Sincerely Successful: Sinna Habteselassie

Year and Major: 3rd year in Neuroscience and Philosophy

Involvement: Senator at Large, Base Mentor for Transitions (Program at the AACRC for first year students), McMicken Ambassador, founder of the Greek Diversity Committee, Co-Chair for Cross the Lines, student worker in admissions at the UC College of Law

Her Campus: As Senator at Large, what are some things you hope to bring to this campus? 

Sinna Habteselassie: We’ve only been senators for two weeks, but we just tabled a bill this past Wednesday (April 12), and it was the first bill I’ve ever written. I was really excited because it’s to create a director position for the African American Cultural Resource Center. The AACRC is the only center that isn’t represented on the Board of Equity and Inclusion. I want to do things like that to incorporate students from different backgrounds into these big conversations we’re having in student government.

I think it’s amazing we accomplish all we do in the organization, but it’s hard to serve every student on campus with only a hundred people on the board. Something I really want to do is focus on inclusion and educating members. Other things on my platform were textbook affordability and then instituting a master calendar so we can all keep in touch and know what’s going on around campus.

 

HCUC: You’re involved in so many amazing organizations, what are you passionate about?

SH:  Diversity and inclusion (D&I). I’m passionate about those because I’ve grown a lot in that area, and I want to share that growth with other people on campus. I believe that without D&I, it’s detrimental to our success. It affects things outside of college, like your career and relationships. And all of these things are important to me.​

HCUC: With diversity, what do you think the biggest misconception is?

SH: One quote that always comes to mind is something like, “You can never make peace or learn anything if you’re listening to respond versus listening to hear what someone else is saying.” I believe inclusion is a finish line we’re never going to reach, and we have to be okay with that. But we want to get as close to it as possible. Sometimes people think, “Oh, I can go to a RAPP session sometime, and then I’m set for D&I for the rest of my college career or life,” and that isn’t realistic. There are so many things we don’t know. Being cognizant of the fact that we don’t know something, so maybe it’s not in our best interest to speak on someone else’s path, but to instead educate ourselves about it is important.

Sometimes the biggest issue with D&I is that it’s challenging because you’re putting yourself in uncomfortable situations. But we have to do that because that’s how we grow, and overall, I think the knowledge I’ve gained has helped me gain so many relationships, especially with people who come from different backgrounds.

 

HCUC: What do you recommend people do to get more educated about D&I?

SH: RAPP is a great resource, but there are so many D&I videos, regarding peaceful and politically correct language, on YouTube as well. One person I always watch is Franchesca Ramsey, she has a whole series on YouTube with MTV called “Decoded”. They talk about social justice and things you can do to be a more inclusive leader or person.

 

HCUC: When you have spare time, what do you like to do?

SH: There’s this thing called Speak, it’s almost like slam poetry, and it happens once a month every Thursday. There are so many local poets in our vicinity that I had no idea about. But you go, and they just speak their hearts. It’s like personal experiences incorporated into dancing and singing and other things.

 

HCUC: Now for the random questions; what’s your favorite TV show?

SH: This is a tough one. I really like Scandal, but I also started watching House of Cards on Netflix. And that was really dangerous because I was finishing seasons within a couple of days, so I had to discontinue my Netflix membership. Parks and Rec is also really good.

HCUC: What are your favorite foods and your go-to snacks?

SH: Favorite food… I feel like my mom would hate me if I didn’t say Ethiopian food, but I love Ethiopian food. My go-to snack if I’m just at home hanging out is probably ice cream, because that’s my favorite sweet treat. If I’m just chilling and I want something to eat, I’m a big fan of BBQ chips, like Grippo’s.

 

HCUC: What is your favorite quote?

SH: There’s a lot. This is so weird, but I have an entire section on my phone of all the quotes I collect. There’s a bunch of them, but since I’m in college, my favorite one is, “Sometimes I can feel my bones straining under all the weight of the lives I’m not living.” I feel like in college you just want to do everything, and it’s like, where’s the time? And it’s impossible. But I have for real FOMO all the time, so this quote fits.

 

HCUC: What’s one of your favorite college memories?

SH: Homecoming. Homecoming for sure. Last year, it was my first homecoming because I had never gone before. And it was the best experience ever. I had so much bearcat pride, and I had no idea how much fun this event is every year. But it was just cool to be a bearcat and be lit or whatever. Hanging out with all the alumni who came back, I’ve never felt more spirited.

 

HCUC: What is the most difficult thing you have ever done?

SH: I think a consistent challenge for me is trying to find time. Sometimes I feel like I’m majoring in campus involvement. And while it’s awesome to be apart of so many different things, I struggle to figure out the balance between a social life, family and friends, school, involvement, and a job. It’s hard to find time for self care. But prioritizing that is really important.

 

HCUC: What is your favorite spot on campus?

SH: One spot is the steps on main street. I love sitting there in the sun. Or the second one would be, this little patio in between the Law School and Teacher’s College. No one is ever there, but it’s a nice little place and the architecture there is different from everywhere else on campus.

 

HCUC: What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

SH: Over winter break I went to Israel with some other students from UC, and it was a really awesome experience. On New Year’s Eve, they have something called the “Shook”, which is this like market where they sell produce and stuff during the daytime, but at nighttime, it was the party spot of Jerusalem. It was alive. So we went there and started dancing on tables, meeting strangers, and having a lot of fun. That was one of the most amazing parts of that entire experience. It was just cool to be outside of my comfort zone.  

HCUC: What do you hope to take away from UC when you graduate?

SH: I like to believe that I’m constantly growing, pushing myself to be uncomfortable and spreading my wings a little bit. But I hope that when I leave UC, I don’t plateau after I graduate, that I’m challenging myself, striving to serve my community, and getting in touch with other people. College is so cool because you’re in this sphere of people growing and finding themselves, figuring out their identities. But then you graduate and that kind of ends. So hopefully I continue being open-minded and optimistic.

 

HCUC: What do you want to do after graduation?

SH: I would like to go to law school. I’m currently pursuing a certificate in legal studies, and someday I would love to be a legal rights attorney or maybe something in advocacy law. I haven’t figured it all out yet, but those are the things that interest me. When I graduate, I want to take a year or two off and work in consulting or get hands-on experience before law school. Georgetown has an awesome human rights program, so that’s my dream school, but we’ll see what happens.