Monday, August 19

Residential Life launches themed floor for Pilipino community

Hedrick Hall 5 South, the new Pilipino residential floor on the Hill, is a completely student-initiated community for Pilipinos. (Kuhelika Ghosh/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Hedrick Hall 5 South, the new Pilipino residential floor on the Hill, is a completely student-initiated community for Pilipinos. (Kuhelika Ghosh/Daily Bruin senior staff)

Hedrick Hall 5 South will now be the official Pilipino residential floor for UCLA.

A group of students approached the Residential Life staff about creating the [email protected] Community because they wanted a community on the Hill that would represent their culture, said Lori Vogelgesang, director of academic programs at UCLA Residential Life. The Pilipino residential floor will be officially inducted at an event for the UCLA Pilipino Alumni Association’s 25th anniversary, which will be held Saturday at Covel Commons from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The floor will include students who are interested in joining the Pilipino community, regardless of their cultural heritage or major, Vogelgesang said. Students are not required to be Pilipino while applying for the Pilipino residential community, she added.

Each residential community has live-in professional staff including the resident director, program coordinator, a faculty-in-residence and resident assistants.

[Related: Newly added arts-themed floor draws student interest]

Robert Teranishi, the faculty-in-residence working with the Pilipino learning community, said in a statement that he thinks the floor will create opportunities for residents on the Hill to learn more about Pilipino history and culture.

“As a faculty-in-residence, I look forward to opportunities to be involved in various activities on the Hill and in the community around issues that are relevant to one of the largest Asian American subgroups in Los Angeles,” Teranishi, a professor of social science and comparative education, said.

In the future, students may be able to establish partnerships with clubs and organizations on and off campus, Teranishi said.

“We’ll see where it takes us, but our main goal is to connect (Pilipino students) with student groups and help them be more successful and engaged,” Vogelgesang said.

Selina Hsuan, a first-year biochemistry student, said she got assigned to live there even though she is not a Pilipina and did not apply to join the community. However, she said she enjoys learning about Pilipino culture through the events held on the floor.

Pamela Abeka, a first-year undeclared student, said the Pilipino welcome event introduced her to different Pilipino clubs on campus and how they help the community.

Resident assistants and students who live in the community will decide activities that should be held on the floor, Vogelgesang said.

Regge Galac, a first-year political science student, said he applied to be in the Pilipino Living Learning Community and enjoys the diversity among the residents on the floor.

“I love it here, even though not everyone is Pilipino,” Galac said. “The Pilipino cultural events make me feel at home.”

Galac said their floor held karaoke night last week, where they sang traditional Pilipino songs such as “Ocho Ocho.”

“When I started dancing, everyone else joined in as well,” Galac said.

Vogelgesang said the Hill currently has 10 Living Learning Communities in total, and does not plan to add any more in the immediate future. However, the Residential Life staff is always open to students’ suggestions, she added.

[Column: UCLA Residential Life must publicize Living Learning Communities]

Residential Life also launched the Design and Innovation Community at Sproul Hall this quarter, Vogelgesang said. The new community offers resources to students interested in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Generally, learning communities are a great opportunity for students to be more connected to their college and their peers,” Teranishi said.

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Features & Student Life editor

Ghosh is the assistant news editor for the Features & Student Life beat. She covers features on UCLA students, faculty and staff, obituaries, events on campus, Greek life and the Hill. She was previously a Features & Student Life news contributor and an opinion columnist.

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