or not? But I thought about it and -
they were just curious, they really didn't
know. I got it straightened out with them,
and [we're] fine now."
"Because we were supposed to chal-
lenge each other, we did," Kocz said. Her
quintessential memory of the hall is of
"staying up until 3 a.m. supposedly study-
ingJapanese or working on my poli sci or
writing a paper ... and instead finding
myself with all my might trying to pierce
through some other person's opinions
about something and just as avidly having
them trying to get me to see their point.
And, in the middle of the discussion, hav-
ing someone else coming in and saying,
'Hey we should go get apple pie,' and
walking three miles to the grocery store
in the middle of the night while still talk-
ing about politics and abortion or what-
ever.... Just that kind of willingness of
people to expound on their ideas and not
settle for you to just say 'I agree' or 'I
"Part of going to college is being
exposed to other ways of thinking and
areas that are outside of things that you're
specifically interested in," said Sammy
Banawan ' 98, who is now pursuing a doc-
torate in psychology at the University of
Georgia. "I came away from UNITAS not
taking anyone specific type oflearning
but a general open-mindedness when it
comes to many areas. It's like any type of
immersion course for a language."
Now, he said, "My friends look like a
Colors of Benneton ad."
An academic shift
Broad in-depth learning is built into
the structure of UNITAS, which this year
underwent its first major transformation
since its inception.
moved from the
College of Arts and Sciences to what
many believed would be a more suitable
home for a program that focuses on the
culture ofdiversity: the anthropology
department. In addition, the 2X-hour
Tuesday night class, while still focusing on
readings, discussions and student presenta-
tions about theories and issues related to
diversity, has been changed from passlfail
to a graded course.
dents' research projects, adding a real-
world dimension to the experience.
"I feel like I've learned a lot-just liv-
ing with these people and being around
them. It's subtle,"Vanderpool said. Particu-
larly significant for him, he says, was
meeting two Bosnian refugees who lived
on the hall. "You see something bad that
happens on television and you go, 'Oh,
that's such a shanle,' and you change the
channel. And on the hall, you couldn't....
I see these people every day. It made it a
lot more personal thing to me."
Sometimes the most significant lessons
have nothing to do with any other group,
and everything to do with how students
see themselves .
"You expand the way you think about
the world and what you can do in the
world," said Viji Sathy ' 96. The daughter
of Indian in1migrants, Sathy grew up in
Fayetteville, and in her fan1ily there were
only three career options: lawyer, doctor
or engineer. She was pre-med when she
started in UNITAS but was increasingly
unsure that was what she wanted to do.
Living with people who were passionately
and vigorously pursuing many different
directions, and the intense, self-question-
ing environment helped her to focus her
interests. She now is pursuing a doctorate
Melina Selimbegovic and her family
fled bloodshed in Bosnia in 1993 for a life
in Charlotte, where her father had a
cousin. She started the eighth grade two
days after her arrival, speaking no English,
and said she felt like an outsider for years
afterward. A painter, Selimbegovic turned
down a scholarship to pursue the arts at
UNC-Asheville and is now a sophomore
at Carolina on a pre-dental track.
Although she felt much more at home in
America when she began college than she
had at first, Selimbegovic also had begun
to feel alienated from her religion, Islam.
She wondered how she could call herself
a Muslim if she didn't pray to Mecca five
times a day, and she had questions about
how her faith viewed the role of women.
Some of the images she painted, she
thought, might not meet the approval of
in this issue
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