Meet Zach Cihlar '19

Zach Cihlar ‘19

Year: Junior

Major(s): Economics and Sociology

Minor(s): Legal Studies

Hometown: Phoenix, Arizona

Her Campus: What’s the most memorable moment from this past summer?

Zach: My favorite memory from this summer came around mid-August, so towards the end of our time for preparation. The Friday before the Orientation Leaders were returning to campus, the Department of Orientation and Core stayed in the office late into the night packing binders and preparing for OL training. We ordered food for everyone in the office at around 10:00 p.m., and we sat on the floor around a table laughing and recounting all the inside jokes and funny experiences we had with each other since the experience began. I thought about all the things I would normally be doing on a Friday night, and I realized that there was no place I’d rather be at that moment. As a group we came to the conclusion that we really needed to live the next few weeks in the moment because very rarely will we get to lead a group of loving, welcoming people all with the same goal of opening up our campus to the next generation of the Brandeis family!

HC: Why did you decide that you wanted to be a part of OL Core?

ZC: I loved Orientation, both when I was a first year and as an Orientation Leader my sophomore year. I decided to apply for Core because I wanted to see Orientation from every angle - as a new student, an OL, and a behind-the-scenes staff-person. I also liked the variety of practical skills the being on Core provided to members - although I’m hesitant to say that as one of my primary reasons for applying for Core, because I don’t think I really comprehended the number of skills I would learn in the position.

HC: What do you think that most people might underestimate about managing Orientation?

ZC: A lot of people last year were surprised to learn that we began the process of planning programming for Orientation in November, almost ten months until Orientation. In a sense, I felt that all ten of those months were necessary. In the earlier portion of the planning, Core spent a ton of time looking through Orientation Leader application and really focusing on the interview process so that we could select an OL body that was representative of Brandeis and embodied the ideals and actions of a variety of Brandeis students. Throughout the rest of the spring semester, we were really focusing on big picture, brainstorming ideas for how we could improve upon previous programs or introduce new ones

HC: Place yourself back to the first day of freshman year, what are the first three emotions that come to mind?

ZC: I was so nervous - that was the main emotion I was feeling. I wanted to be cool and popular - now I find it hard to imagine those were my priorities! Besides that, I was definitely overwhelmed with all that was happening, while I was also extremely excited about the prospect of studying things I was interested in.

HC: Now that you’ve finished orientation, how are you spending your free time?

ZC: I’ve been trying to fill up my schedule as much as possible! The fall season just started, so I’ve been spending a lot of time practicing for our upcoming tennis tournaments, as well as keeping busy with five classes and writing for the Hoot. I’ve also been studying for the LSAT in my spare time.

HC: What else are you involved in this semester?

ZC: I try be involved as much as I can! I’m on the varsity tennis team, I’m a writer and editor for the Brandeis Hoot, I do a bit of work for the Brandeis Beacons, and recently I’ve been jumping in with the club volleyball team practices as a sort of stress-relieving activity. I also try to get a session of yoga in at least once a week!

HC: What’s your favorite thing to do when you go off campus/into Boston?

ZC: My favorite thing to do off-campus is to hit up any variety of bookstores. I love books and reading, and I will read literally anything. If I like a bookstore, I can spend hours and hours in there.

Fast Facts:

Favorite food – Mozzarella sticks (not ashamed)

Favorite movie – The Lion King

Favorite vacation spot – Any place with an ocean, a bright sun, and a book

Usdan or Sherman – Sherman (but mostly because Yen)

Favorite class at Brandeis so far – Lgls 140b: Investigating Justice with Prof. Rosalind Kabhrel