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Humans of Baruch showcase students’ stories at annual gala

As the end of the term nears, Humans of Baruch celebrated the stories and interviews its club members gathered throughout the school year. On April 19, they hosted their annual gala called “Humans of Baruch 3.0 | New Pages.”

Humans of Baruch is an organization inspired by Humans of New York, a photo blog that collects interviews and stories from people on the streets of New York.

Humans of Baruch aims to provide students who do not typically share personal details a platform to tell the Baruch College community about something or someone that helped shape their lives.

Members of the club displayed the portraits and quotes of students involved in the project to showcase the stories they shared.

Attendees participated in the event by drawing portraits of one another, entering a raffle and watching the performances of Montesinotes and the Baruch Blue Notes. Montesinotes is a singing group consisting of Baruch students and the Blue Notes are Baruch’s coed a cappella group.

Humans of Baruch is active on social media with more than 600 posts on Instagram showcasing a variety of stories.

Stories included came from clubs such as the Baruch United Sikh Association, United Chinese Language Association and The FemCode, to individual student stories that were seen as unique and thoughtful.

Some stories were meant to inspire, such as that of Prama Mitra, who allowed her father to sponsor another teenager’s education with her tuition money, while others were jokes, such as Joanne Lee’s, story where she complained about her jeans.

There were also individuals who reflected on their lives before college. For example, Fernando Sánchez Carriel talked about his difficulties explaining incorrect stereotypes about gay people, Inzamam Chowdhury realized that the friends he made during high school were unreliable and Alex Dorsinville described his experiences in a personal relationship.

“The purpose is to help the student body get to know each other through our social media,” Sabrina Zhao, project manager of Humans of Baruch, said, referring to Baruch as a hectic commuter school. “It helps student[s] [when they] know that someone is also experiencing the same thing as [them].”

Later in the event, the Humans of Baruch team invited a panel of former members to discuss what their experiences were and what the project meant to them.

The Humans of Baruch alumni all expressed that they felt a connection to the students when conducting interviews and wanted to serve as a conduit for human interest stories.

“The reason I continued being in Humans of Baruch was because of all the stories,” Aditi Kalani, co-founder of the project and alumna of Baruch, said. “It was really because of the team and the community.”

Kalani also said that the club started as informal discussions among a limited circle of friends but later became a project affiliated with Lexicon, Baruch’s yearbook. Gradually the engagements of the project became larger.

“Some stories really shocked me,” said Josue Mendez, a senior at Baruch, when asked about the most memorable stories he had encountered.

He said there was one time he asked a female student to share her story, but she declined and expressed that she was a “blank” person. Later, Mendez said she wept while expanding on her troubled experience with her
parents.

The seats remained full for almost the entirety of the event.

“It was [a] great turnout,” Zhao said in an interview after the gala.

While giving credit to her team for what she thought was a successful exhibition, Zhao acknowledged that the past two galas were not as vibrant as this year’s was partly because of suboptimal location choices.

“I almost teared a bit because I didn’t expect this to happen, but the performance and the marketing were helpful. We’re always supporting each other in this room and beyond this room,” Zhao said.

April 23, 2018

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