By Cheyenne Judkins – Contributing Writer
As tattoos are on the rise on the UMF campus, many students are getting them for very special reasons. These art pieces come in many shapes and sizes, but they’re all significant, some even have a story. Some people get tattoos for family members, lost loved ones, or more personal reasons, but each one is unique. Here are some around UMF…
Rachael Chavarie, junior Elementary Education Major.
(Photo courtesy of Rachael Chavarie)
Rachael Chavarie, a junior and Elementary Education major at UMF has a faith over fear tattoo that is near and dear to her heart. “I got this tattoo based off my favorite bible verse, ‘When times I am afraid, I will trust in thee’ Psalms 56:3” Chavarie said. She described herself as someone who often worries and overthinks things she has no control over, but her faith has always been there for her to lean on. “Throughout my life I’ve also come to realize that God has never let me down once and that he always has my best interest at heart,” Chavarie said, “I decided to get this tattoo as a permanent reminder to always keep my faith above any fear I have no matter how little it may be.”
Mikayla Wyman’s symbol of her grandparent’s love story.
(Photo courtesy of Makayla Wyman)
Mikayla Wyman, a junior Early Childhood Education major has a dove tattoo with French words on the back of her neck to represent her grandparents love story, “Je t’aime means ‘I love you’ in French, and it’s written in my grandmother’s handwriting” Wyman said. This tiny token is a constant reminder for her of how her grandparents fell in love.
Amanda Swart’s tribute to her grandfather.
(Photo Courtesy of Amanda Swart)
Amanda Swart, a junior Outdoor Recreation, and Business Administration major also has a tattoo for one of her grandparents. “I got this tattoo in memory of my grandpa,” Swart said, “the rose stands for ‘Rosie’ which he always used to call me, and the writing is his own from postcards he’d send me once a month for my entire childhood,” Swart says he was the greatest man in her life, and she continues to fall more in love with her tattoo every day.
Areyanna Yslava’s matching Mario tattoo with her fiance.
(Photo courtesy of Areyanna Yslava)
Areyanna Yslava is a junior Elementary Education major, she decided to get a mushroom tattoo from the game Marion with her fiance, “Most people look at my tattoo and see something from a video game,” Yslava said, “but to me its not just a silly cartoon, the mushroom is an extra life, a second chance at being happy and having a fulfilling life, which is what he [her fiance] gave me.”
Christina Taylor’s compilation of all her artistic interests.
(Photo courtesy of Christina Taylor)
Christina Taylor, a junior Business Psychology major designed her own custom tattoo with her artist, “It encompasses all of my artistic interests,” Taylor said, “costuming, sewing, theater, and music are all incorporated.” She shared the treble clef is backwards so she can see it clearly in a mirror, and she chose the color pink because it’s her favorite color.
Tattoos may seem small and meaningless to someone glancing at it from across the room, but they often have an underlying meaning for the person they belong to. The ink under these peoples skin are not just drawings or art pieces, they’re stories.
Cheyenne Judkins – Contributing Writer
This fall semester is the first for a brand new allies program created for incoming UMF freshmen.
The program is similar to having a peer advisor, but was created as a way to provide more resources and support for first generation students who aren’t education majors or Johnson Scholars.
Kirsten Swan, the Director of Student Leadership and Service, said she started planning last January, as that’s typically when she begins focusing on the fall program. Swan also noted that there used to be a similar program but they did away with it, so it’s been revised and revamped to fit the needs of UMF’s incoming students.
Swan is also on the Retention and Recruitment Committee, and they could see UMF was losing a lot of students. Although students leave for a variety of reasons, many of the students leaving appeared to be freshman.
“The number of freshman leaving campus fueled the drive to create the allies program,” said Swan.
The program is made up of 29 upperclassmen volunteers from the orientation staff, and each freshman was assigned an upperclassmen ally. The students were assigned based on their residential areas. Amanda Dwyer, a senior and Special Education major at UMF, volunteered to be an upperclassmen ally for the program and this was her fifth year on orientation staff.
“I personally was assigned 21 freshmen, but only four have showed up to meetings,” said Dwyer.
Allies continue to communicate with new students through the preregistration process. During that time, freshmen are able to meet with their allies or message them any questions they may have. Dwyer made a Facebook page for the students she was assigned, and she gets questions from them often via Facebook.
“Through being an upperclassman ally, I learned that sometimes freshman are shy and hesitant to ask questions in person, but they ask a lot more online via Facebook,” Dwyer said.
Kaitlyn Mitchell, a freshman Creative Writing major at UMF, enjoyed the allies program because it allowed her to ask questions and having an ally made her more comfortable, although she wished the allies would have been assigned based on major.
“It’s nice because it’s easier than going to your advisor,” Mitchell said. “It was good to be able to talk about how orientation was going and ask questions if we had them.”
Dwyer says it’s nice when she runs into her freshman allies on campus and they say, “hey Amanda! How are you?” Dwyer recalls, “one of my favorite moments was when one of my freshmen came up to me and thanked me for telling them about the Employment Fair because they received a job offer and accepted it.”
Dwyer says she hopes they continue the program but states, “the first meeting should really be mandatory because if they don’t attend meetings, they’re not receiving the extra care and guidance the university is trying to provide.” Swan plans to continue the allies program in the future and says, “I hope to involve other student leaders.”