Humans of Baruch hosts "Gala 2.0"

Humans of Baruch hosted its second annual gala, titled “Gala 2.0: Uncovering Stories,” on May 9, celebrating the students interviewed this year by the organization with games and festivities.

Held in the Multipurpose Room, the event began with four students reading snippets from their Humans of Baruch interviews on stage in the front of the room. These stories were posted on the Humans of Baruch Facebook and Instagram pages throughout the academic year, along with an accompanying photo of the interviewee. This model is based on Humans of New York, a popular photoblog founded in 2010 that conducts interviews and takes portraits of people, sharing these stories to the millions of followers the organization has garnered on social media.

After a short performance by music-and-dance duo Aesthetic Rain, attendees watched a video interview of Undergraduate Student Government President Daniel Dornbaum. Dornbaum was asked 73 questions, ranging from personal to silly, which gave the audience deeper insight into who he is as a person.

Suswana Chowdhury, project manager of Humans of Baruch, conducted a live interview on stage during the event with The FemCode President Ana Arias-Gonzalez. The interview was conducted in order to give attendees a behind-the-scenes look at a Humans of Baruch interview, so they could see part of the process of creating a post. The interview covered a broad range of topics, from how Arias-Gonzalez founded The FemCode to her own personal struggles to her poetry. In an interview following the event, Chowdhury explained that Arias-Gonzalez was selected to be interviewed at the event after her original Humans of Baruch interview was found to be “very moving.”

“We felt like we really wanted to do a live interview segment with her so people could hear her entire story because of course, when we post Humans of Baruch it’s just one part of a very large conversation that we’re sharing,” said Chowdhury.

The gala also featured a short game, where attendees who were strangers to each other would pair up and then conduct a brief interview with each other. Attendees were then invited to share what they learned about their partners with the larger group, and those who shared out loud received a Humans of Baruch T-shirt.

“We wanted a night for people to celebrate their own stories,” said Chowdhury about the gala.

She went on to note that while the organization posts interviews and photos of students frequently, she feels that at some point the stream of posts becomes “an overflow.” The night is intended for people to “feel the stories again” and “renew the energy,” explained Chowdhury.

In the future, said Chowdhury, the organization wishes to publish a book of Baruch students’ stories that can be distributed.

“We just want to keep giving a voice and shining a spotlight on the people that aren’t in the spotlight,” said Chowdhury.