The follow post was written by Eastman undergraduate vocalist Celeste Pellegrino. Thanks Celeste!
Hi! My name is Celeste and I am a junior, double major in Vocal Performance and Music Education here at Eastman. An average day for me at Eastman is filled with classes, homework, rehearsals, practicing, and working as a student assistant in both the Office of Admissions and the Office of Residential Life. As you can imagine, things can get stressful when you are a double major. Luckily, Eastman has an amazing Students’ Association (SA) that helps us balance our hectic schedules.
I have always loved being involved in extracurricular activities. In high school I was a member of a variety of clubs that were both student and school-run. I thought that I would have to give this up when I decided to apply to music schools. To my surprise, I discovered that Eastman has a very active student life scene.
I am currently involved in class council in the Students’ Association as the vice president of the class of 2016, a position I have held since freshman year. I love being on class council because we get to plan some of Eastman’s most memorable undergraduate events. Last year our class planned Boo Blast, a Halloween dance. This year we planned Winter Ball, which occurred early in the spring semester. Eastman students look forward to these large-scale events where they can be with their classmates in a non-school setting. This year, Winter Ball had a Masquerade theme where student dressed up and created their own masks to wear. In addition to these large events, the class councils schedule smaller on and off campus activities for students throughout the year. Some of the ones I have been a part of include pumpkin carving, midnight premiers of movies, pottery painting, and a Super Bowl party.
Of course class council is not only for planning events, we have Students’ Association meetings every Thursday night at 9:30pm, which are open to the entire student body. All students can attend these meetings, whether or not they are actively involved in a club at Eastman. We discuss everything from future events, to how to improve our facilities, meals in the dining hall we would like to see more often, and many other topics. Students’ Association also just had their first activities expo. All the different clubs and organizations put out booths in Cominsky Promenade (located on the second floor of the school) to encourage new membership and gauge what events students were interested in this semester.
Getting involved with student life at Eastman is very easy. There are lots of clubs that cater to a wide array of interests. If you do not see a club you are interested in, the Office of Student Life can help you start a new one! One of my friends, who is also a vocalist, is president of Eastman’s Soccer Club. They meet every week, either at the University of Rochester or at an indoor league, and play soccer. This club is a great way to stay active and meet new people who enjoy sports. They also just celebrated a win at the University of Rochester’s intermural league championships.
Other clubs at Eastman include Eastman for Earth (an environmental awareness club), Eastmanites Anonymous (weekly movie nights), Mu Phi Epsilon and Sigma Alpha Iota (our Greek life on campus), Chinese Cultural Association, Spectrum (LGBTQ community) and two religious-affiliated clubs.
I have enjoyed being a part of class council and Students’ Association because it has given me a way to maintain my interests and be a leader outside of music. It also creates an even bigger since of community than Eastman already has because it gives the students a voice to make their views heard.
There is no question, life at Eastman can get crazy at times, but there are numerous people that have your back! And, the best part is that Eastman gives you the chance to take charge of your opportunities while allowing you to discover and continue your other interests. I hope you will take advantage of the opportunity to get involved!