The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Conoce El Barrio: La nueva comunidad residencial definida latinx de UMass

Image of Southwest Residential Area with text reading El Barrio: The brand new Latinx defined residential community at UMass

Mudarme a los Estados Unidos desde Bolivia fue una aventura para mí. Lo único—además de mi familia y amigos—que me ponía triste dejar atrás era mi comunidad latinx. En Bolivia, claro, no pensaba en comunidad con latinx. En realidad, no fue hasta que vine aquí que me di cuenta de que muchas cosas intrínsecas para mi (el idioma en gran parte), también eran intrínsecas en la cultura latinx. Y así, empecé a extraña pequeñas cosas como saludar a la gente con un beso en la mejilla o escuchar una canción de reggaetón donde sea que vaya (gracias a Blue Wall por poner reggaetón una que otra vez).

My First Visit to UMass

Picture of McGuirk Stadium with the caption: “My First Visit to UMass"

The first time I ever set foot on to the University of Massachusetts campus was in the spring of my junior year of high school. Amidst an array of college tours, SAT practice tests, and AP exam studying, I can’t honestly say I took the time to appreciate the little beauties UMass Amherst had to offer-- rather, I worried that my application would not be up to par. Questions ran through my head the entire time I was there, as they would any stressed out high school junior: “What if my extracurriculars aren’t good enough?” “Have I taken enough AP classes?” “What if I’m not accepted?”

Meet the Major: Economics

University of Massachusetts economics major Laura poses at a historic place

A freshman economics major, Laura Balinski decided to attend the University of Massachusetts Amherst because she loved the campus and community atmosphere when she toured as a high school student. Walking around campus, Laura enjoyed seeing other students and how friendly they were, and she also really liked the layout of campus. After her tour of campus, Laura immediately knew she wanted to go to UMass Amherst, and was accepted as an economics major.

El Barrio: The brand new Latinx defined residential community at UMass Amherst

Image of Southwest Residential Area with text reading El Barrio: The brand new Latinx defined residential community at UMass

Moving to the U.S. from Bolivia was an adventure for me. The one thing—besides my friends and family—I was sad to be leaving behind, was my Latinx community. Over in Bolivia, of course, I didn’t think of it as a Latinx community. In fact, it wasn’t until I came here that I realized that a lot of things intrinsic to me (not the least of them was language), were also an intrinsic part of Latinx culture. And so, I started to miss little things like greeting people with a kiss on the cheek or hearing a reggaeton song wherever I went (shout out to Blue Wall for playing reggaeton every once in a while).

Meet UMass' new vice chancellor

Brandi Hephner LaBanc sitting in her office at the University of Massachusetts

Over the last few weeks, the University of Massachusetts Amherst community has seen its daily life upended due to the COVID-19 global pandemic. Almost every student has received emails detailing next steps and resources, but have we stopped to think about who the faces behind those emails are? So, without further ado, it’s time to get to know our new vice chancellor of student affairs & campus life here at UMass Amherst, Brandi Hephner LaBanc.

Meet the Major: Marketing and Political Science

University of Massachusetts student Lara poses with a friend inside of an over-sized frame that looks like and Instagram post

Lara Pereira is a freshman marketing and political science double major here at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. One of the biggest reasons why she decided to attend UMass Amherst was because of the abundance of opportunities and resources the school has to offer. She knew in high school that she wanted to attend a big university that had a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere, and her previous visits to campus only reinforced the strengths of the UMass Amherst experien