5 questions with Arabella Loera ’23
When I was younger, I thought of Ohio as farms. I had been there only once before my campus visit. After arriving on campus, an initial impression was a difference in language: Wanting to fill my water bottle, I asked directions to the bubbler. The reaction was like, “Are you insane?” That’s how I learned what a “water fountain” was. Although no one in Wisconsin drinks “pop,” I realized that was a name for soda. I also learned what a welcoming place UD is. I don’t distinctly recall anyone who made me feel as if I didn’t belong.
People have different personalities and perspectives. Sometimes, when working in groups, one might have a member who, for example, might not be an effective communicator. But you learn to work together to get stuff done. And, over the last few years, I’ve learned how people who have different social statuses have different resources. I grew up in a community and a family with resources to help my growth. Not everybody does.
People have different personalities and perspectives ... But you learn to work together to get stuff done.
I worked as a telefund caller for performing arts organizations. Working in downtown Milwaukee overlooking the lake, I made calls for symphonies and other groups. My boss said this was the best year in fundraising in 30 years. Reactions to the pandemic have had some good results. For example, our mock trial team my first year traveled for the most part to nearby competitions. This year we competed online in one hosted by Arizona State.
With the Multi-Ethnic Education and Engagement Center (MEC), I work with a mentoring program. When one comes from miles away, the transition to college can be difficult, especially for minorities. Before I came here to school, I knew some people on campus including my brother, Julian, but I still benefited from MEC’s pre-orientation program. And I met people I am still friends with. I can just walk into Alumni Hall [home to MEC] and talk to the staff and students there.
What evidence do you see of that commitment? In response to occurrences on and off campus, the University makes statements against hate, racism and any divisiveness harmful to the common good. But it also follows through with programming, campuswide talks that welcome all students and a plan to work toward being inclusive. As a student, I find that follow-through to be especially important.