, I could have never imagined that these experiences laid ahead of me,” said Halbert. “Becoming a 49er was a good move.”TAWD Cover