Chapter Spotlight Series: UCF

Emerson has always been a chapter that liked to take risks, so emailing the chapter network to spotlight different Her Campus Chapters at other schools was no different. One of the schools that we have decided we wanted to introduce to you is the chapter at the University of Central Florida! The UCF chapter was founded in 2011 and now boasts an impressive total of 91 active writers. UCF is a huge school (68,000 total students!), so the chapter has the rewarding opportunity to represent a range of diverse voices and experiences. I actually had the chance to meet some members of HC UCF in the Her Campus Nationals office last month when they visited Boston for College Fashion Week, so I’m especially excited to be able to introduce this awesome chapter to you!

Lena Daniels and Nicole Wills are the Campus Correspondents at UCF, and they are tasked with overseeing this expansive chapter. Lena serves as president, and she is a senior studying hospitality management and mass communications. Nicole is the editor-in-chief, and she is a senior studying advertising-public relations, political science, and writing and rhetoric. Honestly, shoutout to Lena and Nicole for managing all those different areas of study, which is super helpful when you’re essentially running your own magazine!

The rest of the executive team is structured around different committees to manage all the different interests of the chapter. The editing committee is led by Samantha Olson, a junior studying journalism and creative writing. Nicole Rumman heads the social media committee, and she is a junior studying human communication. The events committee is run by Fakhri Shekarchi, a junior studying biomedical sciences. Last but not least, Victor Martinez, a senior studying advertising-public relations, is in charge of the marketing/PR committee.

UCF is proud to be a chapter where members feel comfortable speaking their truths and advocating for change. When asked about their favorite features they’ve published in the past year, the chapter highlighted "Being Nonbinary in a Binary World" by Evyn Tindle and "An Open Letter to the Guy Who Sexually Assaulted Me" by Chrissy Portwine. Lena and Nicole said, “We pride ourselves on being a chapter that allows our writers to express themselves in whatever way they choose.” Evyn and Chrissy’s articles showcase the power of using your platform to have these important conversations. Both pieces speak to experiences that can often feel isolating, but as a reader, it can be so comforting to have these resources available to know that you are not alone.

We also spoke to the chapter about profiles, and you can again see how UCF is using Her Campus to speak about crucial topics in today’s society. One of the chapter’s favorite profiles from the last year is “Why I March: Karen Caudillo Attends the 2019 Women’s March in Washington, D.C.” The piece talks about Karen Caudillo, a UCF student who attended the 2019 Women’s March. One of my favorite quotes from this article is Karen’s reminder that “dissent is patriotic, and marching reminds me that others feel the same.” We love seeing chapters push for social justice and highlight community members!

Of course, HC UCF is more than an online publication. They host a ton of events, one of their favorites being the find your joy irl tour in collaboration with Her Campus HQ. It was the most successful single day campus event in HC history, and they saw over 1200 people attend! I remember seeing the event highlighted on Her Campus socials and it looked like an awesome time, so I have to give major props to UCF for all their success in running it!

When they’re not running massive events, HC UCF also knows how to have some low-key fun. They love hosting socials, one of which was a movie night where members got together to watch The Devil Wears Prada (which, hello, is an awesome choice). The team also took a trip to the Orlando Farmers Market. Going forward, the chapter has a thrift and swap event to promote sustainable style and a campus fashion show planned. It’s also nearing that time of year for holiday socials! HC UCF holds a Thanksgiving potluck and their annual Holiday Party—plus they have a bunch of tailgates planned along the way.

UCF is proud to be an elite-level chapter, which means that they perform in the top 5 percent of all Her Campus chapters worldwide. Maintaining this status is no easy task, but the team is up for the job. The chapter is on track to publish more articles in one semester than they ever have before, and they plan on adding two more editors to the committee to ensure this is possible. UCF publishes an average of 30+ articles per week, which is an awesome amount of content!

While UCF is a huge school and the chapter has many members, you’ll always feel welcome on the team. No matter how you identify, your voice matters at HC UCF. The chapter is like one big family that loves to support each other. They would describe the team as “empowering, kind, and dedicated.” Lena and Nicole said, “We’re all about empowering through kindness, but we wouldn’t be able to do it without the dedication of our entire team.” With this attitude, anyone can find a place at HC UCF. 

To get involved or learn more about the chapter, you can find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube! And, of course, keep up with all things Her Campus UCF on their website!

Bonus Questions

AS: What Hogwarts house does your chapter most identify with? 

CCs: Ravenclaw! As writers, we’re all about books and cleverness.

 

AS: If your chapter could be described with one animal, what would that animal be and why? 

CCs: A chameleon, because we’re all unique!

 

AS: Is your chapter Team Edward or Team Jacob?  Or for daring, Team Kristen Stewart as a person?

CCs: Team Kristen Stewart for sure!

 

AS: Does your chapter identify more with beaches or lakes?

CCs: As a Florida chapter, we definitely have to go with beaches.

 

(All images provided by Her Campus at UCF)