New event brings groups together, invites newcomers

Starting the year off right

Photo by Mike Kelly.

The second installment of the UNLV New Beginnings event yesterday featured more than twice as many organizations as last year and a guest speaker, in order to promote multicultural involvement at the university.

This year featured 32 organizations that all partnered with the intent of getting the university’s multicultural base involved.

Chaquala Fuller, vice president for the UNLV National Society of Black Engineers, said she was happy to see significant growth in the event in just one year.

“The involvement started long before we set up today,” Fuller said. “We had contacted the organizations for their support to reach out to CSUN to support us, so we have had a lot of contact [with the organizations] in the last six months.”

One of the main goals for Fuller and the NSBE was to make the event more interesting for UNLV students than the first time around.

“Last year we basically had each organization send a representative to talk about the organization and it was kind of cool but really bland,” she said. “I really wanted to liven it up and innovate it this year to make it more appealing to new students who don’t know about New Beginnings.”

Starting the year off right

Photo by Josh Navarro.

The biggest innovation that the groups managed to incorporate was the guest speaker, Chris Cooper. Cooper is a motivational speaker who recently wrote a book titled “Achieve Your Dreams: 26 Quick Keys to Succeed in Life.”

He was the youngest senior brand manager at AT&T at age 26 and made the semi-finals on Donald Trump’s reality show, “The Apprentice.” This was the first stop of his 30-campus, nationwide tour. Cooper was excited to be able to start his tour in Las Vegas.

“I did a program here about five years ago and I liked the campus and the growing diversity in the student body,” Cooper said.

The appearance, according to Cooper, was a welcome experience to help his tour to be a success.
“It’s given me a lot of feedback, a lot of positive stuff to work with,” he said. “Most of the presentations will not be three presentations in one, but [Fuller] asked me to do it like this to cover a lot of different areas, so it was a good way to start things off.”

Cooper made his presence known early in the evening, as he entered through the front door and danced and high-fived audience members. During his speech, he asked for audience participation and gave out free copies of his book.

Ultimately, the night was about the students getting involved, which is what, along with pushing themselves, Cooper hopes that students took away from the night.

“I hope that they understand,” he said, “that dreams are indeed possible.”

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