Zahra Barnes

More by Zahra Barnes

Afropollo Brings The Talent To NU

11/21/2011

Afropollo, the talent show put on by the African Students Association on Friday, November 18, was a mixture of laughs, applause, jeers, and undeniable talent.
 
The show opened with a performance by Fusion Dance Company. It was the perfect way to start the night; before long, the high-energy music combined with fun dance moves had the crowd yelling and cheering.  
 
In between acts, the show's MCs Daniel Flores and Chris Smith entertained the rowdy crowd as best they could. It seemed like the crowd was so excited to see the different acts that when it came to the MCs, they acted impatient at best and rude at worst. But that's to be expected with this kind of show, since people are encouraged to be as loud and outrageous as possible throughout.
 

  (Photo Credit: Michelle Byamugisha)

Some lucky audience members got more than they bargained for. There were so many raffles throughout the night, it was hard to keep count. The winners got things like a $65 gift card to local salon Pivot Point and gift cards of varying amounts to Cosi, Chipotle, and a ton of other places.

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Alumni Return To Offer Finance Career Advice

11/18/2011

On Thursday, November 17, over 45 Northwestern students interested in finance attended Alumni Connection Series: Careers in Finance. Co-sponsored by NCA- The Student Alumni Partnership and the Northwestern Alumni Association, the event was an eye-opening panel discussion with alumni who have found success in the finance world.
 
The alumni were an impressive group with a broad range of experiences, from working in investment policy to being the former New York State Treasurer.

Even with all of their expertise, the alumni were still relatable. Ronald Jin (McC02, KSM13), Credit Research Group Intern, PIMCO joked that his day-to-day life would seem very familiar to students since he's currently completing his degree at Kellogg.
 
They also shared their wealth of knowledge with the attendees, some of which were eager to find out how they have forged a path in the high-stakes world of finance.  Others have no interest in doing anything finance-related after graduation, but the alumni still had plenty of helpful insight. They thoroughly explained their jobs and gave examples of their typical days.
 
For Diane Faunda (WCAS92, KSM98), Managing Director at J.P. Morgan, most of her days include traveling for face-to-face client meetings. Eugene Sunshine (WCAS71), Senior Vice President for Business and Finance of Northwestern, spends a lot of his days working with various NU deans.
 
The alumni at the ACS: Careers in Finance spoke confidently of their life choices and were enthusiastic about answering each question to help students be proud of their life choices, too.

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The Campus Chalker

11/15/2011

The 'Campus Chalker' has recently become a Northwestern sensation with masterpieces, like this one!

You can follow 'Campus Chalker' on Twitter (@campuschalker). And while you're at it, follow us @HCNorthwestern!

T.A.K.E. Defense Training Educates Northwestern Women

11/2/2011

On October 28, more than 40 students gathered for one of the most important lessons a woman can learn: how to protect herself in the event of an attack. Pi Beta Phi sorority in connection with The Ali Kemp Educational Foundation (T.A.K.E.), organized the event in honor of Ali Kemp, a Pi Phi who was murdered in June 2002. 
 
Bob and Jill Leiker, trainers for T.A.K.E., gave an excellent presentation filled with essential information that greatly increases any woman's chance of surviving a violent attack.
 
The presentation started with Bob giving a speech that covered much of the information that is parroted regularly, but rarely fully absorbed. He talked about the kinds of unconscious vulnerabilities women project, what attackers look for in a victim, and his past interactions with violent criminals.
 
After his introductory speech, the women in the room paired up to learn self-defense moves. As the moves went from simple and distanced to more involved and physically intense, the mood in the room got sillier. It's easy to laugh when pretending to knee a sorority sister in the groin, but attendees understood how important the class really was.
 
"Now I know that if something does happen, I'll have a plan for how to react," said Morgan Craig, a junior biology major. Craig, who organized the event, had never attended a self-defense class before. "I know we've been having some safety problems on campus, so it seemed like a great idea."
 
In between learning different self-defense techniques, the Leikers told stories about women who had saved themselves with the moves or whose lack of a plan during an attack encouraged them to take the class. The Leikers think being prepared is one of the most important factors in walking away unharmed.
 

Having a Fun, Not Racist Halloween

10/28/2011

It's finally time for Halloween! I'm excited, are you? One of the best parts of this Halloween (besides terrifying people in my horrifying mask) is going to be seeing how creative the people of Chicago will get with their costumes. I'm fully ready to go into the city and see what craziness people have come up with this year. One thing I'm not excited for, though, is the racist costumes I'm sure to see.

 
There's almost too much to say when it comes to that fine line between having fun on Halloween and being offensive on Halloween. I'll start with the idea of privilege.
 
Privilege is “a special advantage, immunity, permission, right, or benefit granted to or enjoyed by an individual, class, or caste” according to The Free Dictionary. We're all privileged for different reasons; for example, I'm privileged because I'm straight and I'm getting an excellent education. Certain things in life will come easier to me because of these things, and I accept and try to acknowledge that.  The most basic example of this is that men have privilege over women. Check out more about that here.

Find Your NU Love

10/27/2011

On Monday, October 17, Northwestern's Homecoming Committee tried out an interesting idea: Northwestern speed dating. "Find Your NU Love" flew face of all of the "Omg we are the awkwardest school that ever awkwarded" self-deprecation, and the Committee made it clear that more than a few brave souls are willing to put themselves out there to meet new people: More than 40 people attended the event.
 
People rotated seats in the living room of the John Evans Alumni Center, giggling at strangeness of the constant changing of their conversation partner. Their stomachs filled with Wildcat-themed cupcakes, everyone shuffled seats, exchanged names, and tried to establish more of a connection than a simple "Oh, we go to the same school."
 
Elisse Kavensky, a WCAS senior and Homecoming Committee Co-Chair, was excited about the event. 
 
"We just wanted to have something different to get everyone ready for Homecoming. We're really happy with how it's turning out," she said. 
 
There were more women than men, which actually gave the night a more laid-back sense. The lopsided gender numbers gave the night of a getting-to-know-you kind of gathering than a looking-for-a-spouse one, which only made it more enjoyable for the attendees.
 
"It was definitely worth it," said Nick Dotzenrod, a freshman in McCormick. "I don't think I met the love of my life here, but I'm really glad I came."
 
At the end of the night, people filled out a sheet with the names of the people they'd like to get in further contact with. Were any romantic connections made that night? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, any Wildcat should be proud that such an intimidating event had such a fantastic turnout. Take that information and run with it, Wildcats. It seems we're not as timid as we'd like to think. 
e Goulding
 

Sexually Harassed On The Chicago 'L': One Girl's Story

10/3/2011

I sank down into my seat on the L, almost delirious with relief that I was finally headed home. It was my first night back in Chicago after being away for summer, and my friends and I had decided to go out. Since I had only gotten forty minutes of sleep the night before (I'm a procrastinator when it comes to packing), this was not my smartest idea. Combined with the fact that I was wearing four-inch heels and had a dull, music-induced headache, I was about ready to fall asleep in my seat.

My two friends were sitting behind me, also nodding off. As I tried to stay awake, I noticed the man sitting across the aisle, facing me. More importantly, I noticed that he was staring at me and masturbating.
I had seen him looking me up and down when we were waiting on the platform. He was carrying a huge black bag and had a tattoo in the middle of his forehead. As I stood there, shivering, I made it a point to not make eye contact with him, but he came into the same car as us even though he was closer to another one.

He had his hand under his sweatshirt, but the motion was unmistakable. He was smart enough to not fully expose himself. He had really thought it through. Maybe he had done this before?

An Interview With Jenna Kastan

5/16/2011

On May 13, Northwestern's Relay for Life raised over $137,000 for the American Cancer Society. The event, which was overnight to symbolize that "cancer never sleeps," was such a success in large part to the dedication of Event Co-Chair Jenna Kastan. Jenna, a third-year student who's graduating early, has a long history of participating in Relay for Life. Combine that with her other commitments on campus and it's no surprise she's our latest Campus Celebrity!
 
Year- Senior
Major- Psychology
Hometown- Montvale, New Jersey
Birthday- May 4, 1990
 
HC: What else are you involved in?
 
Jenna: I'm in Kappa Delta. I've had lots of different positions in KD. I'm also an assistant lab manager at a psychology research lab on campus.
 
HC: How did you get involved with Relay for Life? What has that experience been like for you?
 
Jenna: I started participating my freshman year of high school, so that was seven years ago. My brother actually participated in it first, so I went along with him and realized what a great event it was. The next year, I got involved with the planning committee, and I was with that until my graduation. At Northwestern, I joined as a committee member, then Public Relations/Fundraising Co-Chair, and now this year I'm an Event Co-Chair.
 

Zahra Branches Out: Laughter Therapy

5/10/2011

One of my best branching out experiences happened about a year ago. It was also one of my weirdest, but I doubt that's a coincidence.
 
My friend told me that Northwestern's Happiness Club was holding a laughter therapy session, and we knew we had to go. As sophomores, the excitement of being at college was wearing off. We wanted to do something to remind us why college is amazing, and being coached through laughing for an hour seemed like a start. We always though this YouTube video was hilarious, so we jumped at the chance to be like him for an hour, no matter how idiotic we looked (we looked very, very stupid, but it was worth it).
 
Our instructor coached us through different exercises, including running around the room, cracking up and hugging different people, most of whom we had never met before. I won't say that the laughter, which started off as forced, eventually became completely genuine as everyone became comfortable with the exercises. People were definitely nervous, and it showed. A lot of the laughter wasn't so much of the uproarious, belly-produced variety as it was the nervous, "haha I'm already here, can't leave now," kind. That's what I liked so much about it, though.
 

Raccoons on Sheridan!

5/4/2011

Random people were seen in raccoon costumes fighting each other on Sheridan Road.